Designer and writer Kevin McCloud follows the structural, financial and emotional journey, as well as the triumph and frustrations of each build over many months.
Architectural designer Lincoln Miles and his wife, artist Lisa Traxler, want to build their own home on the Isle of Wight, but good land is hard to find. They come up with an increasingly popular solution, bungalow gobbling – find a bungalow on a prime piece of land, in this case, surrounded by unspoilt ancient woodland, and upscale it to suit your needs, which for an artist and architect, are highly creative.
Helen and Chris, both architects, decide to move out of London to build their own home in the middle of the Cotswolds countryside. They managed it through a little used planning law.This allows houses of exemplary architectural merit to be built in green belt.
When Jonathan Belsey’s marriage ended, he left the family home and bought a plot of land just down the road on a mission to build a house that would be exciting to look at, cheap to run, and ecologically sound. He’s a scientist after all, and this will be the great experiment he’s dreamt of.
3 years ago Simon Bennett and his wife Jill gave up a life abroad to return to Simon’s home county of Suffolk. They bought two timber framed barns ripe for conversion, but barely was the ink dry before they discovered one wasn’t quite what it seemed. The smaller building they’d taken to be a dilapidated cowshed turned out to be one of the smallest surviving medieval Guildhalls in the country, and of national importance.
Tired of living in draughty Victorian houses in the city, Lucie Fairweather and Nat McBride return to their home town of Woodbridge, Suffolk, to build a brand new home for their young family.
Getting on the housing ladder is challenging enough for anyone in today’s belt-tightening times. But when thirty year old interior designer Kathryn Tyler wants her first home, she uses her skills to give her the leg up the ladder she needs by designing and building one herself.
Despite having no architectural training, Alan Dawson, a former blacksmith has invented his own revolutionary way of building a house. Like a giant mechano set, he’s going to make it in pieces in his workshop – with wiring, lighting, plumbing, and even carpets built into the sections which are then taken to site by lorry. Within 7 days the house will be up, a few weeks later, he’ll be ready to move his family in – or so he hopes.
When Robert and Milla Gaukroger find a plot overlooking Lake Windermere in the Lake District National Park, they think they’ve hit gold. The site already has a rather ugly 1980s house on the site, but rather than knock it down, Robert plans to incorporate this into a new design which will quadruple its size. Three large linked extensions will be added, and to cap it, an enormous and very complicated domed grass covered roof will be constructed over the whole house.