Kevin McCloud’s dos and don’ts for building a Grand Design

Kevin McCloud highlights his top advice for building your own Grand Designs, and while avoiding the common pitfalls.

By Jenny Mcfarlane | 20 May 2019

Our editor-at-large shares his tips for building the home of your dreams while avoiding the pitfalls that come with creating a Grand Designs inspired house.

kevin mccloud standing in a field at sunrise or sunset for Grand Designs The Street on Channel 4

Image: Channel 4 Publicity

Kevin McCloud rounds up his biggest dos and don’ts for building your own Grand Designs and we reckon you should take his advice.

What you should consider

Plan, Plan, Plan

Spend three years planning your project and putting everything in place in advance, and chances are you’ll be on site for six months. Spend six months planning and chances are you’ll be on site for three years.


Adding a discretionary 20% to your budget is a good way of covering unforeseen costs that almost always crop up.

Professionals are key

They do this for a living, so employ as you can afford, starting with a great project manager and builder, use recommendations, and always check references.

Go Green

The building stage of a house is the best time to start cutting your long-term costs – add insulation, incorporate solar panels, think about the sun in relation to your windows, where will you get the best light? Could adding that sky light cut your electricity bills? Adding a water butt could save on water bills…the possibilities are endless.