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Kevin McCloud webchat - Monday 20th June - 1 - 2 pm

(234 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 16-Jun-11 10:09:15

He's been at the top of our webchat wish list for too long, so we're v excited to announce that we'll be joined next Monday (20th June) by Kevin McCloud who'll be answering your questions between 1 and 2 pm.

Designer, property developer, writer, eco-campaigner and television presenter, Kevin is best known for the Channel 4 series, Grand Designs. Kevin has a strong interest in sustainable building and his company Hab Housing's core aim is to construct beautiful, environmentally friendly housing. He's joining us in his role as ambassador for the Great British Refurb Campaign, which is committed to rallying the Government and business to help make every home in Britain as energy efficient as possible. The campaign is supported by Knauf Insulation, which has provided all the insulation products used in the campaign's eco-refurbishments to date.

Kevin is happy to answer questions on how you can green-up your home and eco-home design as well as chatting about his life as a campaigner, designer and broadcaster. So whilst we try to spruce up MNHQ, you put the date in your diaries to join us on the 20th. If you're not around at 1pm, please send your questions to Kevin in advance to this thread.

Fimbo Thu 16-Jun-11 10:10:48

Woo!! He is fab.

GentleOtter Thu 16-Jun-11 10:36:23

Hello and welcome, Kevin,

Is there such a products as paint on insulation?

And can brazenly ask for a kiss as it is my birthday on the 20th? smile

Thank you

HarrietJones Thu 16-Jun-11 10:39:56

Woohoo good choice MNHQ. Need to go away & think of a question now...

notwavingjustironing Thu 16-Jun-11 10:54:50

Hi Kevin

Love, love, love Grand Designs.

As an architect, which project did you most look forward to going back to visit?

I always remember the couple in Belfast who basically dug away the hill behind their house to make that amazing property, the wood man, whose house was amazing, and the older lady down south who built a house made of polystyrene blocks in her garden.

These people had such vision and passion for their projects - it must have been great to go back and see them living in something they had created?

ajandjjmum Thu 16-Jun-11 11:44:13

Wow - this is a good one. I think DH will be signing up to MN!!

GD is one of the few programmes that everyone in the family will watch together.

NotShortImFunSized Thu 16-Jun-11 11:48:10

shock Oooh Kevin, I might be a little bit in love with you blush

No questions, that was all grin

aristocat Thu 16-Jun-11 12:03:35

hello Kevin - i love Grand Designs and you are amazing

can i ask is your house a Grand Design? grin

TheCrackFox Thu 16-Jun-11 12:09:37

I love Grand Designs.

Have you ever thought some of the Grand Design houses were utterly horrible but were to polite to say?

Indith Thu 16-Jun-11 12:10:29


I love Kevin. I adore that he speaks different languages too and makes an effort with those that he doesn't speak, it is so, so refreshing to see that on television. I always come over all of a flutter when he is in France or Italy and chatting away.

A question, what can you do to insulate a loft conversion? Our loft bedroom is a fairly normal loft conversion with run around storage. It is freezing, absolutely freezing in winter and of course boiling hot in summer. What can be done (cheaply!) to make it a usable space?

Spirael Thu 16-Jun-11 12:13:01

Awesome! grin And it's even on one of the days I have off from work next week, in order to do various DIY projects around the house and garden.

I'll be back! [watches thread]

Fimbo Thu 16-Jun-11 14:19:52

Which Grand Designs house is your favourite? Did the couple ever finish the barge near Rochester?

Do you style yourself? At this point do I admit buying my dh TNF McMurdo parka because of yours? <[blush}>

Fimbo Thu 16-Jun-11 14:20:06


SoloIsAHotCougar Thu 16-Jun-11 14:53:59

Oooh! another GD's fan here!

I have not had my loft insulated because I have no storage space as it is, so to lose the loft as well...? no!! I also have passed on cavity wall insulation and incidentally, my Mum's house has never been colder since she had her's done and she's had cold/flu over and over since then. Coincidence?

I was wondering about the possibility in the future of having a third bedroom put on top of my single storey extension, but instead of a brick/block structure, I was thinking of a conservatory type of thing. Not sure if that would be environmentally more friendly than the traditional type and whether I'd end up freezing cold/boiling hot in the weather extremes. What are your thoughts please?

Eek how exciting! grin

DH and I loved watching your Grand Tour of Europe and are generally in awe of your talents grin

I would like to know what your favourite moment of that trip was, and my DH would like to know who made the suit you wore to film a lot of it because he covets one smile

Hi Kevin,

I live in a fairly eco friendly house in Switzerland with under floor heating and a system that burns woodpellets and recycles the heat around the house through a venting system. Therefore, to conserve energy you keep the doors and windows closed.

The problem is is the humidy. At 8% it's practically non existant! Our first winter in the house caused the family and the majority of guests respiratory problems. Our natural skin rugs are cracking and drying and an Indian dining table now has a large crevice running through the centre as it dried out.

Something we didn't even think about moving from wet and wonderful Wilts!

It's an open plan house, so to have humidifiers running would be costly, we'd need some pretty large scale numbers of them to cover each storey, and really defies the whole enery saving ethos.

Do you have any suggestions to improving humidity naturally, or in an energy saving (and money saving) format?

I'd be really keen to hear your thoughts. Thanks also for a very enjoyable program, what makes it special are the relationships you form with the home owners, and the passion you exude over the projects undertaken.

MardyBra Thu 16-Jun-11 16:04:14

Yay! Thinking women's crumpet!

chocoholic Thu 16-Jun-11 16:38:37

Another serious crush on Kevin here too blush

If I build a house, can I share a bottle of wine with you?

MissBeehiving Thu 16-Jun-11 16:43:06

Ooh Kevin, you are lovely blush

My silly question is: Why does every family you visit get upduffed as soon as you start filming?

My serious question is: What would you build if you could?

GooGooGadget Thu 16-Jun-11 17:09:01

missB are you suggesting that Kevin might have some involvement wink

<plans grand design>

HarrietJones Thu 16-Jun-11 17:33:15

Missbeehiving- I was holding back on that question!

I would like to know if the one at Windermere ever got finished. We went looking for it but didn't find it.

Kevin- do you prefer the restoration 'Grand Designs' or the new builds?
Cheeky second question- how do you stay so tactful when people are making mistakes/ignoring advice?

MissBeehiving Thu 16-Jun-11 17:35:58


<examines dampcourse>

mousymouse Thu 16-Jun-11 18:03:49

hi kevin,
heving lived in germany where there are minimum requirements for buildings (e.g. storage space for prams/wheelchairs, halls wide enough for pushchairs, very small rooms not declared as bedrooms...)
would you be in favour of such regulation in the UK?

tbh I was quite shocked looking at properties and finding that the small 'bedroom' sometimes doesn't fit a standard single bed...

mousymouse Thu 16-Jun-11 18:07:40

unfortunately I have to pretend to work on monday, but I love grand designs, especially the environmental friendly houses.

vintageteacups Thu 16-Jun-11 18:12:48

Hi Kevin - DH and I absolutely love the programme and we're off to live in Suffolk (where we notice you've had numerous Grand Designs -is there a reason for that?) in a few weeks time but when we return to lovely Northants, we'll be doing a mini Grand Design, extending our house to provide a two storey kitchen and master bedroom extension.

My question is......

The master bedroom will have a vaulted ceiling and long velux windows but I wanted to know (as lighting is your speciality), what do you think makes the ideal bedroom lighting? I want to make lighting the statement feature of the room without compromising on energy saving ideas.

Once end will mainly be seating in front of frnech doors and a dressing area and the other for sleeping so will need lighting that works for both uses.

Thanks and I hope Grand Designs keeps on going for long into the future, smile

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