Top architects tell all: George Stowell

Click to follow
The Independent Online

George founded his practice in 2005. Prior to this he worked for Nick Grimshaw and Sir Norman Foster.

What should I avoid when buying a property?

North and east facing living areas, and anywhere with road and railway noise. Also, stay clear of conservation areas if you want to do major work on a property since design opportunities are highly restricted.

How do I bring more light into my house?

Rooflights and light tone floors outside that reflect light up through your windows are both good. But remember that in summer, too much sunlight can cause overheating.

What's popular at the moment?

Garden spaces that work well throughout the year are popular, especially with areas designed for barbeques. There's focus on quality rather than quantity and making the most of existing spaces. People are increasingly looking for space for recycling, internal storage and bike storage that doesn't eat into existing areas of a property.

George Stowell's golden rules:

*Understand your property by knowing its age and how it has been constructed.

*Know the location of the gas, electricity and water services, know the layout in detail by getting a dimensional survey and drawings done – after all, cars have user manuals, why shouldn't houses?