Discover which Grand Designs projects made it on to Kevin McCloud’s top 10 list of all-time favourites TV Houses.

With more than 100 projects to choose from, Grand Design’s editor-at-large Kevin McCloud had a tough job to whittle the TV Houses down to the ones that have really stuck in his memory. There have been some real gems throughout the time that the show has been on air. Despite the variety, each programme has one thing in common – a remarkable story of the sheer determination of self-builders to create a truly unique home for themselves, while overcoming a fair few obstacles along the way. Relive some of Kevin McCloud’s best-loved episodes in this special feature.

Kevin McClouds Top TV Houses

1. Shipping Container House

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

Kevin McClouds Top TV Houses2

2. Straw Bale Eco Home

  • Series one, 1999
  • It cost £600,000 to build
  • The plot cost just £78,000
  • The site was big enough for six houses
  • It took five years to clear the site

 Kevin McClouds Top TV Houses1

3. Ben Law's Wooden House

  • Series three, 2003
  • The build cost £28,000
  • 300 barley bales formed the walls
  • 4.5 million viewers watched the show
  • The project took eight months

 Kevin McClouds Top TV Houses3

4. Monty's Underground Home

  • Series five, 2005
  • It cost £220,000, including the plot
  • The retractable roof measures 10.5sqm
  • Two tree preservation orders were issued
  • Planning permission took two and a half years

 Kevin McClouds Top TV Houses4

5. Twenty-First-Century Chalet

  • Series 10, 2010
  • They bought the plot in 2006
  • Planning permission was granted in 2007
  • The house size was scaled down from 220sqm to190sqm
  • Build costs were slashed from £579,000 to £220,000

 Kevin McClouds Top TV Houses5

6. Kent Water Tower

  • Series six, 2006
  • The water tower was originally built in 1915
  • The project took just over a year to complete
  • It’s almost 50sqm bigger than the average UK new-build
  • Costs escalated by £50,000

 Kevin McClouds Top TV Houses6

7. Isle of Wight House

  • Series 10, 2010
  • The owners transformed a Seventies bungalow
  • It’s located five minutes from the beach
  • 214sqm were added to the existing 84sqm footprint
  • The couple had a modest £200,000 budget

 Kevin McClouds Top TV Houses7

8. Arched Eco Home

  • Series nine, 2009
  • The arched frame was inspired by a fourteenth-century technique
  • It’s constructed from 26,000 handmade tiles
  • The triple-glazed argon-filled windows cost £43,000
  • 10 tons of newspaper was used as insulation

 Kevin McClouds Top TV Houses8

9. Isle of Skye House

  • Series 12, 2012
  • At only 90sqm it’s a modest home
  • The owners saved for ten years to fund the build
  • Completion took just nine month
  • Energy bills cost them only £50 per year

 Kevin McClouds Top TV Houses9

10. Artists' Barn Conversion

  • Series 11, 2011
  • The barn dates from around 1560
  • It’s eight and a half metres tall
  • The house measures a huge 690sqm
  • The owners saved £500,000 on the surveyor’s quote of £1.3million

Image: Aidan Monaghan; Stephen Morley; Jefferson Smith; Jake Curtis; Thearle Photography; Edina van der Wyck; Elizabeth Zeschin; Douglas Gibb; Rachael Smith

Kevin McCloud on Britain's best restoration projects

Our editor-at-large steps back in time to visit a collection of amazing restoration projects.
kevin-mccloud-on-britain-s-best-restoration-projects
kevin-mccloud-talks-housing-markets
Kevin McCloud

Kevin McCloud talks housing markets

Our editor-at-large, Kevin McCloud talks housing markets and compares the inflated UK with affordable Australia.
kevin-mccloud-talks-game-of-thrones-in-belfast
Kevin McCloud

Kevin McCloud: talks Game of Thrones in Belfast

Our editor-at-large on filming the new series of Grand Designs and encounters with Game of Thrones fans in Belfast.
kevin-mccloud-looks-at-different-trends-in-design-and-architecture
Kevin McCloud

Kevin McCloud: Looks at different trends in design and architecture

Kevin McCloud takes a look at the materials for different designs and trends used with modern architecture.
kevin-mccloud-the-new-act-that-aims-to-revive-self-builds
Kevin McCloud

Kevin McCloud: The new act that aims to revive self-builds

Read about the death of self-build in the face of past legislation and how a new act aims to revive it.
kevin-mccloud-solving-the-national-housing-crisis
Kevin McCloud

Kevin McCloud: Solving the national housing crisis

Kevin McCloud explains why sustainable and affordable houses will be important in solving the national housing crisis.
kevin-mccloud-sustainable-timber
Kevin McCloud

Kevin McCloud: Sustainable timber

Kevin McCloud discusses his favourite house from Escape to the Wild and talks of sustainable timber.