Dec 10, 2013

How to Convert Your House into a Shop

The Department for Communities and Local Government held a consultation in the summer of 2013 to discuss changes to the legal requirements governing the use of high street properties. This particular meeting centred on the legal process of changing a shop into a residence, and recommended that the power to change use ultimately rest with local councils, while the secretary of state retain the right to overturn rejections if deemed unreasonable.

This particular consultation may have dealt with the conversion of shops into houses, but it brings other issues to mind, as well. What if a homeowner would like to turn their residence into a shop? The decision to grant change of use still rests with the council.

By and large, your request for change of use is going to depend on local and specific variables. That said, councils are often keen to grant this sort of activity, as it is as a benefit for local economies. However, certain considerations must be taken into account, including the following:

·         The potential loss of economic health for the neighbourhood
·         The need to provide additional services as a result of the conversion
·     The impact that the conversion would have neighbourhood’s or area’s local character
·         The ability to provide parking for the area
·         The increase in rubbish produced because of the conversion

If you are considering adding a shop to your property, you will probably find the council supportive. Resistance is much more likely to come from other homeowners in the area, who may be concerned that the introduction of a new shop may create noise, traffic and other disturbances.

House Conversions Can Be a Goldmine
There are plenty of reasons to consider converting your home into a shop, not least the ability to carve out a substantial living from home. Today, more people than ever before are working from home and telecommuting, and that requires some home office modifications. However, brick and mortar services are still the mainstay – even in today’s digital age.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few home conversion ideas that could see you turning your residence into a commercial workhorse:
·         Turn Your Home into a Retail Shop
This is a complicated conversion, but it can be a serious money-maker if you live in an area that doesn’t have that many retail outlets to begin with. Know your market and make sure that the products you are planning on offering are actually in demand. Once you have done your research, applied for the conversion and received permission, then you’ll have plenty of work ahead of you. To begin with, you may need to take out a wall or two to open the space up. In addition to this, you will want to go online in search of shop supplies and shelving that you can use to fit out the space. Just remember: if you live in a highly residential neighbourhood that does not have many retailers to begin with, then local residents will become your de facto target customers.

·         Turn Your Home into a Boutique Hotel
This conversion is probably going to be easier to get permission for, since it will not do much to change the character of the neighbourhood. Of course, the success of your boutique hotel (or even a guestroom for rent) will depend largely on the desirability of your location. If there is not a local attraction bringing people to this area to begin with, then it will probably not be successful. If you choose to go this route, consider listing your room or house with online directories such as airbnb.

·         Turn Your Home into a Restaurant or CafĂ©
There is a widely perpetuated myth out there that restaurant failure rates are sky high. Many people seem to be under the impression that 90 per cent of all restaurants opened end up failing in short order. The real failure rate is closer to 60 per cent, according to an article published in Bloomberg Businessweek. This may still seem high, but it’s right on par with the success rate of many small businesses across the board. If you know the business and have the capital, converting your home to a restaurant could be highly profitable.  

About the Author:
ShopSupplies is a company in Australia that specialises in fittings and shelving. They offer a large selection of display systems, showcases, counters, slat panels, and other Shop Supplies shelving solutions.
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