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CASE STUDY 23


doing his research. “I usually study other people’s projects and what plans have been approved by going on the council’s website, and working out what is likely to be achieved under planning law.” He adds: “Furness Road is a fairly typical


Fulham terraced street, and with hundreds of examples to compare with, the challenge was to find something that sets you apart from the crowd.” Finer Developments was founded by


Watson, and evolved from his owning a property portfolio, starting with the refurbishment of kitchens and bathrooms and steadily progressing from side returns and loft conversions, to basements and whole-house period conversions. For the Furness Road development, the


Group sought senior debt from a bank at 65 per cent LTV, and privately funded the balance of purchase, stamp and professional fees. The company let the property for nine months while seeking planning, party wall agreements and any extra costs, enabling the team to hit the ground running once the building programme commenced.


MAKING THE DIFFERENCE With over 25 years’ experience in the property industry, Watson puts the key to


creating a differentiator for a development as “Knowing who your buyers are.”He described the company’s approach: “Prior to purchasing any property, we first look at it in its current layout, and where the maximum gain through planning can be achieved. This process allows for flexibility in experimenting with different layouts and configurations. “In all our projects, we like to add


individuality to a scheme, with the hope that this in itself will set the property apart from others.” To create this sense of individuality at


25 Furness Road, the team inserted a central staircase on the ground floor to basement level (see picture above), instead of under the existing staircase as would be typical. The ground floor flow was also enhanced with a glass balustrade surrounding the staircase, which gives a line of sight straight through the house and on to a meticulously designed garden. “In the basement, the feature staircase


continues to impress,” says Watson. “The office space is enclosed with crittal glass windows, which separates it from the media room, but allows the feeling of space to flow through each room, from basement


level to the ground floor, and vice versa.” He concludes: “Making sure each


property is finished to the highest standard goes without saying, but the key is finding the property’s individuality and expressing it.” The Finer Group provides a full range of


services, comprising Finer Developments, building medium to large scale multi-unit schemes, and funded through Finer Capital, its funding platform. Finer Design and Finer Interiors encompasses architectural planning, scale drawing and everything else involved in the design process, and Finer Commercial locates sites for residential development, and looks to acquire commercial assets with a focus on hospitality. Lastly, the group even provides a full concierge service. 25 Furness Road is due to be completed


in Q4 2017.


LOCAL SUPPLIERS WERE USED TO SOURCE MATERIALS WHERE POSSIBLE


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