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Shutting Off Rooms In The Us

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Folks here and in the US have sought to gear themselves into the property market by buying bigger houses and building extensions. "Spacious" and "Open plan" has been a byeword for desirability amongst property owners, developers and estate agents. Atriums and double height celings have captured th eimmaginations of those buying into their new found status. That may be about to change if a 24 anecdotal is anything to go by.

News24 interviewed a reasonably affluent looking 30-40 something woman describing how she is intending to cope with higher fuel bills. Amongst the measures were "sweaters and slippers" and, and here's the stunner : "we'll probably close off some rooms."

It has occured to me how little people use their homes nowadays in any case, with or without shutting rooms off. Both halves of a couple generally work and the kids are at some other activity or another until early evening. At the weekends houses that were hardly used lie abandoned as folks seek to fritter away any spare cash on breaks.

This has made me wonder why on earth people ever needed that new extension with its unused gym. Of course they never did. It was all about persuading themselves thatthey were benefitting from higher house prices. Ask somebody why they needed a library/study (when they read less than Victoria Beckham) and the instant answer is "investing money in the house."

If energy prices continue to escalate however these unused rooms will be seen for what they are: useless liabilities that are best never built and now need to be shut off. Open plan spaces may even see the reinstatement of dividing walls.

Some may doubt the need or sincerity of intent of the woman in the anecdotal news 24 item. Actions however speak louder than words. She was already driving less and saving $55 a week. As she put it "the higher prices go, the more I save."

Edited by Sledgehead
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Every time I've watched Kevin McCloud's Grand Designs I shudder at these huge open plan buildings they make. There have been a couple who've looked at energy costs and ensured insulation and build methods do their bit, but for the vast majority open plan seems insane.

We've seen someone up the road take out the hall wall effectively opening up the stairs and landing into the same space as the lounge and opening directly now on to the outside when the front door is opened.

It'll mean masses of heat loss every time they open the front door - and they'll find it harder to keep warm...

Mind you people still don't get insulated as much as they should!


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Over the last 10-15 years I have noticed an increasing move towards open plan not just in housing but in offices, hospitals and schools.

I shudder to think how much the fuel bill will be for businesses and local authorities etc if prices keep rising.

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Do you reckon blackouts or massive price inflation will come first?

Suspect we'll have some outages first. And then they'll use that as the lever to convince people to pay the increases.

I don't know why people aren't already screaming and protesting in the streets about the price increases.

Oh I do. Its a bit cold and rainy.


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I know the lifts'll go off, but potentially anyone in a flat could be stuck with no water.

Keep the bath full and buy a decent water filter in case anything grows in it :).

Oh, of course I'm assuming that 'executive apartments' include baths these days.

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Its all brainwashing prep talk, so when BOE ranck up IRates and Recssions HPC becomes sheeple digest brown can evoke inflationry energy cost!! As a mjour part of the reason or THE reason.

All unplannablae manageable and unforseeable.

Come one you lot in the media exopse them!

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