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…

These memorable TV houses feature unexpected materials and quirky design ideas

The eagerly anticipated new series of Channel 4’s Grand Designs has just made a welcome return to our screens. During the shows eighteen year run, there have been plenty of amazing self-build projects of different styles and build types to marvel over. Despite the diversity of each unique TV house, they’re all bound by a common driving force – the perseverance and willpower of the self-builders who take a huge leap of faith to see their dream through to reality. Here’s a reminder of some of the most memorable Grand Designs TV houses.  

Fun House Grand Designs

1. House of Fun

  • Series 17, 2016
  • Brick and zinc barn-style extension to a ninteenth-century gamekeeper's lodge
  • The build cost was £880,000
  • It took eighteen months to build
  • The size of the extension is 421sqm (the exisiting cottage is 110sqm

Cave House Conversion Grand Designs

2. Converted Cave Home

  • Series 16, 2015
  • The abandoned dwelling cost just £62,000
  • It cost £100,000 to build
  • It took nine months to build
  • The size of the house is 62sqm

 Shipping Container Conversion Grand Designs

3. Shipping Container House

  • Series 14, 2014
  • The budget was just £130,000
  • Four chipping containers make up the structure
  • It took seven months to build
  • The hom measures a modest 115sqm

 Kevin McClouds Top TV Houses4

4. Water-tower Conversion

  • Series 6, 2006
  • The building went on the market for £380,000
  • The 100ft tower was built in 1877
  • the tower has become something of a tourist attraction
  • The prospect room offers 360 degree views over London taking in The Shard, Big Ben and the London Eye 

 Lifeboat House Grand Designs

5. The Lifeboat Station

  • Series 11 , 2011
  • Kevin McCloud guesstimated that the build cost more than £600,00 alone, but owners Tim and Philomena O'Donovan wouldn't confirm
  • It took seven years just to start building which involved negoations with the Crown Estate to buy a freehold for their strip of the beach
  • The building is Grade II listed
  • The converted home has unimpededed view of the harbour in Tenby, south Wales

Image: Matt Chisnall; Andrew Wall; Aidan Monaghan; Jefferson Smith; Chris Tubbs

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.
how-our-homes-give-us-the-chance-to-reflect-and-have-new-experiences
tv-house-secrets-converted-run-down-yard-to-industrial-style-home
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
tv-house-exclusive-transformed-seventies-bungalow-on-the-isle-of-wight
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.
tv-series-secrets-self-build-mews-house-in-london
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?...
tv-house-exclusive-upside-down-cedar-clad-eco-home
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
grand-designs-australia-tv-house-sri-lanka-inspired-family-friendly-home
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.
grand-designs-water-tower-conversion-london
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.