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high-tech site preparation methods and by pre-fabricating the penthouse modules off site, the company ensures that existing residents don’t have to put up with the kind of disruption and disturbance normally associated with a major building project. Modules for a typical penthouse are installed wind and water tight, with fixtures and fittings and all services connected in one day. According to Patrick using this advanced modular technique “is greener, quicker and enables greater quality control”.

First Penthouse is able to advise clients and help them through each step of the project, including:

Helping with pre-planning advice and planning permission; Guidance on the requirements of the building regulations; Working in collaboration with clients to design a bespoke penthouse layout including all finishes and fittings; and Delivering the completed project quickly without disruption to residents.

This year’s model First Penthouse is now working on construction of a 1600 sq ft penthouse at 25

Cheyne Place in London’s fashionable Chelsea. The new apartment, which looks out over the Chelsea Physic Gardens, will be completed and ready to go on the market by March 2015. The 1930s art deco building is in need of modernisation and has a lift that dates from 1934 which is badly in need of full replacement. These factors mean the existing insurance and maintenance contracts are very expensive and the freeholder recognised there was significant value to be unlocked from developing a penthouse. Part of the profit will help revitalise the rest of the property, which will not only benefit from a new lift shaft and cart in sympathy with the heritage of the building but a significant sum is to be invested in improving the common parts and entrance hall to create what Patrick describes as “a greater sense of arrival” returning the building to its Art Deco roots which have been forgotten over the years.

At the same time as carrying out the construction works required to the new penthouse apartment, the scaffolding at 25 Cheyne Place is also being utilised to undertake works to some leaking windows, address damp issues in a number of the flats and improve brickwork on the south west side of the building that faces the prevailing wind.

Luxury accommodation at penthouse level is highly valued in London

Work is also being done to improve the water system, rear garden landscaping and putting in new wiring for video entry systems and phone lines that is long overdue.

From planning permission to delivering a finished penthouse takes from 12-18 months depending on the complexity of the building/project. As Patrick explains: “Most of that time – up to 12 months - is spent undertaking very detailed design and engineering work to enable the project to be delivered efficiently, both in terms of onsite works which take from four to six months and module construction which takes place offsite and usually also lasts around six months.”

The onsite work for the Cheyne Place project started in mid-September and the penthouse modules will be hoisted into place in mid- February 2015. “We will then need about two to three weeks to make good the joints and complete the internal finishes.”, says Patrick, adding “The value uplift the completed project will generate for the lessees is subjective but agents suggest between 5-10%, with flats at the top of the building benefiting most given their proximity to the high value which will undoubtedly be achieved by the new penthouse”.

For more information, go to

or for free initial advice Email to the following:

Complete address of project including post code. If possible a Google Earth place mark. Existing number of storeys and staircases. Photos of street, building and roof. Any drawings and permissions that you have. A brief description of what you are looking for.

Look out for more photos of the completed penthouse development at Cheyne Place in our next issue.


Issue 20

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