On 25 April, TV presenter and RIBA architect George Clarke will be launching Architect in the House,a fantastic fundraising initiative offering the public the opportunity to transform their homes, whilst raising money for the housing charity Shelter.
George, best known for The Home Show on Channel 4, wants to get homeowners inspired to make design changes that will last a lifetime. He says architects can show people how to improve the value of their home and where not to waste their money.
Now in its 13th year, this hugely successful scheme run by Shelter and the Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) is a great opportunity for homeowners to discuss changes to their home with a top RIBA architect. It's very simple - architects nationwide give up their time for free to offer hour-long consultations to the public, in return for a £40 suggested donation to Shelter. Members of the public interesting in signing up can register from 25 April until 1 July 2009.
From knocking down an interior wall, to adding a new floor or extension, a consultation with an architect can help make your ideal home a reality, while raising funds to help Shelter's vital work with homeless and badly housed children.
George has produced his top ten tips explaining how an architect can help you achieve your vision:
Design inspiration – Would you like some inspiration to help you transform your property? Discover what an architect would recommend by signing up to Architect in the House. This scheme is very simple - architects nationwide give up their time for free to offer hour-long consultations to the public, in return for a £40 suggested donation to Shelter.
Architects are for everyone – Many work on a wide range of domestic projects, from smaller-scale building projects, from extensions to new-build projects. Architect in the House is the perfect introduction to what an architect can do for you!
Don't move, improve – In the current economic climate, maximising your home's potential will be top of the list for homeowners. Many people are desperate for more space to accommodate their growing families but simply cannot afford to move. Speak to an architect for some easy pointers or an entire overhaul.
We're as committed to your home as you are – You are likely to be making a large financial and emotional commitment to your project, which makes standards and performance from others all the more important. Using an RIBA Chartered Architect ensures that you receive independent advice in support of your interests.
Value for money – Architects are not just used by the rich and famous! An RIBA Chartered Architect will provide you with much more than just the drawings for your new home or alteration; you will be fully involved in creating a totally tailored solution for your living needs.
Going green? – Your architect will be able to tell you about the options for your project and budget - from the small but important energy-saving devices through to structural changes that will reduce energy consumption, use locally available materials to reduce transport emissions and support the local economy.
Architects offer you the 'big picture' – Only an architect can give you 'the big picture' - inspirational design, helping with the planners, finding the builders, saving energy - even helping you choose your fittings.
Inside knowledge – An architect can help identify any potential problems you may encounter when making changes to your home. For example if your home is listed, you may not be aware that fitting double-glazing is not always allowed and that you will need to consult the conservation officer at the local council before making any changes. An architect will advise you about these issues before any changes have been agreed.
Good design is the long-term building investment you can trust – A well-designed building can reduce your bills now and increase its long-term value, by providing a flexible base for you to adapt to your changing needs.
Sign up to Architect in the House – From 25 April until 1 July 2009 home-owners can sign up for a consultation with an RIBA chartered architect by visiting www.architectinthehouse.org.uk . Matching takes place in early July and consultations can take place any time up to the end of November 2009.
George Clarke said:
'Architect in the House is a fantastic scheme to get involved with, because everyone's a winner. It's a great way for people to create their ideal home whilst helping a fantastic cause!'
Sunand Prasad , President of the RIBA, said:
'This scheme is a great chance for householders to speak to a professional about making changes to your home and discovering what works best. And thanks to the architects generously giving up their time, it is a great way for the profession to help Shelter help the many people whose lives are being damaged by bad housing.'
Adam Sampson, chief executive of Shelter, said:
' Every day we see new evidence of a deepening housing crisis and sadly one in seven children in Britain are badly housed. Architect in the House is a great way for homeowners to get some expert advice on adding value to their home, while helping thousands in desperate housing need.'