Grand Designs Live NEC October 2014
Grand Designs live exhibition at NEC in October was very busy with a huge number of visitors. The Hall is separated into four areas – New Technology, Interiors, Gardens/exterior and Build. I was on the ‘Ask the Expert’ stand on Sunday 12th where I discussed twelve projects with visitors to the show who had brought along anything from hand draw sketches, architects drawings, estate agent particulars or photos to illustrate the topic of conversation. The visitors I spoke to had travelled from West Ireland, North Humberland and Southhampton, but I am sure that others made a longer journey to the NEC to get inspiration for their own Grand Design. Most of the conversation involved altering or extending their property, many of whom had looked to move house, but preferred their own house or location and decided to improve. It was encouraging to see the people willing to spend money improving their houses that the economy must be on the up. A local window manufacturer told me after the show, they had the best week ever with loads of orders placed.
Claim to fame for me – I was busy talking to a couple about their project and hearing a commotion beside me, I looked to see George Clark or channel 4 restoration man fame on the table next to me talking to another couple about their project, with people taking pictures of him probably with me in the background – photo bombing.
One lady asked about the practicalities of raising part of the roof to her bungalow to gain extra space for a master bedroom. Clearly such an alteration would need planning permission before undertaking the work. On a more practical side, the walls are currently internal walls will become external walls once the roof is raised, and will likely be single leaf masonry, and possibly not load bearing. The walls will need to be investigated to ensure the foundations are suitable to carry the extra height, the new roof (which shall need to be insulated and also the new floor being created. The walls will also be to be upgraded at high level as they become external walls because they will need to be insulated to meet current building regulations, and also to deal with the rainwater to ensure penetrating rain cannot enter the household.