Buy a Huf Haus instead of building one
The Huf Haus should have been a flop in the UK - it's an architectural style that is alien to our shores and a prefab to boot.
But as the German company that makes the Huf Haus celebrates its 100th anniversary, the firm's signature angular roofs, glass walls and open plan designs are increasingly popular and, despite their low cost compared to traditionally built homes, still fetch high prices wherever they are built.
The fame of the Huf Haus is largely down to Kevin McCloud and the Grand Designs TV programme, which has featured several builds and that, compared to most other types of build featured on the programme, are much easier to complete. The most time consuming part of a Huf Haus is pouring the foundations - which must be built exactly to fit the Huf Haus's specifications and plumbing. But afterwards, the full build and fit-out can take less than a fortnight.
Nevertheless, if finding and buying the land to build on (and navigating a build) aren't your cup of schnapps, here's some of the completed Huf houses for sale at the moment.
Where: Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire
What: Britain's best known Huf Haus
Built: not known
Price: £2.65 million
To sum up: It might not be Britain's biggest or most impressive Huf Haus, but for afficionados it's possibly the best known. Featured on TV show Grand Designs, it helped bring the idea of a Huf Haus into the public arena, although current owner Liz Perry discovered in a more unusual way - she spotted the film crew outside the property and, when she discovered it was for sale, snapped it up with her husband Nick.
Where: Helensburg, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
What: Two bedroom, two bathrooms, a sloping garden and a stream.
Built: in 2007
To sum up: An ideal bolthole if you work in Glasgow but want a place away from the city in a less frenetic setting next to the Firth of Clyde. Helensburgh is a 45 minute train ride from Glasgow but is famous in its own right - John Logie Baird was born here, and Rennie Mackintosh designed one of its best known homes, Hill House.
To sum up: A gorgeous, signature Huf Haus deep in Surrey commuter belt between Leatherhead and Guildford. Nearby Horsley, which is walking distance of the property, offers a 46 minute commute into Waterloo, and the M25 is a 10 minute drive away outside of peak times. The price tag is justified mainly by the lounge, from which views of the half acre garden are to be enjoyed.
To sum up: A Huf Haus in among some of Essex's larger suburban homes, most of which were built when nearby Emerson Park became a train station and the area soon filled up with 19th wealthy Londoners seeking a rural retreat. More recently, there has been a rash of 'buy, knockdown and rebuild' projects in the area, including this one.
Where: Oxshott, Surrey
What: A five bedroom Huf Haus overlooking open fields
Built: not known
Price: £1.895 million
In a word: A lavishly interior designed Huf Haus on one of Oxshott's two private estates, Knott Park, sister estate to the Crown Estate. Both are gated developments and, consequently, favoured by celebrities tired of paparazzi intrusions, which includes footballer John Terry.
Where: Hampton Court, Surrey
What: A Huf Haus on the banks of the Thames
Built: not known
Price: £1.64 million
In a word: When estate agents say a house is unique, it's not usually strictly true. Not so for this Huf Haus, which is the only one known to be for sale right on the Thames embankment, and available with its own 70ft morring and boat slip. The house is on the north bank, half way between Hampton Court Palace and Sunbury.
In a word: A plot of land with planning for both a Huf Haus and a mini-Huf-Haus for staff. This is in a prime Surrey location half a mile to the east of the famous St George's Hill estate in a among trees in a relatively undeveloped area. It's surrounded by some of the area's best-known towns including Cobham, Weybridge and Esher.
Where: Sandbanks, Poole
What: A Huf Haus beside the sea
Price: £1.99 million
In a word: This is one of several Huf House's either on Sandbanks or in the roads behind the famously expensive spit of sand. It's on Evening Hill, a set of roads with properties overlooking the water of Poole harbour and beyond, and lavished with high-end homes set behind gated drives.
- May 2012
- related information
- By Nigel Lewis
- Prime Guides: The Huf Haus
- Private View: The £29.5m Hampstead villa that sold in a number of weeks
- related links
- Huf Haus homepage
The fame of the Huf Haus is largely down to Kevin McCloud and the Grand Designs TV programme