14 Unusual House Facts
Like a self-build episode of QI, but without the wit of Sandy Toksvig or humorous wisdom of Stephen Fry, here’s a spare room full of house facts, that you can take to dinner parties… and never get invited again!
Brass Door Knobs Are Self Cleaning
Ok, you’re probably going to want to wipe and occasionally polish them, but the ions in brass and copper mean they have antibacterial properties and can kill germs.
Colour Can Increase Value
But don’t get the paint brush out just yet, it’s not the colour of individual houses that can raise the price of your property, but houses on brightly coloured streets can sell for anywhere between 2% and 65% more according to HomeOwners Alliance. Research carried out showed that in East Sussex (32%), Scotland (12%), Cornwall (4%) London (15%) and other UK property hotspots, brightly coloured streets commanded higher prices than similar, less colourful homes in the same area.
Law Of Averages
The average distance of a UK house move is 9 miles. The average British garden is 15-metres long and the average home has 2.3 members. On average we spend 104 hours a year redecorating and 493 hours a year cleaning.
Work In Progress
45% of UK homeowners consider their home a “work in progress”, while only 22% are happy with their home the way it is. 47% of women have the final say in home décor compared to just 37% of men. 15% of homeowners give at least one room a lick of paint every year, 10% of people are in less of a rush, leaving it ten years between redecorating. 28% of us admit to pinching design ideas from a friend’s house.
Trees Are Good For You
A study conducted by Lancaster University found mature trees beside roads can reduce air pollution by up to 50%. Trees have also been shown to reduce stress, increase positivity and even increase recovery from illness. A row of mature trees can also block and deaden road noise by 6 – 10 decibels.
Trees Also Push Up Prices
Other home studies revealed that homes with mature trees can sell for up to 18-25 percent more than similar houses without trees. Similarly, properties close to trees or on tree lined avenues also commanded a higher price.
Most Garages Don’t See a Car
In 2021 the RAC estimated that of the 11,000,000 UK garages, less than half of the homeowners actually kept their car in their garage.
Mail Order Houses
The famous Sears & Roebuck mail order catalogues in the US even sold mail order houses! Between 1908-40 roughly 70,000 self-assembly house kits were delivered to soon to be homeowners, some even came with the modern conveniences of the day.
A Right Royal Residence
Buckingham Palace wasn’t originally a royal residence, the Duke of Buckingham built it in 1703 as his own gaff. In 1761 George III bought it to turn into a home for his young family. It was his son George IV who decided it should be the king’s official home and had what was a much smaller place considerably extended, adding new wings. When George’s brother took the throne, he wasn’t so keen and offered it to be used as the new parliament (the old one had burned down!) but they politely declined. It was Queen Victoria who really fell in love with the place and it has been the reigning monarch’s London home ever since.
The world’s largest treehouse was built in Crossville, Tennessee in 1993, supported by 6 oak trees, consisting of 10 floors it covered 3000 square metres and took builder Horace Burgess over 14 years to build. It even had a penthouse and basketball court! In 2012 local fire marshals closed it down as they deemed the solely wooden structure posed a fire hazard.
Britain’s Smallest House
Located in Conwy, Wales, Britain’s smallest house measured a meagre 182cm wide (5’9”), 304cm deep and 312cm (10’2”) high, despite covering two storeys. Y Tŷ Lleiaf ym Mhrydain Fawr, or the Quay House was built in the 16th century was home to a number of families until it became a tourist attraction in 1900 hundred when it’s last occupant, fisherman Robert Jones, moved out. He was a surprising 6’3”.
Plants like bromeliads can remove over 80% of impurities from the air. They create a sense of well-being and plants have even been shown to aid recovering from illness. And yes, talking to your plants really does help them grow. Studies have also shown that vibrations (like your old Led Zeppelin albums) can also assist plant growth.
Gnome Place Like Home
Garden gnomes were introduced to England by Sir Charles Isham in 1847. Having spotted them in Germany, where it was believed the cheeky ornaments helped attract real gnomes to their gardens. Gnomes were completely outlawed at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show for 100 years, but some light-hearted pleas and saw the no-gnome-zone ban lifted in 2013.
Small gardens are one of the 10 most common factors given for wanting to move home.