About the Show
Presenter Kevin McCloud follows some of Britain's most ambitious self-building projects, as intrepid individuals attempt to design and construct the home of their dreams
Woodbridge Revisit, 2013
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.
Malaga Revisit, 2013
Kevin catches up with the story of a daring modernist home in the Andalucian hills in southern Spain..
Ten years ago Gil and Hillary Briffa decided to retire to southern Spain. Rejecting the coastal sprawl around Malaga they found a virgin plot of land up in the Andalucian hills for just £35,000.
But instead of building a home like the traditional old fincas nearby, their architect son's design was a confrontational, modernist glass box, surrounded by boldly coloured connected rooms, hidden behind a giant citadel wall.
Construction proved stressful. The couple put all their trust in a local Spanish builder who had never built a house like this before. The local residents didn't like it and the mayor tried to get it re-painted white. But if they could just finish the build, it promised to be the coolest retirement home Kevin McCloud has ever seen.
Sadly, Gil died a few years ago, but now Kevin returns to meet with Hillary again and to see whether or not their building has settled into its landscape, whether it's still multi-coloured, and to find out just how life is for her as a British widow living up in the Andalucian hills.
Confirmed city dwellers Michael and Phil have moved to the country to run a farm, start a micro brewery and create 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.
East Devon, 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.
South London, 2013
A young couple want to 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 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 such as 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.
Tamayo Hussey has 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.
South Lanarkshire 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.
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 landmine. 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 Jon's wife Becky discovers she is pregnant.
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?
North London 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 10 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.
South Yorkshire, 2013
Gwyn and Kate were desperate for more space for their growing family and had set on building a traditional new house for themselves. But their plans changed when they fell for a decaying classic 1920s cinema in the heart of their home town of Thorne in South Yorkshire.
With little knowledge of either restoration or building, they boldly set about renovating and extending this wreck to make a family home. Their ideas about having a conventional place to live are thrust aside by their old school-friend, an architect who convinces them to use concrete - and masses of it - to turn their dilapidated building into an unlikely homage to modernism.
Behind the beautifully restored 1920s façade, brutal concrete walls emerge, as well as massive expanses of glass. Gwyn hopes some of it will go towards realising his ambitious idea for a hydraulic glass wall that opens up one side of the house to form an impressive UV-filtered canopy. There are also plans for a white roof extension that resembles a diving board.
This stark design concept is totally alien to Gwyn and Kate who have been forced to take an almighty leap of faith to believe that all this concrete will make for a good home. Plus - the restoration of this landmark building might just help kick start the regeneration of this historic town.
Kevin McCloud recalls the astonishing achievements of Ben Law, a woodman who spent ten years living in a caravan in a west Sussex forest while waiting for planning permission to begin work on a self-sufficient, handmade, cruck-framed wooden house.
Kevin returns to the story of Monty Ravenscroft and Clare Loewe, who couldn't afford to buy a house in London, so they decided to build one on a small sliver of land in Peckham, in the south of the capital.
Monty envisaged an extraordinary experimental house, complete with sliding glass roof lights and mezzanine bedroom pods, bringing a slice of space-age design to the area.
Kevin returns to the story of Francis Shaw, who bought a crumbling 15th-century peel tower in North Yorkshire that was on English Heritage's Buildings at Risk Register, He had no idea what he was letting himself and his family in for.
It took months of wrangling with red tape before Francis finally got permission to start work on the castle. But then, with the rubble barely cleared, one of its enormous 700-year-old walls collapsed, giving an inkling of just how much a labour of love this project was going to be.
Kevin McCloud recalls how the spiralling cost of restoring the castle meant the reality of the project was nothing like Francis's dream.
Revisit: Brighton, 2012
Kevin revisits Brighton, a pioneering build from the first ever series of Grand Designs, and finds himself genuinely inspired.
In the last century, on the first ever series of Grand Designs, a younger Kevin McCloud watched as a groundbreaking co-operative of 10 families built their own homes on the edge of Brighton.
'The Hedgehogs', as they were known, were made up of former travellers and those living in insecure accommodation. The council bought them land and covered the cost of construction; the deal being that in return for their labour, and lots of it, they would get to live in their self-built homes at reduced rent.
Unpaid, they slogged away for over two years on this pioneering venture, based on revolutionary designs from architect Walter Segal.
A decade later, Kevin returns to see if the houses, and the families that built them, have stood the test of time.
Revisit: Braintree, 2012
Kevin catches up with artists Freddie and Ben and their listed, timber-framed barn in the Essex countryside, to see how they are adjusting to rural life.
Kensington Revisit, 2012
In 2010, Claire Farrow and Ian Hogarth embarked on a wild journey to build the ultimate fun family home right in the heart of London... including a dance floor, DJ booth and sauna.
But the only plot they could find was someone's back garden at the end of a mews, backing onto a railway line. They had to dig down, but angry locals objected, a digger smashed into a neighbour's wall and an old river re-emerged to leave the site resembling a swimming pool.
Kevin McCloud returns to find out whether their multi-storey family fun palace has come to pass.
Revisit: Isle of Wight, 2012
Kevin returns to the Isle of Wight and the conversion of a 70s bungalow amidst unspoilt ancient woodland. Did the rebuild's unconventional techniques and alternative materials work out?
What happens when finding land to build on is impossible, when all the churches and warehouses have already been converted, when all that's left are the higgledy piggledy ramshackle spaces between other buildings?
Architect Henning Stummel and his partner Alice Dawson take on an awkward, jagged covered space, trapped between buildings in the crowded heart of north London.
The ambitious plan is to convert a dilapidated old joinery workshop into a contemporary family home and office for Henning's practice.
But as the schedule falls behind, with it being a struggle to get anything to fit properly in this random, wonky space, it seems like the build just might get the better of them.
West London, 2012
Audrey and Jeff Lovelock are desperate to live in one of west London's most exclusive areas - but the only way they can afford it is to go underground.
Their plan is to transform a listed Edwardian artists studio, along with 5000 square feet of derelict basement rooms below, into a bespoke, subterranean home, including a supersize kitchen dining area, a new mezzanine sitting room, four en-suite bedrooms, a gym, a large cinema room, a steam room and a wine cellar.
But buying this labyrinthine place requires an almighty leap of imagination. With its 13 different levels and 25 interconnecting rooms it's questionable whether it can ever make a desirable home, especially when 90 per cent of the rooms have no natural light.
Despite this almighty task, Audrey not only intends to project manage, but design the whole place herself - without an architect.
Straight away, the difficulties mount up. Whether this giant hole in the ground will be a triumph or a disaster remains in the balance to the last.
Leigh Osborne and Graham Voce want to convert and extend a landmark 150-year-old water tower in central London. Grade II listed, but utterly derelict, with six-foot-thick walls and crowned with a huge steel tank, it's an almighty task.
As if this isn't challenging enough, Graham and Leigh also plan to build two additional contemporary structures at the base: a new lift shaft connected to the tower by a series of glass tunnels, and a modern living space nicknamed the 'Cube'.
Altogether this cluster of buildings will create a four-bedroom luxury home, over nine floors, crowned with a spectacular viewing room offering 360-degree views across London.
But a tight schedule and soaring budget make this a stress-laden build.
River Thames, 2012
Lysette and Nigel Offley's plan to build a dramatic new cutting-edge home by the River Thames proves difficult, costly and not very popular with their neighbours.
Most people would be delighted to live in a charming old boat-house by the Thames, but not Lysette and Nigel. They have decided to knock the whole thing down and start again with a new house that will take inspiration from the river, with waves and curves, and a huge glass porthole of a roof-light.
But just a few weeks into their project, the problems begin. They can't find a contractor willing to tackle the difficulties of building over water; their architect unexpectedly leaves; and the costs come in much higher than anticipated.
Can they still achieve their vision of a building that will change the architectural language of the river forever? And what will the neighbours make of it all?
In Brixton in south London design-mad couple Mary Martin and Carl Turner want to build a home that resembles a giant stack of glass cubes that's a Zen retreat from the noise and chaos of the capital.
Mary and Carl want to build something never seen before amongst Brixton's traditional Victorian terraces. Minimalism-obsessed Mary and her architect partner Carl have spent years renovating their homes to be as simple to live in as possible.
But this project is bigger and more ambitious than anything they've taken on before.
In order to save money, Carl decides he has to take on as many of the specialist build jobs as he can. The results are hair raising as the cranes and steel frames hit the narrow plot.
But Carl's biggest test lies ahead, when it comes to finishing the minimalist interior. The tiniest error in the detailing could ruin all the blood, sweat and tears he's put into building this urban sanctuary.
Ever since she was a teenager, artist Indi Waterstone has dreamed of building a house inspired by nature. Now, along with partner Rebecca, she's going to do just that, in one of the most remote and beautiful landscapes in Britain - the Isle of Skye.
The plan is to build something totally different from the traditional white-washed stone buildings that dot the island. Their new home will be an architect-designed miniature jewel.
They've scrimped and saved for years to raise every penny for the build - but making it happen will mean taking on the savage weather, as well as the sceptical locals.
Kevin meets Celia and Diana, who plan a state-of-the-art home that will be the world's first computer-cut house.
University professors Celia and civil partner Diana want a modern home to retire to. Having renovated several older properties, they are now keen to build their home from scratch.
Not content with all the usual hurdles, they've decided to pioneer an entirely new way of building and will construct the world's first computer-cut house.
Celia and Diana are bravely acting as guinea pigs for a team of young industrial designers who came up with the system but have never built a house before.
Nothing these two have ever done can adequately prepare them for what lies ahead.
Southern Ireland, 2012
The new series kicks off with a Grand Design on an epic scale, with the story of one man's heroic attempt to fulfil his childhood dream and bring back from the ruins an incredible castle set in one of the most beautiful landscapes of Ireland.
Actor Sean Simons fell in love with the ruins of Cloontykilla Castle when he played there as a boy. Years later he bought it, with the idea of turning it into a spectacular, theatrical mock 16th-century home, complete with grand baronial hall, luxury bedrooms, sweeping staircases, water spouting gargoyles, Jacuzzis in the battlements and a huge recording studio in the basement.
But would it prove to be a magnificent personal masterpiece, or a garish sub-Disneyesque disaster?
After borrowing an eye-watering 1.2 million Euros, Sean launches into his project just as Ireland plunges into recession. He has a head full of fairy tales, but no help from an architect, and only a few detailed design drawings.
Making things up as you go along is fine if you're building a toy castle, but not when you've got a large team of builders on site, a schedule to hit and the bank looking over your shoulder.
Over two years, rooms are built, then knocked down again. Contractors walk out in frustration. Planning permissions are ignored.
But somehow Sean's vision starts to come alive... just as Ireland collapses into financial meltdown.
Revisit: Headcorn, 2011
There aren't many people who would take on the role of project managing an ambitious, minimalist eco-build with little previous experience. But three years ago, Mimi da Costa did just that, giving herself a deadline of only sixteen weeks and leaving her husband Andre to juggle work and the kids.
Andre and Mimi wanted to give their growing family a sustainable and healthy home in the heart of the Kent countryside. The design of their giant two-storey timber house, heated by state-of-the-art glass panels, looked simple enough and aimed to blend effortlessly into the neighbouring woodlands.
But the devil was in the detail, and Mimi soon found herself surrounded by a dizzying number of sub-contractors and a very complex build that threatened to drag on for months.
Now Kevin returns to find out if Mimi and Andre achieved the house of their dreams. Has their giant wooden box of a building settled into the landscape? And has it given them the healthier, greener lifestyle they were looking for?
Revisit: West Cumbria, 2011
Kevin revisits Alan and Judith, who in 2009 began constructing their prototype prefab home in Cumbria. Was Alan able to create a unique place to live but also save his steel business?
As well as creating a unique place to live, Alan was out to prove that the building system he'd spent 22 years developing actually worked. If he succeeded, the ambition was always to build more of them and save his recession-hit steelwork company.
Alan and Judith thought they could put together the quickest house possible, taking just 15 days from start to finish, and all for £300,000. It was an adventure that saw giant pieces of house driven down country roads, then craned and bolted together onsite.
But with so much attention given to the speed of construction, there was little time to think how the house might be to live in. Has Alan's building system had a life beyond the very bespoke and beautiful home he engineered for himself and his wife?
Revisit: Ashford, 2012
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.
Kevin finds out how life in the tower suits Bruno and Denise. Has the addition of high-level decks made up for the impracticalities of living with all those stairs? And did the overspend force Bruno to keep working?
Revisit: Weald of Kent, 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.
For Richard Hawkes, who designed the house and built it with his wife Sophie, it was not only an attempt to create some gravity-defying architecture, but a chance to try out the latest green technologies and become self-sufficient in energy, perhaps even selling some back to the national grid.
Richard and Sophie left London five years ago to find a more sustainable way to live. Setting up home in a caravan on site, they embarked on an adventure which would see the birth of their first child alongside the emergence of this striking and unique home.
When the arch collapsed during building it looked like their experiment might be one step too far.
Kevin returns to Kent to see how Richard and Sophie are faring and to find out if the house is delivering on its eco promise to generate all its own electricity, and even making them some money. But will the house even still be standing?
Revisit: Lake District, 2010
Kevin revisits Robert and Milla a year after their ambitious Lake District eco home seemed on the verge of disaster.
Running out of money is always a grim prospect for anyone attempting their own Grand Design. Perhaps no one has come closer than Robert and Milla Gaukroger. When Kevin last saw them a year ago, they were camping out in the incomplete shell of their ambitious Lake District home with their two children.
With hundreds of thousands of pounds of work still to do, the bank was threatening to foreclose on the mortgage, and they were in danger of losing everything.
Designer Robert, had poured his heart and soul into this project, turning an ugly 1980s house into a highly experimental, eco home that mirrored the mountains around it with a series of curvy roofs.
Starting out with just £100,000 of the £400,000 budget in place, Robert and Milla gradually sold off their possessions one by one in an increasingly desperate attempt to keep the project going.
The sheer physical effort of building much of the house himself - to save on labour costs - almost put Robert's health at risk. Now, Kevin returns to find out whether Robert and Milla have managed to hold on to, let alone complete, their visionary timber home with its far reaching views of Lake Windermere.
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.
Claire Farrow and her husband Ian Hogarth have always dreamed of building a home large enough for their own dance floor and DJ booth.
That's a tall order in London where plots are scarce. All they can find is a tiny scrap of land carved out of someone's back garden at the end of a mews that only has permission to build a tiny mews house.
Nevertheless, architect Ian specialises in making the most out of small spaces, so they take on the challenge and start to build while, with fingers crossed, they apply for permission to put in a basement and treble the size of the project.
Angry locals begin to object to their plans. The situation isn't helped when their digger smashes into a neighbour's wall. And when the old river re-emerges underneath the basement, the site begins to resemble a swimming pool rather than a house.
With all of these hurdles, will their uber-modern house of fun ever come to life?
Stonemason Adam Purchase and his partner Nicola Brennan have 12 months to convert a silver-mine engine-house in Cornwall into a home, in what soon becomes a race against time.
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.
As Adam begins to painstakingly restore the building stone by stone, he soon finds himself in a race against time. As his 12-month schedule speeds by and the money drains away, Adam and Nicola rely on barter, favours and hard work to try and save this historic monument and transform it into a unique and beautiful home.
This edition follows the extraordinary story of estate manager Ed Waghorn and his wife Rowena, who live a virtually self-sufficient lifestyle with their four children on an eight-acre smallholding in Herefordshire.
Four years ago, Ed set out to build a five-bedroom home for his family almost single-handedly, on a tiny budget of just over £80,000, scraped together from their savings.
Using recycled materials that no one else wanted, wood from the nearby forests and stone from around the site, Ed starts work on the house, the plans for which exist mostly in his head.
Gradually, he begins to sculpt an organic, hobbit-style, timber-framed, curvy house on the hillside. But Ed and Rowena live in a different world to the rest of us, where time moves more slowly and deadlines don't matter.
They are so intent on creating a thing of beauty and quality that they lose sight of their end goal. The house goes up achingly slowly.
And, as the process of building becomes a way of life for Ed, Kevin McCloud can't help wondering whether the children will grow up and leave home before this house is finished.
Artists Freddie Robins and Ben Coode-Adams are leaving their modest urban flat to convert a huge Grade II-listed timber-framed barn in Essex into a live/work space for themselves and their daughter Willa.
The whole design is based around creating a massive free-form contemporary space with very few walls, to display their ever expanding collection of toys and ephemera.
But at seven times the size of an average three-bedroom house, turning this 500-year-old building into any kind of home is a challenge.
As Freddie and Ben grapple with the scale of this project they begin to question whether their quirky ideas are workable.
For this young family, this conversion will transform their lives, but is there such a thing as too much space? And can a cavernous barn like this ever make a cosy and comfortable home?
The old lifeboat station in Tenby was home to the brave souls of the RNLI for over 100 years.
When they moved out, Tim O'Donovan and his wife Philomena saw an opportunity not only to convert it into a unique, contemporary home but also to rescue this historic property for the nation.
But nothing could have prepared Tim and Philomena for the battles they faced to pull the building into shape.
Perched precariously on a steel pier 40 feet above the sea, with no access except across the soft, sandy beach, the lifeboat station was and always will be at the mercy of the sea.
Any deliveries have to be timed to beat the rapid incoming tides that often get the better of Tim's floundering machinery. Then there's the building itself to contend with - a weather worn, rusting and rotten hulk that was never designed to be lived in.
As Tim wages war on the surly structure, it falls to Philomena to transform the interior from what was once little more than a tin shed into a beautiful, modern home with far reaching views of the sea.
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.
Paul and Penny Denby have lived on the same exclusive south London estate for nearly 20 years. They are surrounded by pioneering houses built in the Arts and Crafts style in the 1920s, but they're stuck in a dated 1940s mock Georgian home.
That's about to change, as the couple decide to build a much bigger contemporary mansion. With its stark white render and huge expanses of glass, it aspires to be an exciting and classic piece of modern architecture, as pioneering in its own way as the original houses built on the estate.
But Paul and Penny have hardly even changed the carpets in their old home, let alone built a house before. Over the months, they struggle with the dozens of design decisions they must make. And as the budget escalates, they can't raise the extra £250k they need to finish the house.
Will their grand design turn out to be the architectural masterpiece they're aiming for, or just a monster in suburbia?
Kevin follows the epic story of the longest ever build in Grand Design's history.
Back in 2006 Stefan Lepkowski and Ania Shabowska set out to transform a derelict mill cottage in the beautiful Northumberland countryside into a cutting edge contemporary home.
But this was never going to be a simple build. Their ambitious plans turned out to be three projects rolled into one. First, the restoration of a Georgian cottage, then the reconstruction of an old watermill, and third a dramatic modern steel and glass atrium linking it all together.
On top of all that, Stefan insisted on doing most of the work himself on a totally unrealistic budget of just £250k.
Over the years Stefan stubbornly refuses to accept help, the bank refuse him any more money, and the project turns into a gruelling battle of wills almost grinding to a halt.
Two children and five years later, through sheer determination Stefan and Ania finally complete their Grand Design.
Revisit: Midlothian, 2010
Kevin revisits Pru and Richard Irvine who built a modern house on an old industrial site complete with lime kilns.
When Pru and Richard Irvine came across a plot of land in the middle of the breathtakingly beautiful Midlothian countryside, they seized the opportunity to build on it a bespoke family home. However, the plot, an old industrial site complete with lime kilns, came with a condition. They could only build on it if they become custodians of the kilns, and more importantly, that the house they built blended in to its setting.
Pru and Richard wanted to build an uncompromisingly modern giant of a house. There was a real danger that this building would be a blot on the landscape rather than an enhancement. With Richard grafting hard to pay for the build, it was left to Pru, a cookery writer, to project manage. It was a huge challenge which Pru rose to. The finished house was an impressive piece of architecture but certainly did not blend into the landscape. A year and a half later, Kevin returns to see how this giant of a house is settling in.
Revisit: Amersham Water Tower, 2010
Kevin catches up with one of Grand Design's first ever projects, Andrew Tate and Deborah Mills' 100-foot-tall water tower conversion.
Over ten years ago Andrew Tate and Deborah Mills found a site with a monstrous, dilapidated, water tower on it. Unusually, they saw it as the perfect spot to build a contemporary family home, and convert the old water tower into a seven-storey bedroom wing.
Andrew is a commercial architect and so the modern new build went up in just four months, using fast-track methods alongside unconventional building materials. However, things were not so easy when it came to the three-feet-thick water tower: a doorway they expected to be made in two days, took two weeks.
Kevin went back to see Andrew and Deborah three years after they had moved into their contemporary extension, but they had still made no progress on the water tower, and were living with minimal bedroom space. Now Kevin returns again to see if the water tower conversion has finally happened, and if their dream home has worked out just as they envisaged all that time ago.
Revisit: Lot, 2010
Kevin revisits Mark and Debbie in the Lot region of France.
In 2003 aspiring writer Mark Sampson, his wife Debbie and their daughter Tilly moved to the Lot region of France to build their dream home. Despite a total lack of experience, but driven by strong ecological principles, they decided to take the radical step of constructing it using straw bales.
As if getting to grips with building using alternative green technology wasn't enough, they also had to camp out for a year in a tiny caravan, and work with a French architect with whom they could barely communicate.
Mark and Debbie had hoped that a new house in a more relaxed region of France would mean a fresh start for them, and enhance their chances of being accepted by the locals. But with limited income from Debbie's job and Mark yet to fulfil his ambition of writing a novel, supporting themselves was always going to be tricky.
Seven years after they moved in, Kevin McCloud goes back to see whether their new house has fulfilled its brief and helped them integrate into French life.
Revisit: Belfast, 2010
Kevin catches up with Thomas and Dervla O'Hare who built a spectacular home on a hillside in Belfast.
Six years ago Thomas and Dervla O'Hare set out to build a remarkable split-level home cascading down a practically vertical hillside in Belfast.
No one in their right mind would have built on such a steep slope; but ambitious young architect Thomas believed he could do anything as long as he put his mind to it. He set up a fast track building programme to complete this enormous, contemporary home in record time, with his wife Dervla - who had never built anything before - project managing the whole circus.
As the building reached its final stages, Thomas and Dervla had the opportunity to buy an adjoining garden which could radically change future plans for the house. Now, with all the deals done and new work complete, Kevin returns to see the reshaped house to find out how life has changed in this, one of the biggest Grand Designs of them all.
Revisit: London, 2010
Kevin catches up with master carpenter Bill in south London to see if his dream of a mortgage-free existence has come true.
Four years ago master carpenter Bill Bradley and his wife Sarah built not one but two timber houses in south London on the site of Bill's old wood workshop. Their plan was to sell one off to pay for the other in the hope of living mortgage-free.
But the long narrow site, sandwiched between two rows of houses was far from an easy proposition. To get round the difficulties of the site, Bill and Sarah's houses needed oblique windows, skylights and double-height glazed courtyards to create two beautiful but private homes.
Before long however the budget soared. Now Kevin is on his way back to see if Bill has completed the houses and created his urban oasis.
Revisit: Brittany, 2010
Kevin catches up with Daren and Adi in France, and their extraordinary, earth-sheltered home.
Four years ago Daren Howarth and Adi Nortje moved from Brighton to Brittany to build an earth-sheltered home made almost entirely from recycled materials, and to live the most sustainable lifestyle possible.
Based on ideas pioneered in the 1970s in New Mexico, their main building blocks were old tyres packed with rammed earth. But this very low tech house required lots of low tech energy to build it. To keep costs down Daren and Adi enlisted the help of a bunch of unskilled volunteers to help out, in exchange for teaching them the techniques.
All very admirable, but with the main components of this build being rubbish and mud, the danger was that the project would end up looking like a hobbit house.
Now that the work is finished Kevin returns to see whether their big life experiment has been a success.
Lake District, 2010
Robert and Milla are redeveloping an 80s house overlooking Lake Windermere in the Lake District. But the radical build is risky and their budget very tight.
When Robert and Milla Gaukroger find a plot overlooking Lake Windermere in the Lake District National Park, they reckon 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. Passionate about sustainability, Robert also designs his own system of heating. He builds an enormous spine wall in the building, lined with a latticework of pipes which will carry water heated by solar panels and a wood burning stove. The idea is that it will act like an enormous storage heater, if it works.
But in a build full of risks, the biggest of all is starting with only £100,000 of the £400,000 budget in place. To save money, the family need to move in while the building work goes on around them, and are forced to sell valuable possessions one by one in an increasingly desperate attempt to keep the build going.
West Cumbria, 2010
Kevin meets Alan who has invented his own revolutionay way of making a house where every piece is put together on site in days.
Despite having no architectural training, former blacksmith Alan Dawson has invented his own revolutionary construction method that it is a bit like a giant Meccano set. Alan is going to make the house in pieces in his workshop, with wiring, lighting, plumbing, and even carpets built into the sections which are then to be taken to site by lorry for assembly. Within seven days the house will be up, and a few weeks later he'll be ready to move his family in.
Or so he hopes. But if the house is going to fit together as it should, every bit of it has to be designed and built with perfect precision, and only when it's time for it to be assembled on site will Alan know for sure whether his £300,000 idea works.
Lizard Peninsula, 2010
Interior designer Kathryn Tyler has decided that the best way to get onto the property ladder is to design and build her own house
Kathryn's original plan to use her skills to build her own house on a tight hillside plot in her mum and dad's back garden in Falmouth, were put on hold when her father died. Now Kathryn has revived those plans and designed a Scandinavian-inspired eco house to fit into this extremely limited plot.
Although built from quite conventional materials, the house itself is far from normal. With a white painted brick ground floor, and a lightweight timber frame first floor, this cubist shell provides the interior designer a chance to show off her flair inside, with cleverly designed zones and beautifully displayed vintage Danish furniture.
But with someone so young and inexperienced surely it can't all be plain sailing for Kathryn?
Jonathan and Lindsay want to build a house that's exciting to look at, cheap to run, and ecologically sound. But the build proves to be a battle.
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.
By the time building begins he has met his new partner Lindsay, who he manages to convince to buy into his dream. The house will now be their first home together, with room for their combined family of four daughters.
The design and building is high risk. The mix of untested technology and uncompromising use of materials means a constant battle between comfort and ideology. The house will be carbon neutral, heated only by the sun, with power supplied by a massive wind turbine.
Jonathan and Lindsay's build is a struggle, with technologies that don't work, a design that's uncompromising, and a budget that runs out far too quickly. But with every penny sunk into it, this house has to work.
In Suffolk Simon and Jill hope to restore one of the country's smallest surviving medieval guild halls to its original state.
Three 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 they soon discovered that 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 guild halls in the country, and of national importance.
Now Simon and Jill face two very different challenges, how to convert a single storey sixteenth century barn into a two-storey modern home, and what to do with its neighbour, a unique architectural gem.
Kevin is anxious for Simon to conserve as much of the guild hall's history as possible, including the agricultural additions. Simon, is set on a more radical path, to restore it to its medieval splendour.
Tired of living in draughty Victorian houses in the city, Lucie Fairweather and Nat McBride have returned to their home town of Woodbridge, Suffolk, to build a brand new home for their young family.
What they lack in budget they make up for in ambition, planning a house that will be a stunning piece of architecture as well as a responsible, low impact, ecologically sensitive home. It's a lot to ask, but they have a brilliant architect on board: Jerry Tate was involved in the design of the Eden Project, and this will be his first domestic building.
However, before work even begins, Nat is diagnosed with cancer, and a few months later, he dies.
Eighteen months on, Lucie decides to go ahead and build the house herself. But she has to divide her time between working as a teacher and looking after her two small children, and is forced to cut her budget and some of her eco principals.
But despite the compromises, Lucie is determined to build the home she and Nat had wanted and in the process creates a clever, beautiful, and affordable family home.
Two architects attempt to build England's first accredited passive house, underneath a ruined 300-year-old barn in the Cotswolds countryside.
Helen and Chris Seymour Smith decided to move out of London and build their own home in the middle of the Cotswolds countryside.
Getting planning permission to build in open countryside is nigh on impossible, but Helen and Chris have achieved exactly that. They managed it through a little-used planning law called PP7. This allows houses of exemplary architectural merit to be built on Green Belt land.
And their house is certainly going to be special, because they plan to build it underneath a collapsing, ruined 300-year-old barn, so their home won't actually be visible in the landscape.
It is an extraordinary engineering challenge, which involves building a steel frame around the ancient barn while they excavate underneath. Not only that, Helen is determined the house will be the first accredited passive house in England. Built to German Passivhaus eco standards, this home will be airtight and need no heating.
Having promised so much to the planners, Helen and Chris must deliver on one of the most challenging builds ever seen on Grand Designs. But their aspiration for a spartan, industrial interior raises another question, will this extraordinary house ever feel like a home?
Isle of Wight, 2010
Architectural designer Lincoln Miles and his wife, artist Lisa Traxler, take on a very ambitious bungalow conversion on the Isle of Wight.
Lincoln and Lisa want to build their own home. But good land is hard to find, so they turn to an increasingly popular solution called bungalow gobbling - buying a property on a prime piece of land and transforming it.
They hope to turn their stone-clad bungalow into a creative structure that sensitively responds to its unspoilt woodland setting. But the planned extensions are huge, and by using unconventional techniques and materials, no one is quite sure what this building will end up looking like.
Revisit: Sussex, 2009
It took ten years to get permission for Ben Law's self-sufficient woodland cottage. Now that he's built it, using 1,000 year old methods, Kevin McCloud visits to see how things worked out.
Revisit: Killearn, 2009
Kevin McCloud revisits a Scottish loch-side pavilion to see if it delivered its promise for Jim Fairfull: a cure for his stress-related illness and a healthy, tranquil life for his family.
Revisit: Hampshire, 2009
Alex and Cheryl moved to the New Forest to restore a medieval thatched cottage. Kevin McCloud returns to see if, after years of heartache, they are now able to enjoy the good life.
Barry Surtees, who lives in Brighton's most moneyed suburb, decides to build a four storey modern mansion, complete with pool, gym, artist's studio, fantasy bedroom and Japanese roof garden.
Revisit: Cambridgeshire, 2009
Kelly and Masoko Neville built an oak framed, straw baled house in the Cambridgeshire Fens. Kevin McCloud goes to see if they are managing to lead the self-sufficient life they craved.
Kevin McCloud retuns to meet Francis Shaw who has been restoring a 15th century peel tower in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, which has become a real labour of love.
Mimi d'Costa and her husband Andre have moved to the Kent countryside and bought a large plot of land to build a home on it that is functional but that will also blend into the landscape.
Kevin McCloud meets dairy farmer Andrew Ainslie and his artist wife Meryl, who run a gallery on their farm in Wiltshire and want to build a new house at the heart of their farm.
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.
Having already made one programme about amateur self-builder Tom Perry, Kevin McCloud returns to find out the latest about his extraordinary project, now a year behind schedule.
Weald of Kent, 2009
Architect Richard Hawkes and his wife Sophie have plans for the good life in Kent. Their dream house is an ambitious eco project that will give Richard great scope to experiment.
Sarah and Dean Berry escaped their council estate roots in Newport for London, but now they've moved back to Wales and bought an 18th century folly - a castle perched on a hilltop.
Chris, Jo and their two children head for the Chiltern Hills, South Oxfordshire, to build their dream house - a replica of an old watermill, located in West Virginia, that Chris found on a yoghurt pot!
London couple Ian and Sophie Cooper plan to restore a 200-year-old listed industrial building in an area of outstanding natural beauty in Somerset.
Bill and Jean Letley of Maidstone are not only building a new bungalow in their back garden, but also embracing cutting-edge technologies to create a super-efficient, highly contemporary home.
Revisit: Cumbria, 2008
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.
Revisit: Surrey, 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.
Revisit: Walton, 2008
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.
Revisit: Peterborough, 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.
Revisit: Puglia, 2008
Kevin McCloud revisits artists David Westby and Leonie Whitton, who bought a derelict olive farm in Puglia, with plans to transform it into a home and Roman-style guest house.
Bath may be famous for its Georgian architecture, but Tiffany Wood and her husband Jonny have chosen it as the location to build themselves a striking Modernist home.
Pru and Richard Irvine plan to build a bespoke family home in the Midlothian countryside, but the plot of land is an old industrial site with lime kilns and they come with conditions.
Inspired by their love of gothic architecture and horror movies, Jo and Shaun Bennett decide to build an Addams Family-style house in Monmouth, but they soon realise this is a big challenge
Commercial architect Martin Pease embarks on a personal project of building a home in Bristol for his family, with a high concept design that's difficult to pull off.
Kevin McCloud meets a couple building an ultra modern, low maintenance home in the back garden of their elegant Regency house in Cheltenham, despite opposition from the neighbours.
Kevin McCloud meets master carpenter Bill Bradley and his wife Sarah, who are building two high-spec finished timber houses in south London on the site of Bill's old wood workshop.
Revisit: Tuscany, 2007
Kevin McCloud revisits Janne and Howard and their ongoing conversion of a derelict 1,000-year-old castle in Tuscany.
Kelly and Masoko Neville are building not just a spectacular oak frame and straw bale house, but a whole new self-sufficient way of life in the Cambridgeshire Fens.
Revisit: Glasgow, 2007
Kevin McCloud revisits Tony and Jo Moffat in their spectacular avant garde house on the west coast of Scotland.
Revisit: Peckham, 2007
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.
Kevin McCloud meets Andrew and Helen Berry, whose passion for Art Deco has inspired them to try and recreate all the glamour of the 1930s in a 21st century home in Surrey.
Builder Dean Marks and his family always dreamt of converting a church, so when St Martins came on the market, he snapped it up, but converting the enormous church is a massive undertaking
Revisit: Carmarthen, 2007
Kevin McCloud returns to visit Andrew and Lowri Davies and their two boys to see if their environmentally-friendly farmhouse in rural Wales has been the answer to their dreams.
Katrin and James Gray have found a unique plot to build their dream home, a redundant solarium on top of a block of flats on the beach in Bournemouth, but it's not going to be easy.
Chris Miller and his wife Sze Liu Laine are taking on a unique build. They have just £50,000 pounds to build an environmentally-friendly houseboat from a rusting Thames barge.
Cheryl and Alex Reay's medieval thatched cottage in Hampshire burned down and, to make matters worse, their insurance had expired. So they decided to build a spectacular new home.
A heroic battle to save a crumbling, romantic 14th-century castle in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.
Kevin McCloud meets Peter and Christine Benjamin who live in an Edwardian manor house but have decided to downsize and build a smaller home in the grounds.
Revisit: Les Gets, 2006
Kevin McCloud returns to the ski resort of Les Gets in the French Alps where Nicky and James Dobree turned a traditional 300-year-old farmhouse into an exceptionally luxurious chalet.
Revisit: Creuse, 2006
Denise Daniel and Doug Ibbs gave up everything to start a new life in central France. Having fallen in love with a massive, dilapidated manor house, can they convert it into a B&B?
Kevin McCloud meets Denise and Bruno Del Tufo, who have ambitious plans for a concrete water tower sitting in their back garden, with a strict budget of £250,000.
After 20 years travelling, Theo and Elaine Leijser have decided to settle down in the beautiful Campsie Fells in Scotland to build their dream home in six months and on a tight budget.
Kevin McCloud meets Jane and Robert Ellis who are planning a mouth-wateringly contemporary conversion of a 300-year-old barn into a stunning modern home using steel and glass.
Kevin McCloud meets Jim and Simone Fairfull, who are building a spectacular light-filled glass pavilion floating over a private loch in Scotland.
Revisit: Clapham, 2005
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.
Kevin meets Andrew and Lowri Davies who have embarked on a project to build an environmentally-friendly farmhouse in rural Wales.
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.
Thomas and Dervla O'Hare are building a spectacular split-level home cascading down an almost vertical hillside in Belfast. But is their vertiginous grand design a step too far?
Kevin McCloud meets Pat Becker, who lives in a large Georgian house in Devon. But now that her family have flown the nest, she's building a new home at the bottom of the garden.
John Cadney is building an environmentally-friendly, four-bedroom log cabin in Kent. But how will he cope with a house imported from Finland as hundreds of pre-cut bits of wood?
Kevin McCloud follows Jeremy and Louise Brown as they try to bring their Grade II Listed 16th-century Gloucestershire farmhouse into the 21st century.
Kevin McCloud meets Monty Ravenscroft and Clare Loewe, who can't afford to buy a house in London and have decided to build on a dirt-cheap sliver of land in Peckham.
Kevin McCloud meets a couple who have spent 15 years planning their dream home - an exotic and inspired wooden-framed house - but is the New Forest ready for such a Grand Design?
Kevin McCloud follows a couple who have found a plot with a view to die for on the west coast of Scotland. The trouble is, they are not sure what kind of house they want.
Former Pet Shop Boys manager Tom Watkins and his partner Darron have spent years dreaming of building a modernist, Bauhaus-inspired white cube, but will it feel like home?
Kevin McCloud meets Anjana and David Devoy who, having outgrown their tiny Victorian house in Clapham, plan to build a modern, minimalist home in their back garden.
Kevin McCloud meets a couple planning to buy a wreck of an old stone building in Leith, Edinburgh, to turn into their dream home, despite a total lack of building experience.
Kevin McCloud follows a couple who have built houses before, but never on this scale. Their new 'Huf Haus' is designed and made in Germany but delivered for assembly in Surrey.
Kevin McCloud looks at a couple's plans to turn a crumbling, disused violin factory in central London into a Manhattan loft-style living space.
Kevin McCloud travels to Hereford to meet a very young couple who are building their first home, in the centre of an ancient village, surrounded by beautiful medieval cottages.
Kevin McCloud meets keen environmentalists Helen Gould and Phil Reddy, who are building a home in the Cumbrian countryside.
Kevin McCloud joins John and Eleni Flood as they attempt to turn their cluttered and cramped Victorian terraced house in Hackney into a cool, contemporary, light and roomy living space.
Philip and Andrea Traill have ambitious plans for their Grade II Listed Victorian timber-clad barn but their plan to combine traditional and ultra-modern design causes some headaches.
Kevin McCloud follows Ben Law as he attempts to build his dream home: a handmade, cruck-framed wooden house, totally self-sufficient, with no mains services.
Kevin McCloud meets a couple who have their hearts set on converting a disused industrial waterworks in the Chesterfield countryside into their dream home.
Kevin McCloud joins a Peterborough couple as they seek to realise their Grand Design of a very modern home in a traditional woodland setting.
Kevin McCloud visits a couple in Devon who are hoping to convert a traditional barn complete with thatched roof.
Kevin McCloud visits a couple who are looking to build their hi-tech modern house in a quiet north London street.
Kevin McCloud checks out an innovative housing scheme in Birmingham that allows people to build their own homes. The group of 11 men and women will build, not just their own property, but each other's homes as well.
Lambourn Valley, 2001
Kevin McCloud meets a couple who plan a very expensive and very experimental design on a virgin building plot in the Lambourn Valley.
Kevin McCloud travels to Wales to visit a couple who have decided that their first home will be a 300-year-old ruin in the Brecon Beacons.
Kevin McCloud meets Chris and Jill, who have chosen to build their dream home in Huddersfield by converting a deserted textile mill, which they dream of giving a light, modern interior.
Kevin McCloud follows the construction of a New England style-kit house built on the Sussex Downs that was bought and designed entirely on the internet.
Kevin McCloud meets a woman determined to build the house of her dreams, an enormous Georgian-style mansion in Farnham, against all the odds.
Kevin McCloud travels to Doncaster where Michael Hird and Lindsay Harwood are building a futuristic glass and steel house in a suburb of Doncaster.
Kevin McCloud is in lslington where Jeremy Till and Sarah Wigglesworth have come up with a highly experimental design for a home/office.
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.
A Suffolk couple plan an environmentally friendly house with solar heating, grey water systems and reclaimed materials.
Kevin McCloud travels to Amersham, where a couple plan to design an 'invisible' house, blending in with the earth banks of the surrounding reservoirs.
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.
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!
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.
Grand Designs synopsis
Presenter Kevin McCloud follows some of Britain's most ambitious self-building projects, as intrepid individuals attempt to design and construct the home of their dreamsEpisode Guide >
Next on TV
Kevin catches up with the story of a daring modernist home in the Andalucian hills in southern Spain..