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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.

Vivacia Sun 21-Jul-13 14:30:51

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?

iklboo Sun 21-Jul-13 17:46:55

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?

piprabbit Sun 21-Jul-13 19:35:19

<moves on to thread with tent and thermos>

TeamEdward Sun 21-Jul-13 20:46:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LackaDAISYcal Sun 21-Jul-13 21:35:52

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!

lalalonglegs Sun 21-Jul-13 21:50:25

Hi Kevin - another long-time Grand Designs fan here and it's become a multi-generational thing, my 9yo daughter is obsessed by it now as well. Occasionally we watch old episodes on More4 and you get very excited about things such as underfloor heating and, memorably in one episode, an electric screwdriver. Does it make you slightly depressed that the projects that are featured now are so unattainable and have become so, I'm trying to think of a polite way of saying it but can't, bloated and excessive? Budgets seem a very secondary consideration for many of the participants - would you prefer to have simpler, less grand designs which are more personal or does the nature of the beast (and land prices) mean that it's become something of a millionaires' hobby?


lalalonglegs Sun 21-Jul-13 21:51:15

Also, why do people always end up getting into trouble with their windows (not fitting/arriving late/not suiting the building etc)?

Solo Sun 21-Jul-13 23:44:37


Hi again Kevin! welcome back smile

In 2011, you advised me on loft insulation (my loft is quite low and I didn't/don't want to lose the space for storage etc. I just wondered what you think of Celotex to insulate the roof (between the rafters)? I've just recently found out about it and am considering using it. Do you think it's worth doing? better than nothing at all? It'll definitely be a DIY job for me too.

Thank you!!!

RealAleandOpenFires Mon 22-Jul-13 02:51:36

What do you think of people, who buy period properties and then gut them?

FluffDragon Mon 22-Jul-13 08:19:16

Hi Kevin, my question is, what's YOUR house like?!

MardyBra Mon 22-Jul-13 09:05:34

Dear Kevin. Would you mind awfully if I nuzzled in and nibbled your left ear lobe? Thanks in advance, Mardy.

gazzalw Mon 22-Jul-13 09:22:38

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?

Solo Mon 22-Jul-13 09:32:09

shock!!! Mardy!!!

MardyBra Mon 22-Jul-13 10:19:56

Pots and kettles solo after all your lusting over Paul McKenna! wink

I thought I did ask very nicely. grin

BillComptonstrousers Mon 22-Jul-13 10:25:49

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!

josiejay Mon 22-Jul-13 10:41:35

Why do so many of the couples on GD have a baby in the middle of the project? Are they quite mad??

Also please can you do more of the GD abroad shows please, I go slightly weak at the knees when you speak French...

ArtisanLentilWeaver Mon 22-Jul-13 10:57:13

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?

FayTality Mon 22-Jul-13 11:28:28

Hi Kevin,

Yet another GD fan reporting in here. My all time favourite was the ski chalet in Les Gets - it's on my fantasy list of places to stay.

We are just about to start building an extension to our 1900s house - a full width extension that will link the kitchen and dining room, and create a living space with doors on to the patio.

My question is whether it is practical to consider trying to salvage some of the materials from the back of the existing house - for example, we have stock bricks that will be removed, and also a sash bay window to the current dining room. In an ideal world we would sell these, but even if they have no value, I would like to know if we can or should look to salvage them.


Hi Kevin,

Would you ever consider filming an ex LA development? I know they're not the prettiest houses, but they can be a more affordable option in expensive areas, and tend to be built well with proper spacial consideration indoors and out. We're coming to the end of an extension project that's a little bit special as it's using external insulation to improve thermal efficiency. Lots of people must be developing this part of the housing stock, but it never seems to get coverage. Would love to hear your thoughts. smile

JosieJay we had 2 babies during our project, that's how flipping long it's taken. Youngest is 16 months and it's still not finished.

I always remember that amazing Polish couple developing their house, living in a tent on site, then above their office when she got pregnant. They had two children during that project I think. Didn't he do it all himself whilst working full time too?

josiejay Mon 22-Jul-13 12:37:06

Bill I take my hat off to you! Hope your project gets finished soon!

Solo Mon 22-Jul-13 13:07:24

Yes Mardy but not on PMK's actual webchat thread! shock wink

I can see the attraction though! <whispers I love Kevins voice! grin>

Twirlyhot Mon 22-Jul-13 13:14:11

Excellent. I have finally converted DH to Grand Designs. It took a few years to wear him down. I shall go and think of a sensible question.

MardyBra Mon 22-Jul-13 13:17:01

I agree with the "forrin" speaking attraction too. I come over all heated like Jamie Lee Curtis in A Fish Called Wanda when Archie starts speaking Russian.

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