• Elephant Carpentry

London's Layers of Housing.

Further to my previous post "London's Ancient Dwellings, I want to expand the subject further. I decided to write this post after viewing a job in Crouch End. I had been asked to attend to a leak and couldn't beleive what I found. The tenant had showed me some footage and pictures so I wasn't going in blind. But when I got there I found a huge hole in their living room ceiling, which made inspection a lot easier.

Apologies for the awful production that no doubt left anyone who played it feeling dizzy. There were three leaks in the sub floor, the bath area above had two layers of tiling one on top the other, ready to fall off the wall at any time. The toilet and the shower tray also had leaks. The downstairs tenants don't use their bathroom everybody uses the en-suite.

The layer upon layer approach taken by the last tradesman was forced on him by the customer, an estate agent. This attitude also applies to the division of all these London town houses into flats. Ceilings have been dropped, floors raised, walls thickened by layers of modifications, few with a genuine purpose, most just for show or to hide a billion sins. Construction waste left hidden in sub floors, walls, and loft areas. Walls and ceilings dividing properties not insulated, wiring and pipework laid, 'where it will go' without a though for proper chasing and clipping, or consideration for future repairs/works.

In all of this it is the tenant which invariably suffers. It seems to me that there was a rush of dodgy conversions during the 1990's and early 2000's perhaps because of the housing regulations adjustments that came in in that time. Anyhow I wouldn't mind saying that all of the conversions in London apart from a minority are of a terrible quality and many fall below acceptable standards of living, compromising the human rights of their tenants, even in the year 2020.

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