Design guru Kevin McCloud will be returning as host for the new Grand Designs Live show, as the series turns 20 this year.

The event, at London ExCel, will feature a range of new exhibitors and features, with advice for a first renovation, building a new home, redecorating a room, installing a new kitchen or for those simply looking for ideas.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

As Grand Designs the TV series turns 20 in April 2019, the show will be celebrating with fun and exciting features focused around past and present houses.

The Under the Stairs Project will see eight interior designers showcase bespoke installations, using a commonly neglected area in the home - for example the space under the stairs - giving visitors the opportunity to browse and pick up inspiration for their own mini grand designs. Judges for new competition will include Kevin McCloud and Jenny Gibbs from the KLC School of Design.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

This year’s show will also be leading an eco-friendly agenda.

In line with its green theme, the show will work with Friends of The Earth, launching the new movement the ‘Green Finger Campaign’.

A forest will be created to show visitors how and where to create wildlife-friendly environments in the outdoor space they have to work with, from a seven acre plot to a 5sm balcony.

It is also set to reduce the usage of single-use plastics at the show; stopping its sale of plastic bottles from all in-show catering points along with plastic straws. Plastic cutlery and show goody bags have been replaced with biodegradable alternatives.

Visitors to the show will be encouraged to use refillable bottles and water points at the show’s cafes. Eco-minded visitors will also find an all-new area of the show focused on the art of upcycling; showcasing a platform for skilled upcycling designers.

Talks and an expert clinic focusing on Self-Build will take place, including topics themed around ‘Busting the myths of Self-Build’. The UK has a much lower rate of self-building than other European countries. Evidence suggests that 53 per cent of people in the UK would consider building their own home given the opportunity.

Excel London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, E16 1XL, Saturday, May 4, to Sunday, May 12. Details:

Is 2019 your year for a big project?

Here Kevin McCloud gives his advice for building a dream home

• They say that the first step is always the most important, and it’s very true in terms of building a house. However, even the most careful planners can expect costs to overrun. Adding a discretionary 20% to your budget is a good way of covering unforeseen costs that almost always crop up.

• If you go to a good architect, your fees will pay for themselves. A good architect will be able to give your home a unique feel, but also be able to let you know what works in a home.

• Hire a project manager. An experienced project manager will know the ins and outs of building, for example, digging a trench for pipes and cabling will mean starting negotiations with utility companies at least a year in advance, while pipes and cables need to be ordered at least eight weeks in advance.

• Get the build costed a professional Quantity Surveyor. Never rely on a costing produced by your builder or your architect; you will soon learn that the construction industry is occupied by idealists.

• Professionals are key – they do this for a living, so employ as you can afford, use recommendations, and always check references!

• Go green – the building stage of a house is the best time to start cutting your long-term costs. Add insulation and incorporate solar panels.

• Don’t go for the latest trend, or something you’ve seen in all the magazines – incorporate elements that you know will make you happy and add value to the life you’ll live in your new home.

• Once you’re in your new home, don’t throw away all your old furniture to buy everything new. Our possessions are our autobiographies, and you’ll be surprised what a bit of varnish or a lick of paint can do to an ancient piece of furniture.

• Do remember that the outside of your home is part of other people’s lives. Your home will become part of a landscape or townscape, so give your architect, landscape designer and planner room for movement here. The perfect quote for this instance comes from planner and building colourist Jean-Philippe Lenclos: “If you want to paint your front door, get your neighbour to choose the colour.”