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Live webchat with Kevin 'Grand Designs' McCloud, Tuesday 23 July, 8.30 to 9.30pm

(156 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 21-Jul-13 08:04:56

We're delighted that Kevin McCloud is visiting Mumsnet HQ for another webchat on Tuesday 23 July at 8.30pm. He joined us for a webchat back in June 2011 when he talked to about (amongst other things) Grand Designs, solar panels and dealing with bats in the attic.

This time Kevin will be joining us to tell us about his latest ventures with his company Hab Housing. As well as continuing to build beautiful sustainable homes across the UK, they are also developing a new arm that will let him guide, coax and aid people as they build their own dream home. Kevin wants to explain why he's put out a call to the masses for crowd funding investment to grow his company, Hab Housing, rather than via traditional routes.

Join Kevin to quiz him about his latest ventures, get his advice on home improvements and ask him about your favourite Grand Design on Tuesday at 8.30pm. If you're unable to make it, post a question in advance to this thread.

LadyMilfordHaven Tue 23-Jul-13 20:33:24

hey Kevin - so you ever get sick of bloody "clean lines and amazing spaces" and yearn for antimacassars and a healthy dose of velour?

GWAN , you can tell us.

KevinMcCloud Tue 23-Jul-13 20:33:48

I should have said - thanks for having me this evening; and hello peeps!

KevinMcCloud Tue 23-Jul-13 20:33:55

Vivacia

Long term GD fan here! Your role on GD has always been as a commentator. Have you ever stepped in to prevent a disaster though?

I spend most of my days stepping in and offering advice – which is usually ignored. I tend to always warn people about their budget levels, and keeping within it, but people are so possessed with their own sense of righteousness any counsel I give is usually brushed aside. Of course I do spend a lot of time transferring information from one project to another and putting potential builders in touch with new projects, and ditto for new materials and technologies. I have learned that I can say almost anything to people while they are building a house and they will never be offended, such is the drive of the self-builder.

KevinMcCloud Tue 23-Jul-13 20:35:10

iklboo

What a birthday present for me!! Thanks for getting Kevin on MN as a birthday treat! grin

Kevin - are there any ideas from the participants or buzz words that just make your heart sink?

Many happy returns iklboo! There are words I strike out of scripts and words I don’t like to hear people use – like “property” when referring to their own home. And the verb “create” - God creates, mankind merely “makes” or “forms”. I’m also not a fan of the noun “build”’ I always thought it was a verb.

Shakey1500 Tue 23-Jul-13 20:35:38

Hi Kevin

What did you really think of the couple who built their house in Henley and upset the neighbours? wink grin

KevinMcCloud Tue 23-Jul-13 20:35:45

BillComptonstrousers

Hi Kevin, two questions, has there ever been a house that you have really really wanted to live in once it was finished?
I'm in the process of buying a rented house, it had a double extension, but the layout on both floors doesn't flow well at all. I've got so many ideas how I'd like to change it, but who do I speak to to see if the ideas are viable? A builder, or an architect? Ideally I need someone to come in and see any potential problems.
Thank you!

Well Bill, I've done so much window-shopping of houses over the years that I've managed to expunge the desire to own any of them. After all,. with ownership comes responsibility. For drains, leaks and mortgages. As to your problem; consult an architect. they know how to design spaces and maximise what you've got. Builders know how to build.

KevinMcCloud Tue 23-Jul-13 20:36:56

TeamEdward

Oh how exciting!
We're hoping to do our own grand design in the future, but suitable plots in our area are few and far between and very very expensive. We're on the South East coast (very near the "sugar cube" house featured on GD) and because we haven't got a "down from London" or "across from Brighton" budget it seems as though I will never be able to afford to live in the village I grew up in sad
Not so much a question really! I'll be back with one later...

not so much a question so not really an answer but....
I know! I fully sympathise. My grown up children are facing the same problem - it's pretty much impossible to envisage getting on the housing ladder at all letting alone in the place that you actually want to live. It's an issue that is very dear to my heart - and something that my company, Hab, is determined to do something about. At the moment, we're looking at ways that we make it easier for people like you to find affordable plots and build their own home. And the government wants this to happen, too. The Department for Communities – through the Homes and Communities Agency – are making land available for both developers and Has to offer plots for self-builders and there is a £30 million rolling fund currently available allows residents to group together and collectively buy larger sites.

LadyMilfordHaven Tue 23-Jul-13 20:37:04

plus - do you think we will all rue the day we got rid of those Post war serving hatches?

LifeofPo Tue 23-Jul-13 20:37:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rofl @ LifeofPo

LifeofPo Tue 23-Jul-13 20:38:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KevinMcCloud Tue 23-Jul-13 20:39:15

LackaDAISYcal

Hi Kevin

I'm a structural engineer by profession and though I love watching Grand Designs, it always irks puzzles me why structural engineers get no more than a cursory mention on your programme, especially as many of the projects have, in my professional view, quite an involved structural engineering input. Some more about the bones of the buildings would be good!

Apologies LackaDAISYcal, I try my best, and we do from time to time feature engineers. It’s a beggar because architects do like to take the credit for making buildings stand up.

LifeofPo Tue 23-Jul-13 20:39:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LifeofPo Tue 23-Jul-13 20:40:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KevinMcCloud Tue 23-Jul-13 20:40:56

ArtisanLentilWeaver

Hello Kevin,

Would you consider Hab huts in rural areas on the lines of the Nordic hut idea? A Thousand huts
Will Hab expand to Scotland, Ireland and Wales?

Nice idea and we may explore this one. Currently we're interested in redensifying town centres with housing and addressing the way we can revitalise rural communities. The hut idea may follow though I've yet to see hut conurbations enshrined in the National Planning policy Framework..

The nearest we're getting is our plan (at Hab)to make self-build the norm and offer potential self-builders the chance to buy ready-serviced slabs from us. You can invest if you like! got to www.habhousing.co.uk for a peek at what we're proposing

LadyMilfordHaven Tue 23-Jul-13 20:40:58

PLUS kevin - do you ever want to say to these freaks who build houses in the middle of nowhere that they will spend their LIVES driving their kids around? - no one seems to build houses in communities, do they?

IMO that is worth as much as the house itself.

KevinMcCloud Tue 23-Jul-13 20:41:44

gazzalw

I am aware of at least one of the grand designs houses that was a labour of love for the owners but sold only a few years later. Do you think it possible that some of the owners invest spirit, body and soul into these designs to the point that they are totally 'spent' and beyond enjoying their masterpiece property once it's completed?

The process of spending up to five years in planning and preparation followed by years digging tranches and building a house is exhausting and can deprive people of their spirit. At Hab we are intending to make self-build and empowering process and one which is enjoyable by de-stressing and derisking the process for self-builders. For example, we’d like to offer a ready-finished, serviced slab for people so that they don't have do their own foundations. Self-builders shouldn’t have to keep reinventing the wheel when we can do so much of the hard graft for them and allow them the pleasure of commissioning a piece of architecture. You can find much more about this via our website – www.habhousing.co.uk - and our crowd pitch website - www.crowdcube.com/investment/hab-housing-limited-13069 . We’re currently in the middle of raising a million pounds to grow the self-build side of our business and we’d be flattered if you took an interest in our business and wanted to invest. The minimum is just £100 to get involved.

ArtisanLentilWeaver Tue 23-Jul-13 20:43:31

Thank you! Had a look at the HabHousing website and will invest. smile
Good luck with the project.

LifeofPo Tue 23-Jul-13 20:43:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyMilfordHaven Tue 23-Jul-13 20:44:16

i snigger at them with their open plan; by the time the kids hit 12 they will be BEGGING FOR WALLS

KevinMcCloud Tue 23-Jul-13 20:44:23

KevinMcCloud

ArtisanLentilWeaver

Hello Kevin,

Would you consider Hab huts in rural areas on the lines of the Nordic hut idea? A Thousand huts
Will Hab expand to Scotland, Ireland and Wales?

Nice idea and we may explore this one. Currently we're interested in redensifying town centres with housing and addressing the way we can revitalise rural communities. The hut idea may follow though I've yet to see hut conurbations enshrined in the National Planning policy Framework..

The nearest we're getting is our plan (at Hab)to make self-build the norm and offer potential self-builders the chance to buy ready-serviced slabs from us. You can invest if you like! got to www.habhousing.co.uk for a peek at what we're proposing

Historically we've stuck to our patch along the M4 corridor with existing or proposed developments in Swindon, Stroud, Oxford and in the Bath / Bristol area. But one of the joys of the new strand of Hab's business - custom building - is that we'll be able to deliver them to an ever-widening locale. We'll be less geographically constrained as we can help people do their self-build dream as a part of other developers' projects across the country as well as on our own sites. One of the Hab team - Simon, beside me as I type - is based in Wales (and happens to be from Ireland) so we're looking for great options in both of those.

LifeofPo Tue 23-Jul-13 20:44:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KevinMcCloud Tue 23-Jul-13 20:46:51

LifeofPo

Dear Kevin my 9 year old had a disturbing obsession with grand designs and you. How do I prevent her from becoming an architect

You can't; it's a disease for which there is no cure. Bless her for believing in the power of design and in the great creative drive which is in all of us but permanently in the on position amongst architects and designers. Speaking as the father of an architect, may I offer my commiserations for the long hard and expensive road that lies before you.

LifeofPo Tue 23-Jul-13 20:47:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KevinMcCloud Tue 23-Jul-13 20:48:30

LadyMilfordHaven

hey Kevin - so you ever get sick of bloody "clean lines and amazing spaces" and yearn for antimacassars and a healthy dose of velour?

GWAN , you can tell us.

I am a big, big fan of gloom.

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