As promised, a little feedback on the Extension Advice Centre at the Ideal Homes Show. From listening to the people looking for advice (at my stall anyway) there does seem to be an appetite out there for finding out what can be improved without doing large amounts of work. One couple in particular went away pretty happy after I halved the size of the extension they were thinking of and still showed them how it would fix all the issues they wanted fixed. Less is more, as Architects in Dublin say.
About half the people already had plans drawn up – but they were not always convinced about them. This is an issue for us designers – we must enable the clients to see what they are getting. It is also, to be fair, an issue for clients – each of those sets of plans had to be paid for but what value was the client getting when a word from a friend or a builder could make them doubt everthing they were proposing to do?
There also does seem to be an interest in future proofing (something that came up also at the Simon Open Door event (more on that later). Several people were interested in putting in downstairs bathrooms and bedrooms for parents who are getting a little less mobile. I’ll be talking to a friend in the plumbing trade to get the best tips on how to do this and putting up a post in due course.
All in all I’d say the Advice Centre was a success, but there is no substitute for being at the house itself and seeing what it is really like – which leads me on to the Open Door event but that’s another story and another post.
And by the way the whole thing is happening again in the October Ideal Homes Show, so keep your eyes open for it…