Grand Designs

Continuing Wednesday / 9:00pm Channel 4 45 min.
Grand Designs is a Channel 4 TV series covering unusual architectural house-building projects, presented by Kevin McCloud and produced by Talkback. The properties featured in the series vary wildly from homes underground to converted water towers, with the only common factor being that they're all rather unusual or extravagant in some way.

Season 18

9 Episodes

Following the work of Ed and Rowena Waghorn as they continue to build a handcrafted, five-bedroom house on an eight acre smallholding in Herefordshire, 10 years in the making. Progress on the build was slow as Ed decided to do most of the work himself, and after four years the house was still a shell. Now, years later, is it possible this house may finally become a medieval masterpiece?
Nov 01 2017
Design engineer Joe Stuart and service designer Lina Nilsson take on the London property market, as they build their own home on a miniscule 38 square metre plot. Joe designs a split level, six half-floor house that will cleverly maximise the space, but the project is soon runs months behind schedule, and thousands of pounds over their budget.
Oct 25 2017
After 15 years of saving and planning, ecologist Fred and communications manager Saffron Baker start building work on their new family home in a village in the Peak District. However, the couple face difficulties as the start of construction proves more a feat of civil engineering than a house build, and work comes to a halt when their self-build mortgage falls through.
Oct 18 2017
Kevin McCloud visits a house belonging to an engineer that resembles a giant snake. The building was inspired by an ammonite shell and has a scaly, curving structure that spirals over two levels and combines natural materials with the latest modern technology. However, completing the project within the 12-month schedule may not be possible.
Oct 11 2017
Beth and Andrew rescue a crumbling Victorian dairy, hoping to make it into a 'shabby chic' family home fit for modern life. But is the building simply too derelict?
Oct 04 2017
Kevin McCloud meets Chris and Kayo, who plan to build a unique, Roman-inspired home on the protected land surrounding one of Britain's most historic abbeys in Hertfordshire. The pair find themselves constrained by stringent planning conditions, and the intricate and complicated build puts both their schedule and budget under a great deal of pressure.
Sep 27 2017
Kevin McCloud meets young architect and shed fanatic Micah Jones, who plans to transform an old agricultural building in County Down, Northern Ireland. Micah plans an upside down, four bedroom shed using new techniques and materials, but the £200,000 budget runs short, and Micah is forced to take on some of the building work himself.
Sep 20 2017
Kevin McCloud meets neurologists Penny Talelli and Mark Edwards, who plan to combine their love of old and contemporary architecture as they transform a derelict Victorian gatehouse in North London. However, the pair soon find themselves struggling to balance their busy working lives alongside project managing the build.
Sep 13 2017
After a four year stint living in New Zealand, ex-RAF pilot Jon and GP Gill Flewers want to build a Kiwi-style hill house on the slopes of the Malvern hills in Worcestershire. They plan to build an ambitious three-storey home clad in wood and stone, but the pair encounter problems as the site is so steep builders do not want to take on the job.
Sep 06 2017

Season 17

9 Episodes

Kevin McCloud returns to Somerset to see Ed and Vicky Versluys and their cowshed conversion. Within two years of meeting, Ed and Vicky had got engaged, abandoned their city lives, and bought an ugly, derelict 1940s cowshed. They decided to project manage and convert the cowshed into a home and business with the help of just one young builder and what they could learn from the internet. With a wedding to plan, no access to mains power or water, it's no surprise that they didn't manage to finish within their ambitious eight month schedule. A year after his last visit and with the house finally complete, Kevin finds out what it's like living in an off-grid home designed for animals.
May 30 2017
Stuart and Rosie Treasurer from the Wirral plan to transform a small bungalow from a 1960s dormer into a slick piece of 21st-century architecture. The couple decapitate the building and balance a new floating timber box on top to create five bedrooms, spending as little as possible on plumbing, electrics and insulation, but stress levels spiral when neighbours grumble at the ultra-modern creation.
Nov 17 2016
Kevin McCloud meets Mark and Candida Diacono, who have set about building a home in the shape of a plough on their 17-acre smallholding in Devon. With its complex curved roof, timber-clad exterior and steel-framed working barn, the ambitious project presents a unique technical challenge for a local builder and his team of employees, and the task proves even more intimidating when considering Mark and Candida hope to complete work on the build within seven months.
Nov 02 2016
Simon and Jasmine Dale take on the challenging task of building a 21st-century, low-impact three-bedroom family home with a budget of only £500. As part of a pioneering, government-backed, sustainable village called Lammas, the couple must adhere to their fierce planning conditions of self-sufficiency or risk losing everything.
Oct 26 2016
Bolton-based bricklayer Paul Rimmer, who has spent his career restoring and renovating Victorian terrace houses, sets his sights on constructing a state-of-the-art home on a budget of £350,000. However, instead of using the construction materials he has spent the past 40 years mastering, he has opted to build his new home from wood. Roping in his wife Carol, daughter Abby and a selection of favoured workmates, Paul and his team begin work on the ultra-modern, five-bedroom build, and Kevin McCloud reveals how extreme weather, exhaustion, and rapidly dwindling funds place the entire project in jeopardy.
Oct 19 2016
Kevin McCloud meets Michelle Parsons, an artist and teacher who decided to seize the day and build her own private hideaway in a woodland environment in Essex after she recovered from a serious illness. Together with her architect husband David, Michelle planned to construct a sleek, black-clad, three bedroom house complete with an art studio. However, torrential rain and a potentially disastrous gas leak stalled progress on the build, and as construction gets under way, Kevin wonders whether the couple's decision to eliminate windows on two sides of the property may leave them living in a gloomy bunker.
Oct 12 2016
Kevin McCloud meets Tom and Danielle Raffield, whose lifelong passion has been steam-bending wood. They've used the technique to create extraordinary furniture and lighting, but now plan to use it on a larger scale. In an attempt to escape the confines of their tiny gamekeeper's lodge, they have decided to build a wavy wooden house in South Cornwall, completed with curved cladding, twisted furniture and interior walls covered with weathered timber. With a £100,000 budget, the pair have decided to do a lot of the building themselves, and Kevin is on hand to discover whether they're up to the challenge.
Oct 05 2016
Kevin McCloud follows Matt and Sophie White from Sussex as they build a giant family house of fun for themselves and their children. Going against the norm of designing a serious and practical home, the couple's property features a revolving bookcase door, secret dens, hiding places, one-way mirrors, and a fireman's pole. Matt uses a steel frame system to allow them to change the layout of the property, and other changes include amending the window shapes and sizes, and adding a half floor to create a James Bond room.
Sep 28 2016
Kevin McCloud follows plumber Jon Martin and ceramicist Noreen Jaafar as they transform a neglected half-acre site in Gloucestershire. However, they are unable to cut down the 27 protected trees on the plot, so their solution is to build a big, modern treehouse with stilts screwed into the earth and balconies that will have views for miles.
Sep 21 2016

Season 16

9 Episodes

Kevin McCloud returns to north Cornwall to see one of his favourite Grand Designs, and discover whether Rebecca Sturrock and Gregory Kewish have been successful with their ambitious plans. Their project, to reinforce the walls of an old bungalow and put a new living space on top made entirely of cross-laminated timber, soon ran into difficulties, but now fully complete both inside and out, Kevin finds out whether this innovative house is really big enough to accommodate a growing family.
Nov 13 2015
Kevin McCloud revisits Andy and Nicky Bruce who were building an experimental amphibious house on a small island on the Thames in Buckinghamshire. They spent £1.2 million on one of the most ambitious Grand Designs ever, but the logistical headache of building on an island only accessible by a narrow footbridge soon became clear. Heavy machinery was swept away by the river, contractors were changed, and the site was hit by severe storms, causing delays and resulting in an unfinished and untested building. Kevin returns to find out what living on a regularly flooded piece of land is like, and whether the floating home performed when the river burst its banks in January 2015.
Oct 28 2015
Kevin McCloud follows the progress of Stephen Yeoman and Anita Findlay, who want to build a cutting-edge, post-industrial house covered in rusty metal. However, their prominent riverside plot in the traditional and architecturally conservative area of South Downs means everyone will be watching. The project proves to be a real rollercoaster when the fitting of the rusty steel cladding goes wrong, cash flow problems threaten to bring work to a halt, and the couple announce that a baby is on the way.
Oct 21 2015
Kevin McCloud follows the progress of private chef Ed Versluys and pilates instructor Vicky Anderson, who want to convert a concrete cowshed in the Somerset countryside into a three bedroom home. With the help of one young builder and the knowledge they can learn from the internet, the couple plan to project manage the conversion themselves. However, they have only eight months and a budget of just over £200k to make a warm and comfortable home with straw bale walls and wide expanses of glass.
Oct 14 2015
Kevin McCloud follows the progress of teacher Michele Long and architect Michael Howe, who want to restore and transform a 100-year-old blacksmiths in County Antrim near the coast of Northern Ireland. With virtually no practical experience, Michael wants to do as much of the project as possible by himself. However, the weather on the coastline is fierce, and the freezing weather coupled with a tight budget of 150k means the build is stretched from one to three years.
Oct 07 2015
Kevin McCloud follows the progress of 37-year-old Angelo Mastropietro, as he transforms a damp, dark and abandoned cave in Worcestershire. Having recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Angelo wants to create a retreat to help him cope with the news and become a 21st century caveman. He has a budget of £100,000 and plans to almost single-handedly carve, cut and drill into the hillside to make the cave comfortable for contemporary living. However, there is no manual for a project of this kind, and the unique challenge soon becomes an obsession.
Sep 30 2015
After recovering from a life-threatening brain haemorrhage, Bram Vis, his wife Lisa and their two children want to build a house for sharing on a seaside plot on the Isle of Wight. Kevin McCloud follows the family's progress as they build an ambitious home complete with entertaining spaces and a swimming pool. However, the sheer scale of their project soon becomes clear when their original £850k budget spirals out of control.
Sep 23 2015
Boat enthusiast James Strangeways invites Kevin McCloud to survey progress on the construction of his new home, which his architect nephew Ben Hebblethwaite has designed to be as 'un-houselike' as possible. James has spent the past 35 years travelling the canals and waterways of Britain, and despite never liking houses, has decided now is the time to put down roots on dry land. Ben hoped a home standing on stilts above a marsh, and incorporating ship-like qualities such as a keel-shaped roof, will be enough to satisfy his boat-mad uncle. However, Ben's contractor goes into liquidation a few months into the project, taking £87,000 of the £300,000 budget, and when James decides to make a few tweaks to the design, alarm-bells begin to ring for the young architect.
Sep 16 2015
Kevin McCloud meets Clinton Dall from Sussex, a self-made businessman and father of four aiming to build one of the largest homes ever featured on the show. Dall wants the end project to be perfect - from the finish of his mirrored cruciform steel columns, to how the floor tiles line up with the dining room table, and is willing to spend whatever it takes to achieve his vision. However, the construction represents a huge risk, as down one road lies abject failure and financial ruin, while down the other, is the creation of something sublime and almost heroic.
Sep 09 2015

Season 15

4 Episodes

Kevin McCloud looks at the challenges of self-building in the countryside, where design must embrace and enhance tradition, yet often overcome stringent planning constraints. Drawing on footage from the show's 15-year history, as well as new visits to extraordinary homes, he finds out how pioneers at the forefront of architecture are transforming agricultural and historic buildings, and bringing cutting-edge contemporary design to rural parts.
Jul 30 2015
Kevin McCloud reveals how self-builders in the suburbs are transforming this most maligned of residential environments. He draws on some of the best examples from the 15-year history of Grand Designs, talks to experts in the latest architectural thinking and reveals the designs that have reinvented the suburbs as a place where home-owners really can have it all.
Jul 23 2015
In the second of four special programmes, Kevin McCloud looks at the challenges of self-building in the UK's most remote places, where beautiful landscapes often meet savage weather. Drawing on footage from 15 years of the programme, as well as new visits to extraordinary and incredible homes, Kevin reveals which designs work best, and why. Along the way, he interviews pioneers at the forefront of architecture in the wilderness and sees the astonishing lengths people go to live on the edges of society.
Jul 16 2015
Kevin McCloud presents the first of four special programmes inspired by 15 years of Grand Designs. He begins with a look at the challenges of self-building in the city, where space is at a premium and architects have to be at their most ingenious. Kevin uses footage from the best urban builds from the show over the years, meets pioneers at the forefront of the latest architectural thinking and looks at clever innovations that continue to transform people's lives to reveal which designs work best and why.
Jul 09 2015

Season 14

10 Episodes

Kevin McCloud returns to Devon for an update on one of the most inspirational builds he has ever witnessed. Marine Captain Jon White and wife Becky were living happily in a small cottage in Devon when in June 2010, while serving in Afghanistan, Jon stepped on an improvised explosive device. Jon lost both legs and his right arm. Every part of his and Becky's lives had to change - starting with where they could live. Their architect came up with a cutting edge, semi open plan building with a dramatic wing-like-roof; but crucially it was to be without noticeable adaptations for Jon's disabilities. It was an ambitious design, and despite the help of a number of military charities and a capable team of builders, Jon was already under severe pressure to finish the house, when news came that Becky was pregnant. Has the new home proved as enabling for Jon, Becky and their expanding family as they'd hoped?
Nov 05 2014
Kevin McCloud returns to a unique Japanese-Welsh fusion home in the Wye Valley to see how the improvised building weathered one of the wettest winters on record. Tamayo Hussey has missed Japan ever since she moved to the UK 15 years ago with her husband Nigel. To stave off the homesickness they decided to transform their home into a one-of-a-kind Japanese house - complete with Japanese roof bath, tatami room and paper sliding walls. Kevin finds out if it has brought the calm and tranquillity Tamayo remembers from her childhood in Japan.
Oct 29 2014
Kevin McCloud returns to a remote part of France and a restoration project of a dilapidated manor house started back in 2003 by Denise Daniel and Doug Ibbs. When Denise Daniel and Doug Ibbs gave up everything in the UK to start a new life in a remote part of central France, they couldn't have known what was ahead of them. Most people would have regretted falling in love with a massive, dilapidated manor house with just four crumbling walls and half a roof, but not Doug and Deni. This impressive, extraordinary and utterly determined couple rolled up their sleeves and slogged away day and night, doing everything themselves, year after year, until slowly but surely they created a magnificent edifice out of the ruins they bought off the internet.
Oct 22 2014
Andy and Nicki Bruce try to build an experimental flood-proof floating house on an island in the River Thames. But building such a complex design on a site with limited access is not easy. Andy and Nicki Bruce's amphibious house, the first of its kind in the UK. Their architect has come up with an ambitious, experimental design that has never been tried on a river bank in Britain and no one knows whether it will work. The Bruces decide to build on a site on a small island in the river. But it's not long before the project becomes bogged down in the logistical challenges of building such a complex design on a small island that is only accessible by a narrow footbridge.
Oct 15 2014
Natasha Cargill wants to build a home shaped like two enormous periscopes in rural Norfolk. But a limited budget and tight planning restrictions start to take their toll. To get planning permission for her build, Natasha Cargill has to ensure not only that the materials used are sustainable, but also agree to measure the amount of diesel used to deliver them. The planning controls are so rigid in fact that even details like the type of portaloos the builders use and the size of her bath have to be monitored. Natasha has just £330k to spend on construction and just six months to complete.
Oct 08 2014
Tracy Fox and husband Steve want to build an 'urban shed' out of industrial materials in an old milk yard in south east London. But the choice of unorthodox materials proves challenging and costly. The build will feature two studios, three bedrooms and a double height space with walkway, with materials including corrugated cement fibre board and 20 foot panels of polycarbonate sheeting. Work on the build stalls until they meet Romas and Remi, a young firm of builders, who boldly decide to take on the challenge of building it for just £300k.
Oct 01 2014
A young farmer and architect in Northern Ireland hopes to make a home out of four large shipping containers welded together to form a giant cross. Patrick Bradley has come up with a £100k house design to be built out of four 45-foot shipping containers, welded together to form a giant cross and cantilevered over the top of a stream at a beautiful secluded spot on the family farm. His mum is hoping his new home will get Patrick a girlfriend. But his tiny budget is soon under threat.
Sep 24 2014
Peter Berkin and his wife Chard have decided to build a new home at the bottom of their garden. Problem is, right from the start they can't agree on any part of the design - even the basic shape. Peter wants the new house to feature a workshop where he can build a plane. He wants the house to be round. Chard however wants it to be square and practical. Peter aims to spend £400K, Chard wants to keep the budget around £200K. With Peter building as much of the house as he can himself, helped by his mates, and Chard taking control of the money and schedule, it looks like a recipe for disaster.
Sep 17 2014
Rebecca Sturrock has returned to her family home in Cornwall with her partner Gregory Kewish and a highly ambitious plan. Together they will transform a small, damp, single-storey bungalow into a cutting-edge home on a budget of just £80,000. With rain and wind hammering the site, however, it soon becomes dangerously clear they may have bitten off more than they can chew.
Sep 10 2014
Rob Hodgson and Kay Ralph plan to build an architectural monument high on a cliff top. They want to build a sleek glass-fronted house inspired by the cliff-top villas of California. Their plot overlooks a beautiful National Trust beach in North Wales, but to have their jaw-dropping panoramic views will mean taking the biggest gamble of their lives. Access will be incredibly difficult and expensive because of a low bridge over the narrow track to the site. Erosion specialists predict their stunning new home could one day fall into the sea. Prohibited by the local council from reinforcing the cliff face, they decide to build anyway, believing at least the house will outlive them.
Sep 03 2014

Season 13

9 Episodes

Confirmed city dwellers Michael and Phil have moved to the country to run a farm, start a micro brewery and create in a vast, dramatic 21st-century farmhouse to live in. Michael Butcher and Phil Palmer were confirmed Londoners, loft-livers in the heart of Soho. Until they fell in love with Christmas Farm, near Newbury, and took the life changing decision to quit their urban media jobs and move to the country. They faced two big problems however: first there was an agricultural tie on the land, so Phil and Michael would have to become farmers; the second problem was the uninspiring faux-alpine timber chalet serving as a farmhouse - it had to go. But Phil and Michael have decided they don't want to build a regular brick farmhouse as a replacement. Determined to bring a bit of urban glamour to their new home, they want a 21st-century farmhouse unlike anything the area has seen before. Phil and Michael's version cleverly combines a vast, white, dramatic open-plan party pad upstairs, with muddy functional farming spaces below. As the builders go to work on the extraordinary hand-crafted flint exterior, complete with the largest sliding trapezoid window in Britain, Phil and Michael must juggle construction with farming the land. And in order to make it all work financially they decide to set up a new micro-brewery in the barn.
Oct 30 2013
Kevin meets a master craftsman whose dream is to build a castle made entirely of mud. Kevin McCabe is the leading living exponent of the ancient art of cob building - wrestling houses out of mud using his bare hands. But Kevin doesn't just want to build another cob house, he wants to build a cob castle. Not only that, Kevin also wants their gigantic new cob house to meet the highest environmental performance targets ever set. It is truly an almighty challenge. The house will be formed of two vast curved cob roundhouses - the largest of which is inspired by the natural geometry of a snail shell - connected by glazing and topped with undulating wild-flower meadow roofs to mirror the surrounding Devon countryside. But building it involves mixing and laying a mind boggling 2000 tonnes of cob, all during warm sunny weather. Kevin is determined to have the main cob walls up in a few months. But soon the sheer scale of the task becomes clear.
Oct 23 2013
A young couple want take on an average 1950s house and turn it into an architectural masterpiece. After a year of searching London for somewhere exciting to live with their young girls Lola and Sylva, Ben and Rachel Hammond stumbled upon a house on a totally unique plot, buried within the leafy depths of a beautiful south London park. Only problem is the house itself - an ugly, inefficient and uninspiring red brick property. Their solution is uncompromising. With the help of their architect friend Zac, they decide not to knock it down, but to radically redesign, remodel and transform this unsightly lump it into a sleek, crisp, modernist masterpiece. This is no easy task however. Their cutting edge new materials struggle to get past the local planning department and building control. Delivery of key elements like the giant glass window panes is massively delayed. The contractors struggle to deliver on an incredibly tight fixed price contract, and Ben and Rachel have to work flat out in their day jobs to pay for everything.
Oct 16 2013
Tamayo Hussey's missed Japan ever since she moved to the UK with her husband Nigel. To stave off the homesickness they've decided to transform a forester's lodge into a Japanese house complete with roof bath, tatami room and sliding paper walls. Keen to keep costs under control, Nigel and Tamayo decide to engage only the design skills of an architect and with no previous building experience they bravely go it alone, working without any detailed drawings and fire-fighting problems every step of the way. The wood they're using for the timber frame - Japanese larch - hasn't been used for building houses before in the UK, so no one can be sure it will be strong enough, the new interior walls don't meet properly and the replacement window design can't cope with the rain. But Nigel and Tamayo are determined to overcome any obstacle to get the Japanese house they're so desperate for.
Oct 09 2013
Kevin meets flying instructor Colin Mackinnon and trapeze artist Marta Briongos and the incredible metal home they're building next to their very own airfield in Strathaven, Scotland. There aren't many people in Britain who can say they own their own airfield. But Colin and Marta Briongos are part of the very select few. The airfield is so important to them, they've decided to live there too. Their ambitious plan is to build an incredible metal sculptural home next to the runway, designed by one of Scotland's most eminent architects and inspired by aircraft hangars. But the difficulties of building their beautiful design soon become apparent. And before the project is barely off the ground they're contending with violent rain, snow, 100-mile-an-hour winds and the worst storms for 100 years. With work slowed down to a snail's pace, what was supposed to be a year-long project heads into its third year.
Oct 02 2013
When he lost three limbs in Afghanistan, Jon's life changed forever. Now he wants to build a house that allows him to live independently. The design is cutting edge, but the budget spirals. Marine captain Jon's life changed forever when he stepped on a land mine. Before his injuries, home for Jon had meant a crooked chocolate box Devon cottage. After countless viewings of uninspiring specialist dwellings and awkward conversions, they realised that the only way to get a house that would enable Jon to live independently was to build it themselves. The design boasts sleek glass walls, open plan spaces and a dramatic wing-like roof. Crucially the design concept is for there to be no noticeable adaptations due to Jon's disabilities. Despite his lack of experience, Jon decides to project manage and calls on the support of a number of military charities for this hugely ambitious project. The pressure to finish on time increases when Becky discovers she is pregnant.
Sep 25 2013
Kevin meets Martin and Kae Walker, who want to build the ultimate family home, inspired by a giant farm shed. You couldn't meet two more different people than Martin and Kae Walker. Martin's a commercial architect who specialises in industrial buildings. He's clinical and technical, obsessed with how things fit together. Kae is an art director, a creative powerhouse who is passionate about giving buildings heart and soul. They've worked together ever since they got married, but now they're taking on their toughest project yet, building the ultimate family home near York, inspired by a giant farm shed. Kae's vision is for a 'mothership', a home that makes the business of being a mum easier, with a central command centre from which she'll be able to keep track of the kids wherever they play in the house. Her design is a warm and cosy concept, that conflicts dramatically with Martin's forte in building giant square warehouses. Marrying the giant wooden framed box he's designed with Kae's family friendly layout proves an incredible challenge, especially on their super-tight budget. And when the banks decide to tighten their belts and restrict new lending, Martin and Kae are left in a desperate situation - where will they find the money to finish their house?
Sep 18 2013
Jonathan Broom and his wife Deborah have put everything on hold while he pursues his dream of building a mini Hollywood Hills-style mansion right in the gritty heart of north London. For ten years Jonathan Broom has been obsessed with building his own home.They finally stumble across a scrap of land right in the gritty heart of North London, but it's fraught with problems, and the only way they can build their wildly ambitious £1million pound family home, complete with nanny flat and swimming pool, is by sinking half of it six metres below ground. It's a project that pushes the couple and their builder to the very limit. Desperate to make every penny of the budget stretch, Jonathan strikes every deal he can, and even sells his business to raise funds. Originally scheduled to take a year, this giant hole in the ground consumes their money and lives for much longer.
Sep 11 2013
Kevin McCloud follows a project to renovate and extend a classic 1920s cinema in Thorne, South Yorkshire. With little knowledge of restoration, Gwyn and Kate boldly set about turning the dilapidated building into a family home using masses of concrete after taking advice from an architect friend. The couple are hoping to create a hydraulic glass wall that opens up one side of the house to form a UV-filtered canopy, and there are also plans for a white roof extension that resembles a diving board.
Sep 04 2013

Season 12

8 Episodes

Henning Stummel and his partner Alice Dawson attempt to convert an awkward,covered space, trapped between buildings in the crowded heart of north London into a contemporary family home and office for Henning's practice.
Nov 07 2012
Kevin McCloud meets artists Indi and Rebecca, who are planning to build a modern, larch-clad home on the Isle of Skye, with a second hand-crafted building alongside to use as their studio, all on a tight budget of £150,000. They have been saving for years, but making it happen will mean taking on the savage weather, not to mention the sceptical locals - and as if that weren't enough, most of the work is being done by one man, local builder Donald.
Oct 31 2012
Kevin McCloud meets Audrey and Jeff, who dream of living in one of west London's most exclusive areas. However, the way they can afford it is to go underground. Their plan is to transform a listed Edwardian artist's studio - along with 5,000 sq ft of derelict basement - into a bespoke subterranean home, complete with supersize kitchen, mezzanine sitting room, four en-suite bedrooms, a gym, cinema, steam room and wine cellar. As if the task weren't tricky enough, they are doing it without proper architect's drawings and Audrey is project managing - and the difficulties begin almost from the start.
Oct 24 2012
Kevin McCloud marks the 100th episode with one of the programme's most ambitious projects to date. Leigh Osborne and Graham Voce want to convert and extend a landmark 150-year-old water tower in central London into a luxury home. Grade II-listed, derelict and with 6ft-thick walls, it's a huge challenge for the pair, who also plan to build two structures at the base - a lift shaft connected by a series of glass tunnels, and a modern living space. The result will be a four-bedroom property over nine floors, complete with a room at the top offering spectacular 360 degree views across the capital. The tower, which is located directly above London Underground's Northern Line, was originally built for Lambeth Workhouse in 1877 and became a Grade II listed building in 2008.
Oct 17 2012
Kevin McCloud follows Lysette and Nigel Offley, who are knocking down an old Thames boathouse and constructing a cutting-edge home in its place. Taking inspiration from the river itself, they have designed a building of waves and curves with a huge glass porthole for a roof light. But problems begin almost from the start, as they can't find a contractor willing to build over the water, their architect leaves unexpectedly and the costs turn out much higher than expected. To make matters worse, the neighbours aren't happy about such a radical sight in their traditional community. As they begin to compromise, Kevin wonders if the couple's dreams will ever be realised.
Oct 10 2012
Mary Martin and Carl Turner want to build a home that resembles a giant stack of glass cubes in Brixton, south London. The couple are hoping the structure will become an instant landmark, while on the inside they are planning a Zen retreat. But to succeed, their finances must be pushed to their limit, so Carl takes on as many of the specialist jobs as he can to save money. Kevin McCloud follows their progress.
Sep 26 2012
Kevin McCloud meets a pair of civil partnered university professors who have decided to build their first home from scratch. In addition to all the complications this usually entails, they have also enlisted the services of industrial designers who have developed a new computer-assisted method for cutting precision-engineered building blocks from scratch. However, though the technique may be clever, its creators have never created a building before - meaning everyone involved with the project is taking a giant leap into the unknown.
Sep 19 2012
The story of one man's heroic attempt to fulfill his childhood dream and bring back from the ruins an incredible castle set in one of the most beautiful landscapes in Ireland. Kevin McCloud meets more people trying to build dream homes, beginning with Sean Simons, who bought the ruins of Cloontykilla Castle in the Irish county of Roscommon with a view to using them to create a spectacular mock-16th-century home. However, the outlandish plans - including jacuzzis in the battlements and water-spouting gargoyles - have Kevin worried the project could become a garish nightmare, and his scepticism increases when he realises Sean has not consulted an architect. Disaster seems to be looming as the contractors get frustrated and planning regulations are ignored, but somehow things begin to slowly take shape - until a national economic crisis plunges everything into chaos.
Sep 12 2012

Season 11

9 Episodes

Kevin catches up with Freddie Robins and Ben Coode-Adams who left their two bedroom London flat and took on the conversion of a huge Grade II listed timber framed barn in the Essex countryside.
Nov 28 2012
Kevin catches up with Claire Farrow and Ian Hogarth who began a wild journey in 2010 to create d the ultimate fun family home, right in the heart of London, including a dance floor, dj booth and sauna.
Nov 21 2012
Claire and Ian try to build a home big enough for a disco on a small plot at the end of a London mews. But as angry locals begin to object to their plans, things start to go awry.
Oct 26 2011
Ever since he was a child, stonemason Adam Purchase has loved the old silver mine engine houses that characterise Cornwall's landscape. When he and his partner Nicola Brennan chanced upon a dilapidated Grade II listed engine house with planning permission to turn into a home, it was a dream come true. But converting this important historic ruin into a place to live was never going to be easy. The building itself was little more than a shell, with crumbling plant-infested walls and no roof, windows or floors: a challenge for even the most experienced builders like Adam. Meanwhile the banks refuse to lend them more than £100k, which Adam and Nicola both know is barely enough to get them through. Still, driven by their passion for old buildings, Nicola agrees to support Adam while he takes a year off work to complete the project.
Oct 19 2011
Kevin McCloud meets estate manager Ed Waghorn and his wife Rowena, a couple living an almost self-sufficient life with their four children on a smallholding in Herefordshire. They have been constructing a timber-framed house using recycled materials, wood from nearby forests and stone from around the site, but as construction becomes a way of life for Ed they seem to have lost sight of their goal.
Oct 12 2011
Kevin McCloud follows the conversion of a large, Grade II-listed timber-framed barn in Essex into a family home and work-space by artists Freddie Robbins and Ben Coode-Adams. Their plans involve few interior walls to display their collection of toys, but at seven times the size of an average three-bedroom house, the transformation of the 500-year-old building proves extremely challenging.
Oct 05 2011
Kevin follows the progress being made as Tim and Philomena O'Donovan, convert a lifeboat station in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, into a contemporary home.
Sep 28 2011
Paul and Penny are tearing down their million pound home in south London to build a contemporary mansion. But the challenge of building a complex home soon starts to bite.
Sep 21 2011
Kevin McCloud looks at the transformation of a derelict mill cottage in Northumberland into a contemporary family home, the longest-running project ever featured on the programme. Stefan Lepkowski and Annia Shabowska began work in 2006, and their ambitious plans involved restoring the Georgian building, reconstructing a watermill and adding a steel-and-glass atrium, but their budget of £250,000 was completely inadequate.
Sep 14 2011

Season 10

12 Episodes

Six years ago Lucie Fairweather and Nat McBride began to build an affordable eco home in Woodbridge for themselves and their two young children. However, their journey was to be about more than bricks and mortar. Just before they got started, Nat discovered he had cancer, and after just a few months he passed away. Lucie decided to carry on with the project Nat had devised. Kevin McCloud returns to find out just how life has moved on for Lucie and to discover whether her wonderful and striking house has become part of the landscape.
Nov 13 2013
Kevin catches up with Lincoln Miles and his wife, artist Lisa Traxler, who had discovered an uninspiring 70s bungalow on the Isle of Wight on a prime piece of land surrounded by unspoilt ancient woodland and were going to convert it into their dream home.
Nov 14 2012
Kevin McCloud revisits Alan and Judith Dawson in west Cumbria, where they began constructing a prefabricated home in 2009. They employed a method of building that should have allowed them to assemble the home in just 15 days on a budget of £300,000, and the presenter returns to find out whether they were successful.
Nov 23 2011
Kevin revisits Robert and Milla a year after their ambitious Lake District eco home seemed on the verge of running out of money. Have the couple completed their visionary timber home?
Nov 02 2011
When Robert and Milla Gaukroger find a plot overlooking Lake Windermere in the Lake District National Park, they reckon they've hit gold.
Nov 03 2010
Alan Dawson has invented his own way of making a house, with every piece put together on site in days. But it must all fit perfectly. Only then will Alan know if his unique house works.
Oct 27 2010
Kevin meets interior designer Kathryn Tyler, who has decided the best way onto the property ladder is to design and build her own house in her parents' back garden in Falmouth.
Oct 20 2010
Jonathan and Lindsay want to build a house that's exciting to look at, cheap to run, and ecologically sound. But the build is a battle, with technologies that don't work and a tight budget.
Oct 13 2010
Kevin McCloud follows the progress of Simon Bennett and his wife Jill as they try to restore two timber-framed barns in Suffolk. The couple found out that one of the buildings is among the smallest surviving medieval guildhalls in the country, and while Kevin advises the pair to conserve it in its present state, Simon is determined to restore it to its former glory.
Oct 06 2010
Kevin McCloud follows the efforts of Lucie Fairweather to build an eco-friendly house in Woodbridge, Suffolk. After the death of her partner 18 months earlier, and not having a large budget, Lucie is determined to create a beautiful and affordable family home with the help of Jerry Tate, an architect who was involved in the design of the Eden Project
Sep 29 2010
Helen and Chris Seymour Smith are architects who are planning to build a subterranean, eco-friendly house underneath a ruined 300-year-old barn in the Cotswolds. Kevin McCloud follows their progress as they set out to create a building that is airtight and needs no heating, but whose spartan interior raises questions of habitability
Sep 22 2010
Kevin McCloud follows the progress of architectural designer Lincoln Miles and his wife, artist Lisa Traxler, who want to create their own home on the Isle of Wight. They have bought a property on a prime piece of land and set out to transform it into a creative structure that complements the unspoilt woodland setting.
Sep 15 2010

Season 9

11 Episodes

Kevin McCloud revisits a couple who took on the task of constructing a sustainable house in the Kent countryside. Mimi da Costa managed the project despite a lack of experience, while her husband worked, and intended to have it completed in 16 weeks. But as the build threatened to drag on for months it became unclear whether their home would succeed in blending in and providing them with a greener lifestyle.
Nov 30 2011
Kevin returns to the Weald of Kent and one of the most innovative houses ever featured on Grand Designs: a highly experimental arch-shaped home built from clay tiles.
Nov 09 2011
Kevin returns to see how Daren Howarth and Adi Nortje's project has fared four years after they decided to build an earth-sheltered home in Brittany.
Nov 10 2010
Barry Surtees wants to build a modern mansion for his family in Brighton, but he is soon battling with escalating material costs, complaining neighbours and finally a heart attack.
Apr 08 2009
Mimi De Costa and her husband Andre, a doctor, had spent years looking for a plot of land when they came across a bungalow in Kent. The original bungalow They bought it for the site - 12 acres of organic pasture and woodland - and started to plan a new home for their sons, Sean and Tye, that would suit a lower impact way of living. But what they're building isn’t going to be a reproduction of the bungalow. It's a squarish, modular building, with glass walls from floor to ceiling. The outside of the building is clad in cedar that will go grey to match the surrounding oak trees. The idea is that by prefabricating most of the house it should be quicker and easier to put together on site. But although it will be precision made, it isn’t a kit house.
Mar 11 2009
Dairy farmer Andrew Ainslie and his artist wife Meryl, who run a gallery on their farm, build a modern barn-style farmhouse on their 700 acre farm in the rolling chalk hills of Wiltshire.
Mar 04 2009
Daren Howarth and Adi Nortje are keen to build an earth-sheltered home from recycled materials in Brittany. The house is a very low tech one, mainly constructed from old car tyres.
Feb 25 2009
Kevin McCloud follows the progress of architect Richard Hawkes and wife Sophie, who are moving from London to the Kent countryside to build a hi-tech eco-friendly house with room to grow their own food. Richard also wants their new home to blend effortlessly into the surrounding countryside, concealed beneath a huge arch of clay tiles covered with earth and planted with grass
Feb 18 2009
Sarah and Dean Berry grew up on a council estate in Newport. Having moved away to London and made good, they have now returned home 17 years later and bought an 18th century folly - a castle perched on a hilltop. They not only plan to restore the folly to its former glory, but wrap a large modern extension around the original structure, with lots of glass to capitalise on the amazing views.
Feb 11 2009
Inspired by an illustration on a yoghurt pot, Chris Ostwald decides to build a New England-style water mill in the Chilterns, on a hill and nowhere near any water.
Feb 04 2009
Ian and Sophie Cooper met at university and have since spent their time together enjoying life in London. Ian works as a marketing consultant in telecoms and Sophie is a sales manager for a fashion firm. Both are passionate about design. They’ve done the usual thing of renovating flats and moving on... but three years ago they realised they wanted a different kind of life in a different kind of building.
Jan 28 2009

Season 8

8 Episodes

Kevin returns to see how Pru and Richard Irvine fared one-and-a-half years after they began building their bespoke home in the Midlothian countryside.
Dec 15 2010
In Maidstone, Jean and Bill Letley, a septuagenarian couple plan a highly contemporary bungalow complete with underfloor heating and prototype steel foundations. The project would test even the most accomplished workmen, but is left to their daughter and son-in-law, who have little building experience and have to make personal sacrifices.
Apr 02 2008
Kevin attempts to help helps Tiffany and Jonny with their dream of creating an ultra-modern, eco-friendly home in Bath in the west country. Rather than go down the traditional building route, Tiffany and Jonny opted for a German pre-fabricated kit house with great green credentials. But before they could even think about building their house they had to prepare their site: a fiercely steep hillside. Tiffany and Jonny embarked on the biggest ground works project Grand Designs has ever seen, costing around £300,000. And, just when they were about to complete these mammoth works, the weather turned bad and disaster struck. Their neighbour's wall collapsed in a storm. The resulting damage could have cost them nearly £100,000. Determined to carry on, even through 80 tonnes of extra mud, Tiffany and Jonny persevered, and a year into their project, were finally able to go to Germany to choose their house. Every fixture and fitting had to be decided and, once made, no changes were allowed. Now, with the promise of the house taking only five days to go up on site, and with no possibility of landslides, hopefully their build will now run smoothly.
Feb 20 2008
Pru and Richard make plans to build a bespoke family home on an industrial site in the middle of the Midlothian countryside. However, the plot of land, an old industrial site complete with lime kilns, comes with a condition. They can build on it only if they become custodians of the kilns, and more importantly, that the house they build blends in with the landscape. It's a huge challenge and Pru and Richard want to build an uncompromisingly modern and, moreover, large box of a house. It could become a blot on the landscape instead of an enhancement. Pru and Richard sensibly plan to start building in the summer, but because it is an industrial site, are forced to do numerous soil tests. The build is delayed until the harsh Scottish winter. With Richard grafting hard to pay for the build, it's down to Pru, a food writer, to project manage. Naively she doesn't consider this a full time job, but when her trusty builder goes away and she is left to manage alone, she starts to realise just what she's let herself in for. This giant of a house is a giant of a project. Until it's complete, nobody is quite sure whether it will fulfill its brief.
Feb 13 2008
Jo and Shaun Bennett want to build an Addams Family style Gothic house with a £400,000 budget. With the challenge growing bigger than they ever imagined they face financial problems and struggle to stay within their budget.
Feb 06 2008
An architect plans to build a new house for his family using only white materials. He ends up using stuff more commonly used in commercial buildings.
Jan 30 2008
Henry Chopping finds his plans to build a new home in Oxford hampered by a listed wall and planning restrictions. With a budget of over three quarters of a million Henry is determined to make his dream home a reality.
Jan 23 2008
A couple who live in a Regency house in Cheltenham that is expensive to run decide to sell up and build a modern low maintenance house in their back garden. However, height restrictions mean they have to build 60 per cent of their new home underground and neighbours make 90 complaints about their planning application. Undeterred, the pair continue as planned, but the project encounters further problems including the departure of the builders.
Jan 16 2008

Season 7

12 Episodes

Kevin returns to see whether Bill Bradley has completed the work on his two timber houses in south London.
Nov 17 2010
Eight years ago Alex and Cheryl Reay left London for a new life in the New Forest. They bought a run down medieval thatched cottage and lovingly brought it back to life. Then just before Christmas, with Cheryl pregnant, disaster struck.
Apr 15 2009
Kevin returns to visit Kelly and Masoko Neville who set about building not just a spectacular oak frame and straw bale house, but a whole new way of life in the Cambridgeshire Fens. Kelly is a carpenter by trade and has always dreamed of building an eco friendly home with his own hands. This highly sustainable house, sitting in harmony with nature and its surroundings, will become the base for Kelly and Masoko’s new self-sufficient life where they will produce their own food and energy from the land.
Mar 25 2009
Not everyone gets to live out their childhood dreams, but in 2004 Francis Shaw did exactly that when he bought a crumbling castle on English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk register, to restore. Little did he know what he was letting himself and his family in for by taking on this project. Set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, the peel tower dates back to the 15th century and was protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It took months of red tape wrangling before Francis finally got permission to start working on the building, but with the rubble barely cleared, one of the enormous 700-year-old walls collapsed showing just how much of a labour of love this project was going to be. Two and a half years after Francis and his wife Karen moved in, Kevin McCloud returns to find out that the spiralling costs of restoring the castle has meant the fairytale life is nothing like Francis’s dream.
Mar 18 2009
In this episode Kevin meets master carpenter Bill Bradley and his wife Sarah, whose plan is to build two identical timber houses in south London, selling one to finance the building of the other.
May 16 2007
Kelly and Masoko Neville set about building not just a spectacular oak frame and straw bale house, but a whole new way of life in the Cambridgeshire Fens. Kelly is a carpenter by trade and has always dreamed of building an eco friendly home with his own hands. This highly sustainable house, sitting in harmony with nature and its surroundings, will become the base for Kelly and Masoko’s new self-sufficient life where they will produce their own food and energy from the land.
May 02 2007
When Pilots Andrew Berry and his wife Helen bought their cottage near Guildford in Surrey 7 years ago they always planned to add a small extension. But over the last few years the modest extension has evolved so much that retaining any of the original cottage simply wasn’t practical. Now it’s being completely demolished to make way for a new five bedroom Art Deco style house.
Apr 11 2007
Dean Marks has dreamt of living in a church for as long as he can remember. After searching for the right building for years, he came across St Martin’s near Birmingham, a huge 18th century grade II listed church which looks more like a mausoleum. The church wanted £25,000 for it but Dean knocked them down to £12,500. Now, after fighting for planning permission for four years, Dean and his wife, Hilary, are about to transform this derelict monstrosity into a family home.
Apr 04 2007
James and Katrin Gray live in Bournemouth on the south coast. James runs his own book distribution business and Katrin works for an investment bank. They used to live in an apartment on the second floor of a former Victorian hotel. But three years ago, James bought the top floor flat. It was originally built as a solarium for the hotel in the 1920’s where holiday-makers could soak up the sun. Now James and Katrin plan to convert it into a modern, luxury penthouse
Mar 21 2007
Chris Miller and his wife Sze Liu Lai lived in a tiny flat in East London with their two children Alexion and Tayszea. It was very tight for space and as the kids grew they really felt in need of more room. Chris and Sze are both social workers on low incomes and they have very little in the way of savings.
Mar 14 2007
Eight years ago Alex and Cheryl Reay left London for a new life in the New Forest. They bought a run down medieval thatched cottage and lovingly brought it back to life. Then just before Christmas, with Cheryl pregnant, disaster struck. A fault in the chimney caused a massive fire which destroyed the entire building. Overnight Alex and Cheryl had lost almost £400,000. Whilst most people would have walked away from this, Alex and Cheryl couldn’t let go of their dream. Nine months after the fire, they decided to start all over again and rebuild the cottage, bigger and better than before.
Mar 07 2007
Every Englishman’s home is his castle but for Francis Shaw this is quite literally true. He and his wife, Karen, and their two young daughters, bought the ruins of a 14th Century castle in Yorkshire and took on the remarkable challenge of turning a pile of stones into a beautiful home. Surrounded by rolling green fields, the location is idyllic; however, the castle itself was little more than four crumbling walls.
Feb 28 2007

Season 6

7 Episodes

Kevin revisits Denise and Bruno Del Tufo who six years ago set about transforming a concrete water tower in their back garden into an avant-garde contemporary home.
Nov 16 2011
Jim Fairfull considers himself a very lucky guy. He was out fishing with a friend when he came across a beautiful, secluded loch. It's a magical place with stunning views over the nearby hills. He got chatting to the farmer who owned it and discovered the
Apr 22 2009
Christine Benjamin and her husband Peter currently live in an Edwardian manor house called Medland Manor. Both in their 60s, the manor is getting to be too large for them, so they’ve decided to build themselves something smaller. Despite the manor’s traditional style, Peter and Christine felt strongly that their new building should embrace modern design whilst remaining sensitive to its site. So they came up with a house that is part traditional timber frame cottage, part modern glass pavilion.
May 17 2006
For six years Bruno and Denise Del Tufo stared at the large concrete water tower at the bottom of their garden trying to figure out what to do with it. It’s a very rare object – a square water tower on stilts designed by architect Edwin Lutyens, who built it to supply the manor house nearby. The planners were open to persuasion so they approached an architect who came up with a bold, uncompromising extension in metal, glass and concrete. Denise and Bruno were keen to keep the original structure visible so the new house is threaded between the legs of the water tower.
Apr 26 2006
Theo and Elaine Leijser hoped to bring a bit of Dutch style to Scotland in the building of their first family home – a colourful, contemporary three storey house, with a striking cedar clad exterior. The couple stumbled across the perfect plot overlooking the beautiful Campsie Fells near Glasgow, bought it and began to plan their dream build.
Apr 19 2006
Hillcott Barn looked more like a Tuscan monastery than an English barn. When the farmer put it up for sale, most people who viewed it walked away. It was dark and isolated and could only be reached by a half mile farm track with a steep 1:8 gradient. But furniture designer Robert Ellis (58) had had his eye on it for some time. For years he’d been jogging past the barn and always thought one day he’d like to live there. Against all advice, Rob and his wife Jane, (58) a textile designer, went ahead and bought the barn for £210,000 and proposed to convert at £250,000.
Apr 12 2006
Jim Fairfull considers himself a very lucky guy. He was out fishing with a friend when he came across a beautiful, secluded loch. It’s a magical place with stunning views over the nearby hills. He got chatting to the farmer who owned it and discovered the site was for sale. Within a week, he’d done a deal and bought the land. The loch also gave them a fantastic opportunity to build a very unique house. They can control the water level of the loch which means they could actually build over the loch without worrying about flooding. So with the help of their architect, they designed an extravagant split level five bedroom house that actually hovers over the loch.
Apr 05 2006

Season 5

10 Episodes

Kevin catches up with Thomas and Dervla O'Hare who built a spectacular home on a hillside in Belfast.
Nov 24 2010
Engineering whiz Monty Ravenscroft built an extraordinary experimental home in Peckham. Kevin returns to see how it suits Monty and his partner now they have a child.
Apr 18 2007
Kevin revisits Andrew and Lowri Davies who embarked on a project to build an environmentally friendly farmhouse in rural Wales. Encouraged by their architect, they opt for some state-of-the-art experimental building materials; but do their builders know how to use them? As the budget spirals out of control, they find it increasingly difficult to balance the budget with their desire for a sustainable home.
Mar 28 2007
Andrew and Lowri Davies embark on a project to build an environmentally friendly farmhouse in rural Wales. Encouraged by their architect, they opt for some state-of-the-art experimental building materials; but do their builders know how to use them? As the budget spirals out of control, they find it increasingly difficult to balance the budget with their desire for a sustainable home.
Nov 16 2005
Kevin McCloud meets Julie and Mark Veysey, whose Grand Design is a stunning Miami-style beach house on a beachfront plot overlooking the south Devon coast. Julie and Mark have had several holidays in Miami, and Julie wanted to recreate the outdoor beachfront lifestyle back in England, living in a house full of light and sun, within easy reach of the waves.
Nov 09 2005
This is Belfast, one of the great cities of the industrial revolution, and home to Thomas and Dervla O’Hare. They’ve lived here for 18 years, and although they still love their tiny cottage for its compactness, they’re about to build something much, much bigger. They’re building a 21st century answer to the Roman villa, with a copper roof, glass and concrete walls and vast amounts of living space all arranged around a central courtyard.
Nov 02 2005
For the last 20 years, Pat Becker has been living in a large Georgian family house overlooking the sea in Devon. Now that her family have flown the nest and the house has grown too big for her, she's decided to build a new home at the bottom of the garden. Shaped like a curvy seashell, the new house has concrete and polystyrene walls, which spiral down from the central staircase. Her architect has promised it will take only six months to build but constructing a round house is never straightforward!
Oct 19 2005
John Cadney and Marnie Moon have never had a permanent home. For 16 years they've camped on land owned by Marnie's parents because they could never afford to buy a house in the area where they live. So John, a carpenter, rolled his sleeves up and decided to build a house for his family with his bare hands. After much searching for the right kind of house they settled on an environmentally friendly four-bedroom log cabin. The whole thing was imported from Finland as hundreds of pre-cut bits of wood. All John had to do is figure out how it all fits together!
Apr 27 2005
When lawyers Jeremy and Louise Brown walked into Upthorpe Farm in Gloucester, they couldn't believe their eyes. It was like stepping back in time. Apart from a few minor alterations, the Grade II listed 16th-century farmhouse had barely been touched for over 400 years and was completely unmodernised. There were original beams and doorways, original paint and plaster and a hay loft. Now that they've purchased the property their ambitious design plan is to bring the farmhouse into the 21st century, blending the original historic features with modern simplicity and luxury. Kevin watches on intrigued as they tackle the challenge of reconciling the very old and the very contemporary.
Apr 20 2005
When Monty Ravenscroft and Clare Loewe began looking for a house to buy in London they soon realised that the only affordable option was to build one themselves. They snapped up a dirt cheap slither of land in Peckham at an auction only to be told it was too small to put a house on. Undeterred, three years ago, engineering whiz Monty began building an extraordinary experimental bungalow that filled the site to bursting point.
Apr 13 2005

Season 4

12 Episodes

Kevin revisits Tony and Jo, musicians with Scottish Opera, who had long dreamed of a home in the countryside. They found a perfect site on the Clyde estuary in Argyll and Bute. Located in a small village on a hillside, it had glorious views as far as the isle of Arran and was less than an hour's drive from Glasgow. Inspired by local oak-framed barns, they gave architect Andy McAvoy an open brief. In return, he gave them a design that fused medieval and modern and promised a beautifully simple interior. However, the construction was anything but simple...
Apr 25 2007
Kevin revisits David and Greta Iredale, who replaced their original house which they designed and built themselves with a German built, precision engineered Huf Haus.
Mar 12 2008
Anjana and David Devoy started building a contemporary home that curved around a protected chestnut tree in their garden. Kevin McCloud returns to see if their plan worked.
Nov 23 2005
Louise and Milko wanted to build the home of a lifetime. Milko's job as a well-paid City banker meant they could think big, so Louise set up her own architectural practice and they bought a disused violin factory in the heart of London's Waterloo. The crumbling building was hemmed in on all sides and had no views, but Louise had a vision of a spectacular loft-style home that would combine stunning design with utter luxury
Oct 13 2005
Kevin returns to see whether the couple's solo attempts to transform a wreck of an old stone building in Leith, with no previous building experience, has been successful.
Apr 06 2005
Amid 55 acres of organic farmland in the New Forest, Lizzie and Mike set out to build an idiosyncratic home. They wanted a house that would reflect their love of travel and eastern cultures, yet blend into the very English countryside around them. Their first proposal, for a wooden Japanese house, was refused planning permission, but after three years of adapting their ideas with architect David Underhill, they were finally ready to build. Their ingenious design was in three sections: a living wing, a bedroom wing and a romantic tower.
Feb 04 2004
Tony and Jo, musicians with Scottish Opera, had long dreamed of a home in the countryside. They found a perfect site on the Clyde estuary in Argyll and Bute. Located in a small village on a hillside, it had glorious views as far as the isle of Arran and was less than an hour's drive from Glasgow. Inspired by local oak-framed barns, they gave architect Andy McAvoy an open brief. In return, he gave them a design that fused medieval and modern and promised a beautifully simple interior. However, the construction was anything but simple...
Mar 10 2004
Tom and Darron wanted to build a house that would be home to them, their art collection and their two large dogs. Darron's passion for surfing meant it would also have to be near a beach. They already shared a timber beach house in a hamlet on the Sussex coast, and when a neighbour's bungalow came up for sale, they decided to buy it, demolish it and build a dazzling white modernist house in its place.
Mar 03 2004
David and Anjana's tiny coach house was proving too small for them and their two children. So they decided to build a new house in their own garden, which was big by London standards. But this particular grassy plot came with problems. It was overlooked by huge blocks of flats, and in the middle of it stood a chestnut tree they weren't allowed to cut down. They came up with an inspired solution: they would build a curving house along the borders of their plot. What's more, they would do a lot of the work themselves.
Feb 25 2004
When Reuben and April came across a ruined 19th-century house amid the tower blocks of Leith, Edinburgh, they saw it as their future home. They had no clear idea of how to restore it, and precious little building experience. Still, they were young and fit (they had met on Reuben's climbing wall) and they liked a challenge. So they bought the crumbling shell and set about transforming it with their own hands.
Feb 18 2004
David and Greta loved their home, a modernist structure in Surrey that they had built themselves almost 40 years ago. It was filled with things they'd chosen over the years – design classics, mementoes, David's paintings. But that house was falling apart and had to come down. Meanwhile, they had lost their hearts to a German post-and-beam house, designed by architect Peter Huf and available as a customised kit.
Jan 28 2004
Louise and Milko wanted to build the home of a lifetime. Milko's job as a well-paid City banker meant they could think big, so Louise set up her own architectural practice and they bought a disused violin factory in the heart of London's Waterloo. The crumbling building was hemmed in on all sides and had no views, but Louise had a vision of a spectacular loft-style home that would combine stunning design with utter luxury
Jan 21 2004

Season 3

15 Episodes

Kevin returns again to see how Ben Law's woodsman's cottage has changed.
Apr 29 2009
Five years on, Kevin McCloud goes back to the wilds of Cumbria to see how the Reddy family have adapted to their ecologically sound earth-sheltered home.
Mar 26 2008
Kevin McCloud revisits Philip Trail and his wife Angela who moved to stress-free Surrey and renovated a 150-year-old threshing barn after Philip was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Mar 19 2008
Kevin McCloud drops in at John and Terri Westlake's self-built, contemporary wooden home, which has a wall made entirely of glass and great views across open countryside near Peterborough.
Mar 05 2008
Kevin returns to see how Ben Law's woodsman's cottage has changed. The house has bedded down into its landscaped kitchen garden and his life has changed in unexpected ways.
Oct 26 2005
Kevin McCloud takes a trip back to the home of John and Eleni Flood who completely gutted their Victorian terraced house to create an open, light and modern space.
May 04 2005
Tom and Judy wanted more than just a home for themselves and their two children. On a site of outstanding natural beauty in Buckinghamshire, they set out to build an ambitious house - a symphony of angles, glass walls and exposed steel, with a dramatic inverted roof. Tom made himself site manager and main contractor. He had no experience but he liked a challenge - and, after all, how difficult could it be?
Feb 04 2004
Merry's family have been Herefordshire builders for generations, so she knew that the county was rich in traditional building crafts. She and Ben decided to combine these with technology for a new house with a genuinely rural feel. Her father drew up a design that followed the traditional cottage layout while incorporating modern comforts.
Oct 01 2003
The old quarry stood on a slope of the Eden valley and commanded beautiful views. Local architect John Bodger designed a two-storey house that burrowed backwards into the rock and made maximum use of natural resources for light, warmth and power
Sep 24 2003
After 10 years of living in a small house in east London, John and Eleni hankered after modern, open-plan living. They didn't want to move, so they decided to give their Victorian terrace home a radical redesign. The house was in a conservation area, so the outside had to remain unchanged. Inside, however, they decided to rip out everything including walls, ceilings, floors and start again.
Sep 17 2003
Tom and Judy wanted more than just a home for themselves and their two children. On a site of outstanding natural beauty in Buckinghamshire, they set out to build an ambitious house - a symphony of angles, glass walls and exposed steel, with a dramatic inverted roof. Tom made himself site manager and main contractor. He had no experience but he liked a challenge - and, after all, how difficult could it be?
Mar 12 2003
For Philip and Angela, the build was part of a life change that had begun two years earlier. Just after their second daughter was born, Philip fell seriously ill, prompting the family to leave London and move back to his parents' village. Acquiring the site was easy, as Philip's parents owned it. Getting planning permission took longer, and a crucial factor in their success was that they would be restoring the outside of the barn and keeping the innovation hidden
Mar 05 2003
For 10 years, Ben lived in tents and caravans in a wood in West Sussex. As a woodsman, he needed and wanted to live among the trees. But after a battle with planning he finally got permission to build himself a house with more creature comforts. He invited volunteers to help him build one by hand, from the materials growing around him.
Feb 26 2003
The 1930s derelict water-works Chris and Leanne fell in love with was huge and its design had clearly been inspired by Gilbert Scott's Bankside power station, now better known as the Tate Modern. But nothing would deter the couple. 'We looked at it,' said Chris, 'and saw our home.'
Feb 19 2003
'Is it a bold contemporary design or a garden shed?' John and Terri found themselves asking, halfway into their build. They had knocked down a derelict house in a beautiful rural setting and commissioned commercial architects to build them a new one. But was it too small for them, their young son and the baby on the way?
Feb 12 2003

Season 2

12 Episodes

Kevin McCloud returns to the Lambourn Valley to meet a couple who took three years to finish building their home on the Berkshire Downs.
Oct 08 2003
Sue and Martin took a holistic approach when they converted a pair of Devon barns into a family home. They believed that the house should look like a natural part of the landscape. So they built it using environmentally sustainable techniques and allowed much of its design to evolve during the build. The oldest barn, dating from the 1600s, was built from stone and cob - a straw-and-mud mixture characteristic of Devon - while the newer, 19th-century barn was totally of stone. The older barn would have a thatched roof, the newer barn slates. A south-facing sitting room would overlook a double-height glass atrium, which would become an indoor garden, filled with citrus trees. Four bedrooms and a study would go upstairs.
Oct 01 2002
Kevin McCloud re-visits Adrian and Corrina, who decided their first home was to be a 300-year-old ruin. The former cottage is set in the inhospitable climate of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
Sep 10 2002
Kevin McCloud revisits an innovative housing scheme in Birmingham. Just over two years ago a group of 11 men and women agreed to build, not just their own, but each other's homes.
Nov 29 2001
Sue and Martin took a holistic approach when they converted a pair of Devon barns into a family home. They believed that the house should look like a natural part of the landscape. So they built it using environmentally sustainable techniques and allowed much of its design to evolve during the build. The oldest barn, dating from the 1600s, was built from stone and cob - a straw-and-mud mixture characteristic of Devon - while the newer, 19th-century barn was totally of stone. The older barn would have a thatched roof, the newer barn slates. A south-facing sitting room would overlook a double-height glass atrium, which would become an indoor garden, filled with citrus trees. Four bedrooms and a study would go upstairs.
Sep 04 2001
Sarah, a maker of modern jewellery, and Coneyl, a freelance photographer, wanted a modern home from which they could both work. But they also wanted a uniquely personal house. So they commissioned architect Mike Tonkin to come up with a radical design for their long, thin site in a north London residential street.
Aug 01 2001
In May 1999, 11 people in Bordesley, West Birmingham, set out to build their own homes. Few of them had any professional experience in construction. For the previous two years, the Accord Housing Association had been training them in the skills they would need. Now they were to put them to the test. Angela, who worked for Accord, would be the project co-ordinator. Peter, a builder with 20 years' experience, would be site manager, overseeing the work. The group members; Calvin (who was appointed leader), Paul, Carol, Mr Azad, Petrona, Tab, Gerald, Paul, Yasser, Richard, Bash - had not known each other when they signed up, having been attracted to the project through advertising and word of mouth
Aug 21 2001
When Rupert and Julie bought a hilltop site in the Berkshire Downs, they were determined to build a house that would make the most of the countryside and stunning views. They turned to architecture firm Roderick James, which specialises in modern design and traditional timber craftsmanship. Together with architect Hugh McGann, they came up with a house of green oak and glass, built in an unusual cruciform (cross) shape.
Aug 14 2001
An isolated hilltop in the Brecon Beacons might seem an inhospitable place for a couple's first home. But Adrian and Corinna both grew up in the area, and the ruined farmhouse they chose to restore had been in Adrian's family for generations. The site's lack of mains water and electricity gave them no qualms. True, the track up the hill was often inaccessible in winter. But the landscape was beautiful and they both felt they belonged there
Aug 07 2001
A derelict woollen mill in a Yorkshire village may not say 'modernist' to everyone. But Chris and Gill - who, fortunately, run their own specialist joinery business - saw it as the perfect opportunity to create a visionary home. They liked the traditional brick of the building and opted to keep the exterior virtually untouched. Inside, they would strip everything out and make a home of fluid spaces, based around an open-plan ground floor, an atrium and a galleried upper floor.
Jul 31 2001
With a plot of land in Sussex overlooking the South Downs, newly-weds Jane and Willem wanted a house that would be atmospheric and open to the countryside. Inspired by memories of America, Jane planned a New England-style gabled house with large windows to make the most of the views.
Jul 24 2001
Helen and Mark had always dreamed of owning a Georgian house but knew they couldn't afford the genuine article. So they decided to build their own. They bought a large plot of land in Surrey, surrounded by trees, and commissioned an architect who specialised in conservation architecture to design it.
Jul 17 2001

Season 1

17 Episodes

Kevin saw a ground-breaking co-operative of ten families built their own homes on the edge of Brighton. They where known as 'The Hedgehogs' and were made up of former travellers and those living in insecure accommodation. Kevin catches up with the community over ten years on.
Dec 05 2012
Kevin is in Amersham for a second update on a project taken on by Deborah and architect Andrew. Their venture involved designing an 'invisible' house that blended in with the surrounding reservoirs.
Dec 08 2010
Kevin McCloud revisits retired couple Denys and Marjorie Randolph, who decided to embark on their final building project, a brand new green oak barn-style house.
Oct 29 2003
Kevin McCloud revisits the improbable build of two architects who built their central London house out of straw bales, springs, nappy cladding and silver tin.
Oct 15 2003
Kevin is in Amersham to update on a project taken on by Deborah and architect Andrew. Their venture involved designing an 'invisible' house that blended in with the surrounding reservoirs.
Sep 24 2002
Kevin McCloud revisits a group of people in a Brighton co-operative who are building their own homes and the homes of their neighbours.
Dec 06 2001
Kevin McCloud revisits Jeremy Till and Sarah Wigglesworth in Islington, London. Will they have realised their dream of using straw bales in the construction of their house?
Nov 22 2001
Kevin McCloud travels to Suffolk to revisit a couple who dreamed of building a 100% environmentally friendly house. How far have they managed to stick to their green ideals?
Nov 15 2001
Kevin McCloud travels back to Doncaster to catch up with self-builders Michael Hird and Lindsay Harwood and their futuristic glass and steel house in a suburb of Doncaster.
Nov 08 2001
Kevin McCloud travels to Doncaster where Michael Hird and Lindsay Harwood are building a futuristic glass and steel house in a suburb of Doncaster.
Jun 24 1999
Kevin McCloud is in lslington where Jeremy Till and Sarah Wigglesworth have come up with a highly experimental design for a home/office.
Jun 17 1999
Kevin McCloud travels to Cornwall to visit Gavin Allen and Jane Fitzsimons, who are trying to convert a chapel into a home and a teleworking office for Jane.
Jun 10 1999
A Suffolk couple plan an environmentally friendly house with solar heating, grey water systems and reclaimed materials.
Jun 03 1999
Kevin McCloud travels to Amersham, where a couple plan to design an 'invisible' house, blending in with the earth banks of the surrounding reservoirs.
May 20 1999
This project was a co-operative venture - 10 young families each put in 30 hours of construction work per week. Kevin travels to Brighton to meet a co-operative of ten young families, including ex-travellers and single parents, who are building both their own and each others homes. A housing association bought the land from the council for £58,000. Paul then worked with the association to put the co-operative together. All the members were people on the council's housing list.
May 13 1999
Kevin travels to Oxfordshire to meet the Randolphs, who built their first house 10 years ago and now, in their 70s, have decided to do it all again!
May 06 1999
A couple in Newhaven face a race against time as they build their dream home on windswept cliff-top site in time for the birth of their baby.
Apr 29 1999