As we approach the first Grand Designs Live show for 2012 and open in Melbourne for the first time ever, we thought we’d share an interview we did a while back with the one and only Kevin McCloud we've been saving until a few days before you get to see him in Melbourne.
Kevin McCloud is the man who’s been there from the very beginning of the Grand Designs journey, hosting an amazing eleven seasons of the television series beginning in 1999 on UK station Channel 4, spanning over 120 episodes thus far.
The program has spawned a number of spin-offs including Grand Designs Australia hosted by Peter Maddison (also appearing at Grand Designs Live). With Grand Designs Live Melbourne opening at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre on Friday morning we thought we’d finally share our interview with Kevin with you.
1. How does GDL compare to other building and home renovation shows?
What other home shows? The point of GDL is that it helps redefine what home is. It's holistic. We cover interiors and decoration but we also cover architecture, construction and the outdoors. There is no other show like it.
2. Do you have any top tips for managing a home renovation?
Yep. Get a project manager or contractor you can trust. Rely on word of mouth or recommendation. Get an architect you like too. Someone who sees the world as you do because you're asking them to deliver the setting for your future life.
3. What are some of the hidden costs involved in attempting to build or renovate their home? Where do people’s budgets typically ‘blow out’?
I'm interested in Peter's view about this. In the UK people very rarely 'blow out'. What they do, generally, is rein their project in once they've seen the cost plan so that it meets their notional budget. They might not fit out the second bathroom or they might downscale the kitchen. Of course once the project is built they can't resist reinstating their full blown original scheme and that's when projects 'go over budget'. It's usually the client's intended spend that's exceeded rather than the cost plan. Of course there are exceptions; people who just don't have enough money or who believe that their project will, uniquely, be delivered for 50% of the cost plan.
4. Are there any aspects of building / home renovation in particular where people should not compromise on quality in order to save on cost?
Like I say, the bones of the building because you can't revisit the quality of the construction once it's done. And then I'd add everything you ever touch. It's important that taps, light switches, handrails, door handles and switches all feel good in the hand.
5. What kinds of things catch your eye?
100%. Sustainability is a way of working and living, not a box to tick or a conscience to salve.
Turning our attention to slightly less design based yet very important questions…
6. Which do you prefer, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
Neither thanks. What about Screamin' Jay Hawkins? Or Ray Charles? Or Hendrix?
7. Have you tried Vegemite or VB, what are your thoughts?
Sorry, what's Vegemite? And as for VB my doctor told me I had a clean bill of health.
You can catch Kevin McCloud at Grand Designs Live Melbourne this Friday 21st of September through to Sunday. To find out more about Kevin click here. Tickets are available here with an advance booking discount.