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Expected to work in a similar way to Help to Buy, the scheme is thought to involve a government equity loan towards building or commissioning a dream home. The fact that it still hasn’t been launched won’t deter the thousands expected at this month’s Grand Designs Live, which is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Kevin’s Green Heroes – the most ground-breaking, eco-friendly, self-build products around.
Selected by Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud, who is back on our TV screens in the Channel 4 show, there are five revolutionary products that are close to the eco-warrior’s heart.
These range from Elite Eco’s rubber system membrane, a waterproof membrane spray made from recycled rubber for fixing leaky joints, to Graphenstone’s lime and graphene paint that absorbs CO2 from the air and has natural antibacterial and insect-repelling properties.
The others are SpringBond, carpet underlay made from recycled plastic bottles; Polywood, recyclable antibacterial bottles made from natural fibre-reinforced polymer composite, and Bee Saving Paper, which is impregnated with seeds so you can grow bee-friendly plants when you’ve finished with it.
These are the sort of eco products that McCloud hopes we’ll all be using when we renovate, build or do some DIY in the future and, with the rise in property prices, do-upper homes are in even more demand.
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Earlier this year research by specialist lender Together found that 34 percent of UK homeowners were prepared to take on a self-build project to create a home for a family member or to sell on, while 26 percent wanted to build a standalone annexe.
Tax benefits include reclaiming VAT on most labour and material costs and avoiding stamp duty if building in your own garden.
Advice on legal matters, including Capital Gains Tax, is essential and free 30-minute expert advice sessions are a feature of the Grand Designs Live event, at Birmingham’s NEC from October 6 to 10.
Sessions range from finance to heating and ventilation, kitchen design and structural engineering, so they’re also useful for those who want to extend their homes as well as those who want to build them.
And if you just need some interior design inspiration, The Great British Box Room Competition, sponsored by Crown Paints, will provide a series of room sets with storage solutions for small spaces.
Visitors will also be able to speak to sales teams face-to-face and actually touch the products they’re interested in buying.
That’s a rare treat after being confined to internet searches during lockdown, and the cancellation of last year’s Grand Designs Live and similar self-build shows such as the Homebuilding & Renovating Show that is now touring England and Scotland again.
“After the past 18 months of uncertainty, Grand Designs Live will be a fantastic event to inspire those who have been itching to renovate and invigorate their homes, learn new skills and even build their own grand design,” says McCloud, who will host next week’s show on Wednesday and Saturday.
● Grand Designs Live, Birmingham NEC, October 6-10, and London’s ExCel from April 30-May 8 next year. Further details and tickets here
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