Architect in the House returns!

20 April 2011

Sarah Beeny

Architect in the House, which gives homeowners the chance to improve their property while supporting Shelter at the same time, is back for a 15th year!

The innovative scheme, run by Shelter and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), matches homeowners with a local RIBA-chartered architect for a design consultation in exchange for a suggested donation of £40 towards our work with homeless and badly housed families. This year the scheme is sponsored by TV channel Home.

TV presenter and founder of property website Tepilo Sarah Beeny (pictured) said: ‘I know how daunting it can be to embark on a home improvement project, but whatever the size and scope of your plans, consulting an architect can really add value.

‘Whether you’re renovating a new property or want to create extra space for a growing family, architects can advise on anything from latest design trends and fixtures and fittings to finding builders to carry out the work’.

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The launch of this year’s scheme comes as our research shows that one in eight homeowners (13 per cent)  are making changes to their property because they can’t afford to move.

A YouGov survey commissioned by Shelter and the RIBA showed that the most popular changes made to homes include:

  • opening up walls (18 per cent)
  • renovating a new home on purchase (17 per cent)
  • fitting a conservatory (15 per cent)

60 per cent said that creating more space to improve their living environment was the main motivation for the changes.

Ruth Reed, President of the RIBA, said: ‘The difficulties of the unsettled economy mean that moving home is simply no longer an option for many homeowners and people are looking at how to improve their existing property. 
‘With some expert advice, the house of your dreams could be the one you already live in.’

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive said: ‘Having a home that is safe and secure is something many of us take for granted, so it’s shocking to think that thousands of families across the country are trapped in housing that is damp, overcrowded or in disrepair.

‘Architect in the House has been crucial in supporting Shelter’s work to ensure that no child’s future is blighted by bad housing. I hope homeowners across the country will continue to support this fantastic scheme.’

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