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car elevators chelsea

5 FAQ’s about Car Elevators in Chelsea Properties

March 21, 2019

Are you a car connoisseur or collector living in the Kensington and Chelsea borough? We’re sure that you, more than anyone else, know the cost and security risk of parking your stunning, collectible vintage or sports cars the streets of London. Have you considered installing a car park with an elevator in your basement? It’s the ultimate luxury feature that allows you to feel secure in the knowledge that your latest classic Aston Martin or Lamborghini is tucked away safely and that you can take it out for a spin by simply pressing a button.

In fact, not too long ago a Middle Eastern Royal, with a fleet of over 80 supercars paid £21 million for an underground car park in the glitzy Knightsbridge neighbourhood, not far away from luxury department store Harrods. (Independent, 9 Feb 2017).

According to an article in the Daily Mail, one of the latest luxury home improvement features in the Chelsea area has been the £50,000 Thunderbirds-style pop-up garage.

The garage uses a hydraulic platform which can be hidden under a water feature, flowerbed or patch of gravel – or even a second car.

car elevators chelsea cardok

The modern Cardok lifts out of the ground at the touch of an electronic key fob.

Eight underground garages have already been built, four are in production and more than 10 are on order, with interest highest in Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Ealing, Dulwich and Highbury.

The hydraulic system allows urban homeowners to hide luxury cars beneath a normal-looking driveway – before summoning them to the surface at the touch of a button on a fob.

We thought we would answer some FAQ’s about car elevators that might be on your mind if you are considering installing one for your exclusive car collection.

  1. How much does a car elevator cost?
      • According to Cardok, their standard parking solutions are available from £35,000 but a lot of projects, especially the made to measure ones, can go over a few hundred thousand pounds.


  2. How high of a ceiling do you need for a car elevator?
      • Car lifts don't fit very well in garages that are less than 22 feet deep. Ideally, the ceiling should be at least 11 to 12 feet high (though this author has used one – carefully – with a 9 1/2-foot ceiling).


  3. Do I need planning permission to install an underground car lift?
      • Depending on the size and structure of the lift and/or a basement garage, you may need planning permission. We suggest you check with Kensington and Chelsea council once your plans have been drawn up.


  4. What are the types of car elevators available?
      • Car Basement Lift
        Designed for pit installation, this car lift consists of a self-supporting platform with its own roof cover allowing Parking of cars on the lift roof. It uses a scissor mechanism and comes with a 'Person On Board' option allowing the driver to remain in the vehicles while the lift is in motion.
      • Pop Up Smart Car Lift
        Ideally designed to optimise parking space in residential homes where a standard above ground garage may have reduced dimensions, the lift will work using the homes standard electric supply and has a very sturdy 4 column structure ensuring perfect stability and easy installation.
      • Scissor Lift with Load Bearing Roof
        This lift not only allows a second vehicle to be parked on the roof when closed, but can be raised and lowered while the second car remains in place.
      • Double Scissor Lift
        Designed to store up to 3 cars, this double scissor mechanism lift allows 2 cars to be parked underground, leaving the driveway free for a third car to be parked.


  5. Who are some of the leading car elevator companies in the UK?
    Some of the most well-known companies who manufacture and install car elevators are:

      1. Cardok
      2. Total Lifting Solutions
      3. Parking Lift Solutions
      4. Sheridan Lifts


    1. If you are planning a complete home refurbishment that includes a car elevator, you will need this to be a part of your overall home design and plan. We believe you will need an experienced construction company like SDA Build to work with the car elevator company to design and build a system that works within the framework and structure of your current property or that will work in your newly refurbished property or new build.If you would like some advice on what we believe, given our experience in the Chelsea and Kensington areas, would be best suited for your home and lifestyle, give us a call on 0208 191 7595 or email us at enquiries@sdabuildlondon.co.uk. A member of our team will contact you and we’ll be happy to visit your property and discuss your options.“Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.” Coco Chanel.
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What’s going on with luxury construction in London

February 28, 2019

Some areas in London like Chelsea, Kensington, Knightsbridge and others are synonymous with luxury. Homes in these areas are assumed to be large and spacious, with high ceilings, full of character and with an air of decadence, old-world-ness and charm.

We have been working in these locations for the last 5 years and thought we’d share some of our experiences on what the current trends in home renovation and building are in these luxury areas in London.

1. Kitchens are the hub of the home
With entertainment being a big part of the lifestyle of these luxury homeowners, kitchens have now become the central focus of these homes. No longer is the cooking and prep of food confined to a space somewhere in back of the house. Cooking and socialising are now part of the overall entertainment so there is no expense spared when designing a kitchen. Kitchen companies today offer an “anything is possible” approach, so the sky is the limit. Some of the kitchens we’ve installed include amongst other features:

• Bespoke, hardwood cabinetry
• Bespoke marble worktops
• Splashbacks that are one-of-a-kind, made to order
• Sub Zero appliances
• Temperature controlled wine coolers in the kitchen island
• Luxurious larder

When it comes to luxury, these kitchens are it.

2. Walk-in wardrobes as big as your bedroom
Size does matter… that’s a fact. Many of these homes have walk-in wardrobes that are almost as big as their bedrooms. In fact, Christie’s Real Estate, reported that large closets continue to be a highly desirable amenity for luxury home buyers. Bespoke hardwood cupboards built to suit the homeowners personal need for storage of clothes, shoes, jewellery, handbags and other accessories, these wardrobes are straight out of The Great Gatsby.

3. A pet parlour
Our pets are as precious to us as our family members and in some cases more so. Why then, should they not have a room of their own? Some of our clients have requested us to build bespoke pet rooms, complete with underfloor heating, luxury dog beds, showers and overhead lamps to dry them after a muddy walk.

4. Upstairs laundry room
This may seem mundane, but how many people do you know with an upstairs laundry room? Considering the majority of our laundry is created upstairs, it makes sense to have your laundry upstairs too and save the bother of carrying laundry baskets up and down to the utility room. As well as space for washing machines and dryers, some of these homes have separate drying cupboards which not only dry clothes in record time, but they also emerge crinkle free.

5. Swimming pool in the basement
What could be more of a statement than a swimming pool in your basement? We recently built a basement in a home in Fulham, with a complete dig out for a swimming pool.; the perfect place to exercise first thing in the morning or invite friends over for a swim and a late afternoon barbecue.

6. Entertainment /Games room
A home cinema room and games room is what luxury is all about today. Equipped with state-of-the-art home entertainment systems, pool tables and kitted out with the latest technology, these spaces are second only to perhaps the luxury James Bond is used to – high tech, with music, radio, and TV audio streamed through with in-ceiling speakers from any smart device, including a built-in music server that can be linked to iTunes or Spotify.

With money being no object, these luxury constructions in London are built and fitted with the highest specs. Furniture is sourced from the most exclusive suppliers from across the world, tiles are made to order and designed especially for them and there is not a single item that does not have the ‘bespoke’ tag attached to it.

At SDA London team, we love such projects. It gives us the space and freedom to give our clients the very best that luxury can offer. We work closely with a team of professionals including architects, interior designers and suppliers alongside our clients to ensure that we give them the home they have dreamed of, leaving no stone unturned.

Our motto for these homes is “If you want it, we will make it happen.”

If you are looking for a team to build your dream home and want the absolute best in quality and finish, do give us a call on 0208 191 7595. We’ll come around, discuss your needs and share some of our thoughts. If you prefer, you can email us at enquiries@sdabuildlondon.co.uk with your requirements and a member of our team will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

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Yoga Room Design

Designing a Yoga Room at home

January 31, 2019

Basement conversions in Chelsea and Kensington are in demand as space constraints prevent rear or side extensions. Not only do they add valuable floor space to your property and increase the value of the property, but are extremely versatile and can be used for several purposes, including cinema rooms, gyms and kitchens.

If your property is in an area where a basement conversion is a viable option, or you are planning a complete property demolition and rebuild, a basement can give you that special, additional “nice to have” space for your hobbies, home business, art collection, wine cellar or children’s den. We recently converted a basement in Chelsea into a yoga studio as property owner had recently qualified as a yoga instructor and wanted a space to build her yoga business.

Whatever the purpose, it’s important to work closely with the architect and interior designer when a space is being built with a specific function. It’s also a good idea to plan the use of the space at the outset so that the construction and design are tailored to the room’s requirements.

The Chelsea yoga studio we built had some specific requirements which we thought we’d share, in case you are thinking of building one in your own home.

As the yoga room was being built in the basement, one of the most important considerations was waterproofing or tanking. Of course, this is the case when building any basement.  SDA Build London is proudly accredited by the UK’s leading waterproofing brand, Delta, with all our basement conversion projects installing their cutting-edge Delta Membrane Systems.

A yoga room needs to be warm and welcoming. Our clients wanted a clean look with uniform heating throughout. We recommended the installation of underfloor heating across the room allowing for even heat distribution and a feeling of warmth when stepping onto the floor.

Flipping to coin, we also installed a ducted air-conditioning system for the warmer months, allowing for air circulation and temperature control.

Wooden flooring was used in the room for a feeling of warmth.

Another important feature was the lighting. We installed dimmer switches on overhead lights for total control of the lighting levels to suit the mood of the room.

Walls were painted in calming, soothing colours such as muted, cooler tones and warm whites. The idea is to provide a sense of calm and peace.

We installed full length mirrors across the width of one wall so that the yoga students could check posture and alignment. As this room was in the basement, and did not have a view to the outside, the combination of lighting and mirrors gave it a sense of space and light.

We built cupboards at the far end of the room for storage of yoga mats and other equipment.

When building a space, it is important to consider the ultimate use of the room. In most cases, the purpose of the room will be the determining factor in several elements such as lighting, electrics, plumbing, heating, colour and flooring.

If you are thinking about building a yoga room in your home or basement or for that matter converting your basement into a habitable space, do give us a call on 0208 191 7595 or book a Free Property Refurbishment Consultation via our website. We will visit your property, discuss your ideas and needs and share some our thoughts and recommendations on we can do for you. This is a no obligation visit, so please don’t feel like you will be tied in to us if you call us outJ

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Hidden costs of a renovation

8 Renovation Costs You Won’t Have Factored In, But Should Have

January 29, 2019

Make sure you account for some of these renovation costs. When commencing a refurbishment project, most of us do our homework with regards to costs and budgeting. This article in Houzz by Victoria Harrison flags some “unexpected” costs that you probably haven’t added to your comprehensive spreadsheet. Download our FREE Project Management Checklist now to keep on top of your renovation.

If you’ve ever undertaken any renovation work, you’ll know most projects end up going over budget, however carefully you manage the job. Even with a sensible contingency fund, extra expenditure can creep in to disrupt even the best-laid plans.

But what exactly are these extras and how can you preempt them? Here are a few of the surprising hidden costs of renovation work for which you may want to budget.

Dehumidifiers or heaters
If you’re plastering a large area of wall or having a new screed floor poured, you’ll probably have to hire a dehumidifier or heater to remove the excess moisture in the air and help with the drying process.

These can be hired by the day, so, depending on the time of year you undertake the work and the drying speed of the plaster or screed, this cost can be anything from a couple of days hire to a few weeks, plus the electricity running cost.

It won’t be a huge amount, but it’s something that can get forgotten in the initial budget.

Refinishing internal carpentry
Another unexpected knock-on effect of replastering large areas or working with wet materials, where you raise the humidity levels throughout the house, can be that internal doors swell up and need to be rehung.

Factoring in a carpenter to refit or rehang internal doors or make small adjustments is another cost that may not be on your spreadsheet, but might be worth keeping in mind at the planning stage.

Your electricity bill
If you’re undertaking extensive renovation work for a period of months, you may need to budget for your electricity bill to rise during this time.

With power tools being plugged in and recharged constantly, and several trades working on the house at the same time, you’ll be drawing on your power supply much more than usual. It might seem like an incidental, but if you allow for this before you start, you won’t be caught out by it halfway through.

Rubbish disposal
You might have factored in a skip at the end of your project, but it’s a rare renovation that creates less waste than planned. Most projects result in large amounts of rubbish and this will need to be disposed of safely, which can add on extra pennies at the very end of your project when funds are low.

Skips aren’t cheap, so if you end up needing to hire more than one, it could add to your overspend. It’s best to consider this at the planning stage and budget for a larger skip than you think you need, or for someone to come and collect the rubbish at a couple of points during the project.

A deep clean
It’s incredible how far dust can travel when heavy renovation work or demolition is taking place elsewhere in the house. You can keep all the internal doors and windows closed, but more often than not you’ll find yourself shaking dust out of curtains and bedding in rooms away from where the work’s taking place.

If you’re living on site, you can keep on top of this on a daily basis while the project’s ongoing. However, you might want to factor in some budget for a deep clean of carpets and textiles at the very end of the job to return your house to normal once the builders have left.

Patching up paintwork
High-traffic areas, such as hallways, can take a bit of abuse during renovation work, with lots of people walking though each day and ladders and tools being carried in and out.

As such, you might need to set aside a bit of cash for redecoration once the work’s complete. Even if it’s just patching up small chips in woodwork and giving walls a fresh coat of paint, keep in mind you’ll need a little pot of money for this.

Replacement carpet in adjacent rooms
Carpet can sometimes be damaged in adjoining rooms to those where the work is taking place. If you’re moving internal walls around, carpet may have to be cut, for example, or if you have lots of people walking though a hallway to get to the room where work is being done, carpet can get damaged and need professionally cleaning or replacing.

Laying down carpet protector film can help, but dirt has a way of finding its way around even the best protection, so keep this in mind when budgeting for cleaning costs at the end of the work.

Garden reboot
Building work can have a big impact on adjoining outside areas, as skips, machinery and materials all have to go somewhere while work is ongoing. Footpaths and patio areas will have lots of extra footfall, too, so expect your garden to sustain a bit of damage.

Once the work is complete, you can take stock of the garden, but it’s worth keeping a bit of money aside in case you need to fix fencing, replace turf or replant some areas.

At SDA Build we try to list all known and potential costs in our schedule of works so our clients are not hit with unplanned costs to the best or our ability. Do give us a call on 0208 191 7595 to speak to us about your home renovation project. We’d be happy to visit your property and give you our thoughts and estimates on the cost of your project.

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SDA Award

SDA Build London wins award

January 8, 2019

We are delighted to share that SDA Build London has won the Global Business Insight Award form Most Outstanding Property Refurbishment Firm 2019.

This is a an honour for the entire SDA team who have worked tirelessly to ensure that our clients receive the highest standards of service from us.

A special thank you to all the team members for their hard work and commitment.

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