Top tips for commercial to residential conversions

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Commercial to residential conversions are a great development choice. Thanks to recent changes to permitted development rights, the opportunity to convert a commercial space to residential living has been simplified. But how can you get the most from your conversion project?

Permitted development rights for commercial to residential conversions

Changes to permitted development rights have made the permissions process for commercial to residential conversions faster in many cases. 

But to ensure your build is lawful, you should carefully consult a planning specialist and the permitted development legislation relating to your build long before you start the planning process. 

Plus, you’ll need to double check all your deeds, documents and paperwork before you begin. You could stumble upon a clause that will prevent an existing building from being converted – in which case, it’s a no-go.  

Though the changes to the legislation have simplified the process, there’s still a lot of small print that you’re going to want to go through with a fine-tooth comb before you start. For example, there are limits on the size of the space that can be developed. 

You can start to think freely, though still within the legal restrictions, at this stage, too. A commercial to residential specialist, like our team here at Buildsmith Solutions, can help you expand your planning application to include sustainable features, such as creating passive homes to maximise energy and comfort or adding low energy heating solutions

Alongside utilising a planning specialist, working closely with the local council’s planning department is key to getting the answers to any questions that arise during your planning process.

Explore your target residential market carefully

Many commercial to residential conversions now focus around the high street and city centre. Thanks to changes in online technologies and shopping habits, many businesses are embracing home working and making the move away from the city centre. 

This leaves plenty of commercial space available for a change of use. But who will be living in the city centres of tomorrow? For this, you’ll need to explore your target city carefully to plan the right scope for your residential development. 

Is your target market young professionals, key to be in the heart of it all? Or are you more likely to benefit from crafting spaces for students, who want smaller spaces that offer great value for money? Or perhaps busy families valuing easy links to other parts of the city will be putting down their roots? 

Knowing your target market will shape the way in which you construct your development. In some cases, your research may lead to you exploring alternatives, such as creating a mixed use development.

Using a conversion specialist like Buildsmith Solutions can help with some handy pointers too. For example, they’ll make sure you meet the minimum property size needed for potential residents to secure a mortgage for the property. 

When it comes to the bottom line at the end of your project, a little pre-build market research goes a long way.

When it comes to commercial to residential conversions…expect the unexpected!

Once you’ve got permission for your commercial to residential conversions and a vision for who your residents could be, it’s time to get building. But the potential pitfall with conversions is, of course, working alongside the existing commercial structure. 

Even with the best planning, it’s rare to complete a build without any unexpected surprises! Being able to roll with whatever your conversion throws at you is a key element of a successful conversion. 

In this case, a commercial to residential conversions expert can help to smooth the build process. With professional experience, they’ve seen it all and know how to overcome any challenge thrown their way. A little investment on your investment, with impressive returns.

Planning, preparation and proactivity produce successful commercial to residential conversions

The opportunity for commercial to residential conversions is too good to be overlooked. With careful planning, adequate preparation and a proactive approach to overcoming obstacles, your build can offer great returns. 

And with a conversion specialist on hand, you have the experience you need to reduce waste and maximise your conversion profits. Explore the range of projects that Buildsmith Solutions have undertaken for examples of how it’s done! 
Get in touch today – Buildsmith Solutions are ready to help you maximise your gains from your commercial to residential conversions.