At the end of this series of Grand Designs, take a look back over each project from it's starting point to the finished home. 

 grand design converted flour mill before shot

Image: Channel 4

With the 2021 series of Grand Designs drawing to a close, the passionate Grand Designers who showcased their self build stories, during a pandemic, have a lot of which to be proud. 

There's no greater measure of each project's success than reminding yourself where their Grand Designs began - be them renovations of derelict buildings or innovative self build houses - versus the final homes they constructed. 

Take a look at the before and after of each of the five properties featured in the latest series below. 

Cemetery warden's lodge, London 

cemetery house before shot - grand designs

Image: Channel 4

Justin Stuart Maxwell would often pass the once-dilapidated warden's lodge when walking his dog Thunder through his local cemetery, but when hoarding was erected around the sight, his curiousity was piqued as to the fate of the building. 

Finding out it was for sale, Justin took the plunge with ambitious plans to renovate the existing building, as well as a run-down toilet block also included in the plot of land, into a grand home with a basement extension for himself and his young son. 

Watch the episode: South west London, 2021

Grand Designs TV House from 2021 series - converted lodge in a cemetery in South west London

Image: Jefferson Smith

The subsequent build saw costs spiral, making this one of the most expensive projects to ever feature on Grand Designs, and also took much longer than he originally planned. However, the end result speaks of Justin's dedication to faithfully restoring the building while also adapting it for the next incarnation of its use as a home for his family. 

Read more about this Grand Designs project for free in the February issue of Grand Designs magazine.

Converted barn, Sevenoaks

 converted barn sevenoaks before shot - grand designs

Image: Channel 4

Georgie and Greg's Grand Design saw them tackle the conversion of a barn on Georgie's parents' land. However, with a budget of just £250,000 and a planning requirement that the barn structure had to remain standing throughout the build, it was more of a challenge than either of them had imagined. 

Watch the episode: Sevenoaks, 2021

converted barn in sevenoaks before shot -  grand designs

Image: Channel 4

The duo, along with help from a friend, tackled the entirety of the build themselves after discovering how far their budget would have to stretch. This required some adhoc engineering from pub landlord Greg, who only had limited building experience before taking on this project. 

 Grand Designs barn conversion in sevenoaks kent - 2021 tv series homes

Image: Channel 4

While a new roof was fitted with skylights that illuminate the double-height space within, Georgie and Greg stripped and reconditioned the existing wood panelling painstakingly, giving the boards a new lease of life, while also saving money too. 

Read more: Grand Designs TV House 2021: Barn conversion in Sevenoaks, Kent

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Barn self build, South Lincolnshire

dutch barn before plot grand designs 

Image: Channel 4

After failing to find their dream barn conversion project in South Lincolnshire, Nathan and Amye decided to build their own, influenced by the distinctive Dutch barn style which is common to this geographical area.

While they may not have had to compete with renovating a crumbling or rotten structure, the site did have its own challenges. Located on reclaimed marshland, the site is prone to flooding, so the build would have to be designed to withstand rising waters. 

Watch the episode: South Lincolnshire, 2021

 grand designs tv house episode 3 - dutch barn south lincolnshire - tv series 2021

Image: Andy Haslam

Despite the challenges arising during the pandemic in sourcing building materials, the end result is of grand proportions with a striking silhouette that grounds it within the local vernacular, while also having the sense of being distinctly new. 

Read more: Grand Designs TV House 2021: Dutch barn self build in South Lincolnshire

Self heating house, Buckinghamshire

 self heating house - grand designs - before and after

Image: Channel 4

While Andrew and Margretta may have had a fresh plot to build their innovative home on, the design required a lot of earth to be shifted to embed the house into an earth bank to make Andrew's self heating concept a reality. In fact, hundreds of tons of earth were excavated, but none of it left the site – some now covers the roof and the rest was used for landscaping the site.

Watch the episode: Bletchley, 2021

front view of self heating self build in bletchley - grand designs tv house

Image: Jefferson Smith

After the home was built, its turf was replanted on the roof to preserve the site’s biodiversity. Drought tolerant plants line the edges, which are more likely to dry out in the summer

Read more about this Grand Designs project for free in the March issue of Grand Designs magazine.

Converted flour mill, Cornwall

grand designs converted flour mill before shot

Image: Channel 4

Abandoned for over 60 years, this derelict flour mill in Cornwall threw up a few surprises for Leigh and Richard in their quest to give the building a new life. With the construction team unearthing potential issues with the home foundations and the internal support timbers in a greater state of decay than at first imagined, the couple had to make bold decisions in seeing the renovation of this historic building over the finish line as their original budget ebbed away. 

Watch the episode: Liskeard, Cornwall, 2021

Grand Designs tv house 2021 flour mill in cornwall

Image: Channel 4

While the exterior has been faithfully reappointed, employing traditional craftspeople at a cost of £60,000 - nearly a quarter of the budget - the couple were forced to replace the internal timbers with a more affordable German soft wood which, while cheaper, drastically altered the final look of the home's interior. 


For an in depth look at the houses from this series of Grand Designs, read Grand Designs magazine online for free 

read a free issue of grand designs magazine


Grand Designs TV House 2021: Renovated cemetery warden's lodge

Grand Designs TV House 2021: Barn conversion in Sevenoaks, Kent

Grand Designs TV House 2021: Dutch barn self build in South Lincolnshire

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