Architecture Q&A: Where should I start first when renovating an un-kept house?

Architect and interior designer Peter Morris answers your questions
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Question: I have inherited my grandfather’s house in Islington. It is in a great location, but has had no work done to it in years. It will need a dramatic amount of work if I’m to bring it kicking and screaming into the 21st century. However, I’ve never done anything like this before and I haven’t a clue where to start. Can you help?

Answer: Without professional help, what you are about to embark on could be the single most stressful experience of your life. There are plenty of good architects who can help you, of course. Word-of-mouth recommendation is a great way to find one, but you can also visit where there is a search engine by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

They don’t have to be a member of the institute, but check that they are registered with the Architects’ Registration Board. You could also start with the annual Architect In The House scheme, run by the institute.

You get an hour’s consultation with an architect for a suggested donation of £45 to Shelter. It is a good way to see how an architect can turn a project — whether a big one like yours, or a smaller one — into reality. You can find out more at



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If you have a question for Peter Morris, email We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.

Peter Morris is an architect and interior designer and a director of Peter Morris Architects, which specialises in modern, innovative and practical designs (



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