Media Release: One in eight turn to home improvement if they can’t afford to move, says research

ONE in eight homeowners (13 per cent) who have made structural changes to their home have done so because they couldn’t afford to move, new research reveals today.

Says a spokesperson for Shelter Scotland: “A YouGov online survey (1) showed that, instead of moving, they had spent on average £12,000 on three structural changes with the most popular being opening up walls (18 per cent). Around 60 per cent said that creating more space to improve their living environment was their main motivation.

“Shelter Scotland released the research findings to coincide with the launch this week of Architect in the House, the hugely successful UK-wide fundraising initiative supported by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) and by TV Presenter Sarah Beeny.

“Architect in the House sees RIAS architects give up their time to offer hour-long consultations to homeowners about how to improve or adapt their property.  In return, homeowners make a suggested donation of around £40 to Shelter Scotland in support of the charity’s work with homeless and badly-housed families.”

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, says: “The unsettled economy is making it difficult for many homeowners to move home. So, instead of moving, they are looking at ways of improving their existing property.

“Architect in the House is an excellent and cost-effective opportunity for homeowners to arrange a no- obligation, consultation with an architect who will expertly advise them on how to achieve their home improvement goals.

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

TV presenter and founder of, Sarah Beeny, who is supporting Architect in the House this year, said: “I know how daunting it can be to embark on a home improvement project, but whatever the size and scope of your plans, consulting an architect can really add value.

“Whether you’re renovating a new property or want to create extra space for a growing family, architects can advise on anything from latest design trends and fixtures and fittings to finding builders to carry out the work.

“Architect in the House is a great way to make the most of their experience while raising money for a good cause at the same time.”

Now in its 15th year, Architect in the House has already raised over £1.1 million for homeless and badly housed families and helped more than 50,000 homeowners realise their property potential. This year the scheme is sponsored by TV channel, Home.

Homeowners or architects can register by visiting

Participants will be matched with architects in early July and consultations can take place any time up to the end of November.


Notes to editors

1. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2005 adults of which 1314 were homeowners. Fieldwork was undertaken between 6th – 8th April 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

2. Consultations with a local architect are subject to availability

3. Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity. Shelter Scotland believes that everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.

4.Spokespeople are available for interview, telephone the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line number is available for broadcast interviews.

5. For more information about Shelter Scotland visit

6. Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – Twitter –

7. This year, Architect in the House is supported by title sponsor TV Channel Home. Home is the UK’s first dedicated homes channel, packed with inspirational home and gardens programming from home grown commissions such as Nick Knowles’ Original Features, My Flat-Pack Home, Celebrity DIY with Craig Phillips with Craig Phillips and If It’s Broke, Fix It, to the phenomenally successful Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, to favourites DIY SOS, Escape to the Country and Ground Force.

Targeting a core demographic of 25-54 years, Home is a welcome refuge with energetic, stylish, and motivating programming that shows viewers how to enjoy and maximise their space, both inside and out. Available on Sky channel 246, Virgin TV 265, Top Up TV 26. For a logo, please contact the Shelter press office.

8. This year Architect in the House is supported by associate sponsor Rockwool. Rockwool Ltd has manufactured stone wool insulation at its factory in Pencoed, South Wales since 1979, and employs over 350 people from the local area. Rockwool insulation is created from naturally occurring volcanic diabase rock with the ore smelted and spun into fibres to create a wide range of insulation materials, ranging from loft insulation rolls to impact-resistant roofing boards. It is also bonded to produce high performance panels.

9. 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. For a logo, please contact the Shelter Scotland press office.

MEDIA RELEASE posted by Shelter Scotland. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Neil Baldwin
Phone: 0844 515 2442