Building the Dream
About the Show
Architectural designer Charlie Luxton helps people build dream homes that are both amazing and affordable
Series 2 Episode 11: East Sussex
Steve and his partner Hannah are self-building a straw-bale house in a beautiful woodland glade and learning on the job how to keep on top of their tight budget.
It's a real endurance test, as every setback means more time spent living in the damp shack that's already been home for two years.
Series 2 Episode 10: Hull
Charlie helps fellow architect Jamie Ashton and his fiancée Joanne Scurr to self-build the perfect family home in Hull without compromising on design.
The project is not without its problems: it's underfunded from the start and the couple are constantly looking for ways to claw back costs. They also have a wedding to pay for. And as their big day approaches, there are some tough decisions ahead.
Series 2 Episode 9: Herefordshire
Tim and Fliss hope to get on the property ladder by self-building their first home together on a tiny strip of family land, saving £70k. But when Charlie sees the plans he really puts the cat among the pigeons.
Series 2 Episode 8: Norfolk
Gavin Panella and Chantal Schaul are self-building a little bit of continental Europe in the heart of Norfolk. They've opted for a fixed-price kit, but they also want to add plenty of personal touches and the costs soon rack up.
It's going to be one of the most colourful homes that Charlie's ever seen and he has lots of suggestions to help them realise their bright ideas.
Series 2 Episode 7: Devon
Charlie heads to Devon to help glass-blower Siddy Langley self-build a combined home and studio. Soaring energy costs mean Siddy can no longer afford to run her furnaces. Her ingenious solution is to rebuild, and to use the waste energy from the new studio to heat her new three bedroom barn.
Charlie's on hand to offer practical advice and encouragement but there's not much he can do when things start to go seriously wrong: including months of flooding and huge interest payments on a loan.
Series 2 Episode 6: Hampshire
Royal Navy helicopter pilot Chris Bennett and wife Sonya plan on demolishing a rundown bungalow and replacing it with a modern, two-storey home packed full of eco-features.
Chris is project managing the build, but after a smooth take-off they hit some major turbulence.
Series 2 Episode 5: Hertfordshire
Mark and Gillian Webb plan to build a large, modern home in the style of a Georgian rectory in Hertfordshire. When it comes to getting their hands dirty, the couple expect to do little more than make the sandwiches; but when the budget gets stretched, they find themselves a lot more hands on than that.
Series 2 Episode 4: Cheshire
Charlie Luxton looks to help retired couple Steve and Chris Elliot realise their dream of a modern eco-home inspired by the Arts and Craft movement.
DIY enthusiast Steve thinks he can save money by doing a lot of the work himself, but Charlie's worried that he's taking on too much.
Series 2 Episode 3: Gloucestershire
Charlie gets stuck in to an eco-build on the banks of the River Severn. Ele and Steve George could save themselves a cool £50,000 and it should be a fast build - but manufacturing hold-ups and bad weather soon throw things off-course. Then they have the added complication of juggling both a new build and a new baby. To provide a boost, Charlie sends the couple to visit one of Britain's most energy-efficient self-built homes.
Series 2 Episode 2: Buckinghamshire
Charlie meets Mark and Amanda Hepden who are self-building a cottage in Stony Stratford. Amanda is a sales co-ordinator and Mark a carpenter who takes on a lot of the work. If they complete it for £145,000, they could have a £75,000 profit to reinvest.
The plot's tight, as is their budget - and a supplier goes bust leaving them thousands down. As they invest more time and money, Charlie wonders whether they are falling permanently in love with what's supposed to be a halfway home. To prove that big isn't always best, Charlie arranges a visit another tiny house that's perfectly formed.
Series 2 Episode 1: Shropshire
Charlie helps Richard Southgate and his wife Kate as they build a five-bedroom family home in the beautiful, Shropshire countryside. Richard runs a car dealership and the family has been crammed into the flat above the showroom for two years.
They found their dream plot but that was six years ago, and since then they've really lost their way. If all goes well, they could have a £1,000,000 house for under £600,000. But Richard's dream of a basement bat-cave means the couple will need to dig deep in more ways than one.
Series 1 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.
Series 1 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.
Series 1 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?
Series 1 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.
Series 1 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.
Series 1 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?
Series 1 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
Series 1 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.
Series 1 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.
Series 1 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.
Series 1 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?
Building the Dream synopsis
Architectural designer Charlie Luxton helps people build dream homes that are both amazing and affordableEpisode Guide >
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Steve and his partner Hannah are self-building a straw-bale house in a beautiful woodland glade and learning on the job how to keep on top of their tight…