Building the Dream
About the Show
Architectural designer Charlie Luxton helps people build dream homes that are both amazing and affordable
Series 1 Summary
We all dream of building our own home, but most of us think we'd never be able to afford to do it. However, architectural designer Charlie Luxton is convinced it's possible to build a dream home that won't break the bank.
In Building the Dream, Charlie works with people who want to turn an empty plot of land into their dream home, made to suit their lifestyles, but on a budget they can afford.
Charlie isn't just a casual observer though, as he gets stuck in to try and help people get the very best out of their designs.
He also sends them to meet with others who've already taken the chance and created their own dream homes.
But will these brave first-time builders draw on all this knowledge and advice or will they stick to their original plans, ignore the experts and opt to do it their own way?
Episode 1 - Hertfordshire
Charlie meets Adam and Vicki Nicholl, who plan to self-build a new, barn-style home in the garden of Adam's mum's home.
Vicki is a tax advisor and Adam works in marketing. The 30-somethings have grown tired of life in the city and are planning to move back to the village of Pirton, where they grew up.
Doing the building themselves is the only way they can afford to get the house they want in the village, and they could potentially save around £100,000 by doing it this way.
After having a close look at their plans, Charlie's got some bright ideas, but can he convince Adam and Vicki to alter the designs of their dream home?
Episode 2 - Surrey
Charlie goes messing about on the river with Bill and Angie Jenkins, who plan to knock down their cold, old bungalow on the banks of the Thames and build a new home to match the stunning location.
Bill owns his own software company. Angie is the bursar at a local secondary school. The couple love boating, so the location was already perfect, but their current home isn't economical to run.
They plan to replace it with a more eco-friendly dormer bungalow with huge panoramic windows to enjoy the river views.
Similar homes on this stretch of the Thames are valued at over £1 million. Bill and Angie hope to create their dream home for around £670,000, which means a potential saving of £330,000 by opting to self build.
Charlie has some thoughts on how Bill and Angie could improve their dream home, including re-designing their must-have walk-in wardrobe and a suggestion on how to make their bathrooms more stylish.
And for extra inspiration, Bill and Angie visit another riverside home that's just a short paddle upstream.
Episode 3 - Somerset
Andrew and Vicki Dodden live in the village of Cannington, near Bridgwater, Somerset. The Doddens own a loft conversion company and Andrew wants to build his own eco-home.
The family have found an 18th century cottage intending to drastically renovate and extend it to make it a 21st-century sustainable home. They want a five bedroom home with a large kitchen-diner, and they think they could save almost £150,000 by doing it their way.
Charlie's passionate about sustainable building, but he still thinks Andrew and Vicki's dream home can be improved by tweaking their design.
Episode 4 - West Sussex
Charlie meets Ian and Steph Shaw, who are self-building an oak framed cottage in West Sussex. But is this what Steph really wants?
Ian and Steph plan to build a fabulous family home just outside Horsham in West Sussex. Ian has always wanted to build his own oak framed cottage, but Steph's not so sure, even with the foundations in place.
But by opting to self-build they're hoping to get their perfect home for £100,000 less than it might cost to buy.
Episode 5 - Wales
Josh and Rhian Cooper plan to knock down a 1960s detached house and replace it with a stylish home high on the cliffs overlooking the pretty seaside town of Aberdovey.
With similar homes in the area valued at over £700,000, Josh and Rhian hope to build their dream home for a significant saving of around £60,000.
Charlie thinks he can tweak their plans to make them even better, including changing their master bedroom to make it feel more like a suite rather than a room.
To give them extra inspiration when it comes to interior design, Josh and Rhian visit another coastal home in Fishguard
Episode 6 - Perthshire
Charlie meets Pete and Jen Chumley, who are building a five-bedroom family home in rural Perthshire for themselves and children Niamh and Miles.
Pete was brought up in the country and wants his kids to enjoy the same lifestyle. The couple's dream house would cost £150,000 more than they can afford, so they've opted to build.
Charlie thinks a few simple alterations could save Pete and Jen thousands of pounds and make their home work better. But will they take his advice?
Episode 7 - Cambridgeshire
Charlie heads for Over in Cambridgeshire, where he meets Sally and John Lane, who are planning to save £125k by building a kit house from Germany.
Sally is an educational consultant and John's a teacher. It has always been Sally's dream to build her own home. John's keen to have a house that's energy efficient and doesn't cost a lot to run.
To get a glimpse of a European kit home and some ideas and inspiration, Sally and John visit a similar style property in Hertfordshire.
Episode 8 - Hastings
Charlie meets Liz and Robin Leonard, who plan to build a three bedroom home with views over the Sussex coastline.
Liz is an actress and the design of the new place includes a Gone with the Wind sweeping staircase.
But Robin's a banker and keen on a home that's affordable to build.
By opting to self-build the couple hope to get their dream home for at least £90,000 less than it might cost to buy a similar size property in the area.
Episode 9 - North Somerset
Charlie goes to the West Country to meet Kevin and Liz Davies, who want to build a new family home.
Tired of arguing over what's on TV with their kids, Kevin and Liz are building a five bedroom house that has enough room for everyone, from two separate lounges to a big kitchen diner.
Charlie's got some thoughts on their designs, especially when it comes to their kitchen layout. But will Liz be prepared to lose her sink with a view?
Episode 10 - Warwickshire
Mark and Abigail Smyth want to build a barn-style home and, by choosing to self-build, hope to save around £130,000.
Charlie has several ideas on how Mark and Abi could adapt their plans. As well as Charlie's suggestions, Mark and Abi visit architect Jeremy Spratley, who's converted and extended a similar size barn in Buckinghamshire.
Episode 11 - Yarm
Charlie visits Andy and Mandy Boylett in Yarm, in the north east of England, where the couple are building a huge bungalow, complete with basement and sunken garden, as they pursue the dream of living mortgage free.
If Andy and Mandy can stick to their budget, they could save more than £130,000. But the build soon becomes more disaster zone than dream home, as the couple battle one huge problem after another.
Building the Dream synopsis
Architectural designer Charlie Luxton helps people build dream homes that are both amazing and affordableEpisode Guide >