Home Improvements

by Hannah Fenton

November 22, 2017

Peter Womersley Modernist house, Valley Spring

Built in the Sixties and nestled in a wooden dell, Valley Spring is a Modernist masterpiece with the majority of its original features intact. South…

This new-series Grand Designs TV house is testament to one couple’s commitment to see a tricky build through to completion

Timber Clad TV House Grand Designs

Expats Jon and Gill Flewers had a long-standing dream of building their own home. In 2013 the couple returned to the UK from New Zealand with their three sons and embarked on the build phase of their low-energy home with five bedrooms and an open-plan living space. Builders were unwilling to work on the sloping site in Malvern, Worcestershire, as it would involve major excavations. The architect devised alternative plans in which the property moved forward by six metres, reducing the amount of excavation needed. ‘We went from
 a building that was four-storeys to one that was three,’ explains Jon.’

Timber Clad TV House Grand Designs 2

The timber-clad house is upside down, with sleeping quarters on the first floor and communal living areas on the top floor. It’s constructed with cost-effective and energy-efficient Insulating Concrete Formwork (ICF) and finding structural engineers and builders familiar with ICF further held up the progress of the build. Despite all the problems, quitting was never an option for the couple. ‘Once you’ve committed and said you can make it work, you have to see it through. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t days when I didn’t think, why on earth are we doing this?’ says Jon.

Timber Clad TV House Grand Designs 3

For more details on this Grand Designs exclusive TV house and other inspiring self-build projects, pick up the October issue of Grand Designs magazine on sale September 13.

Timber Clad TV House Grand Designs 4

Kevin McCloud on how our homes give us the chance to reflect and have new experiences

Our editor-at-large ponders how our homes can give us a chance to reflect and have new experiences.
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Grand Designs TV Houses

TV house secrets: converted run-down yard to industrial-style home

Tracy and Steve Fox turned a run-down yard in London into an innovative industrial-style home. We ask Tracy how they’re getting on three years later
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Grand Designs TV Houses

TV House exclusive: Transformed Seventies bungalow on the Isle of Wight

Architectural designer Lincoln Miles, who transformed a Seventies bungalow on the Isle of Wight, has now created aseries of innovative dwellings on the island.
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Grand Designs TV Houses

TV house secrets: self build mews house in London

Building a colourful mews house before gaining planning permission was a risk for architect Ian Hogarth. Is he still a fan of the striking style?...
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Grand Designs TV Houses

TV house exclusive Upside-down cedar-clad eco home

Idyllic plot, check. Innovative design, check. Super-eco credentials, check. Natasha Cargill’s Norfolk home from the recent TV series ticked all the right boxes… just
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Grand Designs TV Houses

Grand Designs Australia TV house Sri Lanka-inspired family-friendly home

This striking Grand Designs Australia build combines concrete finishes with the architectural inspiration of Sri Lanka to create a family-friendly home.
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Grand Designs TV Houses

Grand Designs water tower conversion in London

An ambitious Grand Designs water tower conversion based in London had two new-build extensions included in the renovation.