Can’t move? Improve – George Clarke helps launch ‘Architect in the House’ scheme

‘RESTORATION man’, George Clarke, is calling on homeowners in Scotland to adapt, extend or improve their properties if they can’t move or need more space.

Clarke says the increase in the number of households with two or three generations living under the same roof and a rise in the number of homes shared with lodgers means many more families and individuals are looking for ways to extend or improve their homes.

In Scotland, 24 per cent of 20-34 year-olds live with their parents – equivalent to 244,000 people.

The architect and TV presenter is encouraging homeowners looking to release their property’s potential to take part in Architect in the House, a scheme run by Shelter Scotland, the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) and the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Now in its 17th year, Architect in the House has raised over £1.7 million for Shelter and Shelter Scotland, including over £100,000 last year. 250 architects volunteered their time in 2012 to offer 2,072 consultations to homeowners in Scotland looking to build an extension, knock through a wall or take on a complete renovation.

Speaking ahead of this year’s launch, Clarke, who is also an ambassador for the housing and homelessness charity, said: “With the current state of the housing market we’re staying in our homes for longer, but life doesn’t stand still and simple changes to your home can make a big difference.

“Whatever the project, big or small, architects can offer invaluable advice. Architect in the House can really help people unlock the potential in their current homes and create more space, from a simple internal change to developing an attic space or designing an extension.

“Signing up to Architect in the House is simple to do and is a great way to make the most of a local architect’s expert advice, while raising money for Shelter Scotland at the same time. As a Shelter Scotland ambassador, I’ve seen first-hand how the money raised helps people in desperate housing need.”

According to previous research by Shelter Scotland one in eight homeowners who have made structural changes to their home has done so because they couldn’t afford to move. Around 60% of homeowners said that creating more space to improve their living environment was their main motivation.

Architect in the House offers homeowners the opportunity to discuss their ideas with an RIAS chartered architect in return for a £40 suggested donation to Shelter Scotland. The charity says just one £40 donation can help them to offer advice to four families and individuals facing bad housing or homelessness.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “The money raised through Architect in the House is absolutely crucial to Shelter Scotland and enables us to provide vital housing advice and support to tens of thousands of people each year and to work towards a future where no-one’s life is blighted by bad housing.

“Every time a homeowner books a consultation with an architect through the scheme and donates £40, we can help four families or individuals through our free national helpline. It really makes a difference, not only to homeowners who get to improve their homes, but to people facing bad housing and homelessness across Scotland.

“Every penny of the money raised will go towards helping us to end Scotland’s housing crisis for good.”

RIAS secretary and treasurer, Neil Baxter, said: “The RIAS is delighted to be supporting the Architect in the House campaign again this year. We can help homeowners unleash the potential of their homes while simultaneously helping those with more significant housing problems.”

rchitect in the House launches on Tuesday 12th March and registrations will close on 21st August. Participants who register via will be matched with RIAS chartered architects. This year’s scheme is sponsored by Rockwool.


Notes to Editors:

1.    Shelter Scotland provides expert support services, online advice and a free national helpline for everyone facing housing and homelessness difficulties. For advice and support visit or call 0808 800 4444.

2.    Spokespeople are available for interview – call the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line is available for broadcast interviews.

3.    Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – Twitter –

4.    Rockwool provides a four-in-one insulation solution, providing high grade thermal insulation, noise insulation, non-combustible and strong environmental credentials. Rockwool insulation is one of few products that can save more than 100 times the energy used for its manufacture. Rockwool insulation is also completely recyclable and can be re-smelted and spun into new stone wool insulation rolls and panels.

Shelter Scotland believes everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.

Contact: Shelter Scotland