Our online shop is currently being updated. Please call our friendly advisors on 01993 833 108 or email sales@therooflightcompany.co.uk to place your order. If you wish to use the 10% online discount on our neo™ Plateau Rooflight please quote NP10. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Digging down and falling down

What a gift of a story. A house collapses, it belongs to a celebrity (or did until recently) and nobody is killed so we can all revel in hubris. No wonder the BBC posted the story ‘Pop star Duffy’s former house collapses’ about the collapse of a Georgian house in Barnes, southwest London during the construction (oh joy) of a basement.

What a gift of a story. A house collapses, it belongs to a celebrity (or did until recently) and nobody is killed so we can all revel in hubris. No wonder the BBC posted the story ‘Pop star Duffy’s former house collapses‘ about the collapse of a Georgian house in Barnes, southwest London during the construction (oh joy) of a basement.

These have become the bete noire of many Londoners, a sign of the perceived arrogance of the super-rich. Not content with buying property at inflated prices while many struggle to get a foot on the housing ladder, these people look at their homes and just think ‘not big enough’. So they dig…. and dig, and dig.

They dig to create gyms and swimming pools and screening rooms and probably, some of us suspect, to create a warren of tiny dark spaces to house their numerous, underpaid staff. And of course they disturb their neighbours. Even the best-engineered and well-run basement projects cause considerable noise and mess. And, if they have not been engineered by an expert (there are some highly skilled engineers out there) they can cause subsidence, movement, cracking or at the extreme collapse.

So it is not surprising that we all feel hubris when one of these projects go wrong, although we don’t yet know how in this case. There is, as well as envy and irritation and suspicion an atavistic feeling that the basement builders are trying to steal the solid earth from beneath our feet. Of course it isn’t really solid – most of us are at least above cables and sewers and possibly above railway tunnels as well. But the endless basement construction makes us all feel insecure – including sometimes as in this case the owner. And we all love a good disaster.

Shame, though, it was evidently a lovely house once.

Latest from Our Blog