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ROOFTOP DEVELOPMENT Features


How much is your roof worth? Could your flat roof be earning you money? Flat Living finds out how


If you’ve ever wondered whether the roof of your block could be put to better use than a roost for pigeons, First Penthouse could


have the answer. Specialising in off-site modular construction of penthouse apartments for rooftops, the company typically completes three or four projects each year and is always on the look-out for new opportunities.


Using applications such as Google Earth, the company first identifies suitable rooftops – which need to be large, flat and unencumbered by existing features such as mobile phone masts and large plant rooms. Using desk-top research the company then identifies and contacts building owners to find


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out whether they might be interested in developing their roof space. As the company’s reputation for high quality construction grows, First Penthouse also increasingly receives enquiries from building owners who are interested in the possibility of unlocking the value of their roof space.


To date, the company has only looked at properties in London but is aware that there are plenty of suitable blocks across the country that would be suitable for development.


First Penthouse director Patrick Brightman says: “Property values in London mean these properties are currently the most commercially viable but increasingly, property prices in parts of the south east are becoming


high enough to make development a worthwhile consideration. Like most development projects, there are significant economies of scale, so large roofs of 5,000 sq ft –plus are best and would work outside London too. The requirement for lift extensions up to the new apartment hit the financial viability of smaller roofs hard (less than 3,000 sq ft) except in very expensive parts of central London.”


Added value First penthouse is gaining a reputation for being able to create a cash injection or income stream for freeholders by either buying their roof space from them or developing their roof in a profit sharing partnership. The company offers three options:


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