Could floating homes solve London’s housing crisis?

Thousands of people would love to live in a luxury apartment in the heart of London, I certainly would and I have dreamt about having a home in one of those smart, former wharf buildings in St Katharine’s Dock, but, like many others, I cannot afford it – prices for a simple one-bedder are around the £1million mark.

But maybe I can…

Alex Prindiville had the same wish, to be close to his workplace in Limehouse, London, but all the apartments were out of financial reach. He investigated buying a houseboat, but found the space too confined. So, instead he commissioned master boatbuilders to construct a fabulous two-bedroom floating apartment using a wide beam barge with a hand-crafted hull.

Alex, whose balex-prindiville-351b5180ackground is in engineering, was involved in designing the stunning interior. He’s moored his floating apartment at limehouse marine, a gently stroll from the showroom where he sells super cars.

Constructed with a hand-crafted ‘Sheffield Keel’ hull, each wide-beam vessel is built as a completely new, purpose-built unit. The configuration provides a fully functional kitchen, fully functional bathroom, living room and two bedrooms. It comes with central heating, hot and cold water, telecommunications systems and all the modern conveniences one would expect from a luxury apartment. Some of the optional extras include a log fire and additional television units.

floating-apartment-1It cost Alex £300,000 – fully furnished – a fraction of the price he would have paid to buy an apartment in central London. Permanent mooring costs are typically £10,000-£13,000 or you can buy a £700 annual canals mooring licence, which allows you to stay in the same location for two weeks at a time. Convinced he’s hit upon a cheaper alternative to bricks and mortar, Alex has set up Prindiville Marine and is now taking orders from customers. Punters (excuse the pun…) can have their own floating home within four months of placing an order and they can customise it according to their specifications to include an office, for instance. It’s an ideal City crash-pad or a permanent home.

The floating apartments, which can be moored almost anywhere, can also be fitted with propulsion units for those who wish to experience the adventure of travelling Britain’s picturesque canals and waterways.