Your Home Made Perfect architect on where not to scrimp when renovating – ‘most important’

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The first episode in series three of Your Home Made Perfect will follow the journey of Jacqueline and her 22-year-old son Jamie from East London. Jamie and Jacqueline are looking for some privacy in their cluttered two-bedroom London terrace. The mother-and-son team hand over control to Julian and fellow architect Lizzie Fraher who will work hard to sway Jacqueline and Jamie to choose their idea. spoke exclusively to Your Home Made Perfect’s newest architect Julian about the new series.

Julian shared what he thinks the “most important thing” homeowners should concentrate on when renovating a property.

He also shared where homeowners shouldn’t cut corners financially when embarking on a major renovation.

He said: “Structure is the most important thing. It’s the thing that’s going to last the longest in the house so you don’t want to scrimp on that.

“You want to make sure your builders are using good solid block work or good solid steel work.

“Whatever system they’re using, you want to make sure it’s a good system for whatever they’re building your house out of.

“In terms of the things you don’t want to scrimp on…Following from the structure and the windows.

“I think a good kitchen and a good bathroom always adds value to the house.

“It’s something that’s worth investing in.”

The architect explained that kitchens tend to be the heart of the home.

A good kitchen can “improve” your home, both financially and aesthetically.

Another area where homeowners shouldn’t scrimp is the bathroom.

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But rather than thinking about “expensive taps” or fixtures, Julian explained how just focussing on the basics could make a “massive difference”.

He said: “Having a shower with a good shower head and solid water pressure just makes a massive difference when you wake up.

“You’re in a rush to get to work and you just want to have a good shower quickly.

“You get your breakfast from your lovely kitchen and run out the house.

“These kind of things we do everyday we want to make sure we spend the money on.”

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Julian McIntosh began his training in Huddersfield before then working in China and Spain for two years.

He settled in London, spending three years working at a high end residential London practice designing luxury homes.

He then set up his own architecture company with the aim of making premium architecture more accessible to the wider community and those from all walks of life.

Julian also outlined some of the areas homeowners should “prioritise” when renovating their property.

He said: “Working through the cost per square metre and understanding some of the boring stuff starts to help you plan out how much space you’re going to get and what it’s going to feel like.

“You’ve also got to work through planning permission which is very important and the structural side of things.

“Working with a good structural engineer to make sure what you’re going to do with your house can be done in terms of opening it up or adapting the shape or form of your house.

“Then, finding a really good builder. Someone who really does the style of work that you’re going to do.

“Sometimes there are cheaper builders but they might not do the style of project that you’re looking to do.”

Julian said homeowners should try and find a builder that has experience in what you want.

If you want a complicated staircase or specific coving, make sure the builder knows what they’re doing and shows you examples of what they’ve done.

A less experienced builder may be cheaper but they may not complete the project in the exact way you want it.

Furthermore, show them photos of exactly what you want so there’s no confusion.

Your Home Made Perfect airs on September 29 at 8pm on BBC Two

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