Ugly House (last night, Croydon)

(30 Posts)
specialsubject Fri 25-Mar-16 12:22:21

ok, so please can someone explain for the designer-ignorant:

1) why an architect can't stick to a budget, even when working for free
2) how you clean big panes of glass set in the ceiling, given you are in a city where the rain won't be sparkling
3) why you fill an enormous kitchen with a giant island
4) where you keep things in bedrooms with almost no storage, however minimalist you are
5) why you have a big white concrete panel next to the front door
6) and why such a big house has such a narrow staircase?

I wondered why they hadn't removed the ghastly dormer in the roof. Then I discovered that it had just been put in!!

HopeClearwater Fri 25-Mar-16 13:30:11

I'm glad someone has brought this up!

The vast amounts of glass they use and therefore how to clean it has always puzzled me. Don't they have pigeon shit in their part of the country? On an earlier episode, some light-sabre light bulbs were installed high in a double-height ceiling and I just though, well, those bulbs are going to be a bastard to change, aren't they? And I've never seen them in Tesco's lightbulb section.

DaftLemon Fri 25-Mar-16 13:32:06

No mention 9f any additional bathroom too. So for 200k plus the original house vslue I guess they are all sharing one bathroom/loo. I'm just surprised an extra loo wasn't slotted in somewhere.

wonkylegs Fri 25-Mar-16 13:41:07

Architects can stick to a budget - I do regularly and have even been known to bring in projects under budget and know many friends and colleagues who can do the same we also produce work that is practical, workable and livable, it's how we get repeat clients and make a living however none of us are TV architects.... They are a special breed... George has been a TV architect a long time now.

specialsubject Fri 25-Mar-16 13:55:02

the architect was a woman, she seemed to be the one drawing up all the plans. The presenter just smiled and agreed.

recognising it is just telly, but the place is a total disaster. No wonder the neighbours were fed up. And about an 80% cost over-run. Well, you get what you pay for, so they say!

with the country filled with eco-hostile, ugly disasters (the London skyscrapers, the Birmingham library and so on) architects are getting a bad name. This programme probably doesn't help. Twitter was having a field day although several of the tweets seem to have vanished.

wonkylegs Fri 25-Mar-16 14:35:30

Architects have had a bad name for a long time (I wrote one of my dissertations on the subject at uni years ago) but many of us plod on. It's my pet hate of the profession, however there are lots of good examples of work out there they just get drowned out by the bad which tend to get the most press and the mediocre which tend to be the developers favourite style (cheap and easy).
The RIBA and AJ awards especially the regional and small projects awards can show some nice examples of good work, if you are interested.

specialsubject Fri 25-Mar-16 14:41:12

thank you - will have a look.

Cel982 Fri 25-Mar-16 14:58:33

I like the show, but the constant blowing of the budget is really irritating.

I wonder if the clients are told to under-report how much they really have to spend, so that we can have the 'drama' hmm of "Will they have to go into major debt to afford their extension?!" If that's the case, then it's just irresponsible TV. If the architects concerned are genuinely designing things that are well beyond the budget of the clients, and encouraging them to spend far more than they can afford, then it's incredibly irresponsible business practice, and is really bringing the profession into disrepute.

MsAlbertine Fri 25-Mar-16 16:17:23

Liked the old guy neighbour - who quite rightly advised they had spent too much as it was at the end of the day an ex council house.

(Nothing against council houses BTW but he had a point)

TheRattleBag Fri 25-Mar-16 16:18:28

The budget overrun on every programme of this sort irritates me every time.

"Oh our budget was £50k but it ended up costing £90k."

Just where do these people dredge up the extra money? It's not something you'd find down the back of a sofa - it's as much as another mortgage sometimes!

absolutelynotfabulous Fri 25-Mar-16 16:20:53

I didn't see last night's, but Ugly House annoys me too. Yrs, to the glass, and the light bulbs. Why oh why?

And the drama over "will there be enough money in the budget" is a feature of Gorgeous George 's programmes. It always come out ok, somehow.

Last week's took me aback a bit though (polo mint roof on suburban bungalow). The architect was so rude and patronising, and went waaaay over budget.

I know it's only telly, but.......

RabbitDeNiro Fri 25-Mar-16 16:24:32

Yes, It would be a total pain to keep those those huge windows clean!
It's the lack of curtains and blinds that bother me. All the properties on this programme have all had huge glass windows installed and not a blind in sight. I wouldn't want my neighbours peering in or street lighting shining in after dark.

And who pays for the 20 grand+ over budget? Where does the money come from?

Georgina1975 Fri 25-Mar-16 16:29:47

I know!!!

We gave a £50k budget for a small kitchen extension. All fine - gone to planning. "Oops it is going to be at least £65k". Sorry - we haven't got an extra £15k lying around - can you please show us what IS possible for our budget. I was pretty shocked TBH.

EssentialHummus Fri 25-Mar-16 16:33:11

I can confirm that there is pigeon crap in Croydon grin. I also wondered how they'd clean the kitchen-ceiling horizontal windows.

I was massively irritated by the inclusion of the words "council house" into every second sentence of George's voice-over, and the neighbour's comment (mentioned above). Firstly, this is London, so living in an ex-council house isn't exactly the scarlet letter. Secondly, this kind of phrasing just perpetuates the idea that ex-council properties are somehow doomed to be inferior, even though in build quality, size, layout, liveability, maintenance costs etc they can be superb. And how many of us would've spotted that it was a council house without the reminder every few minutes? It looked comparable to thousands of houses up and down the country.

I thought the front porch thing was hideous, but rather liked the rest of it. Not sure where they all hid their clothes, books etc during the final filming.

pizzaeatingmonkey Fri 25-Mar-16 16:42:57

I was shouting at the telly watching this one too. The home owner had admitted she had only allowed £5k for the kitchen, she picked the kitchen...it cost over £20k.
They had allowed £120k for the ground floor refurb, but then, out of nowhere, the architect suggested and planned for the WHOLE HOUSE to be reconfigured. Why not just move?
The garden and therefore the kitchen was overlooked, so the poor neighbours would have a full on view of all the downstairs of the property all of the time!

MOB247 Fri 25-Mar-16 16:53:09

I admit I'm addicted to this program!

Think it's a little rude when they keep calling them ugly houses when one looks exactly the same as mine !

A couple of the extensions they have had on there are ugly!! Can't help but think in a few years time they will be considered hideous (polo mint extension springs to mind).

DaftLemon Fri 25-Mar-16 17:00:26

At the start they kept saying how ugly the house was from the outside but I'm sure if they'd popped down to B&Q and bought a few tins of masonry paint in white - they cold have matched all the other houses in the street.

I know that's not the point of the program and yes those beams etc inside at the start were hideous but a luck of paint would have stopped it being the ugly house in the streetgrin

ptumbi Fri 25-Mar-16 17:13:48

Oh I totally agree! I looked at those windows (yuk).... mind you , maybe they used that self-cleaning glass (Pilkington?) - they did cost £25k after all.

What got me was the plastic polystyrene they clad the house in, and rendered over. A house has to breathe, otherwise all the damp air inside will just sit on the interior walls and cause damp - I give it one winter and all the internal corners will have black mould.

And the glass walls inside! Looked like a car showroom. Not exactly cosy, or modernist. Just cold and industrial (BIG fan of industrial and minimalism here!)

My kitchen is very similar, quite big and the entire thing, appliances, flooring and finishes cost no more than £6k.

Oh and I miss huge chunks of what george is saying. I just can't get past that accent - i sit there trying to say it like that in my head, and miss the next bit. Am all for a regional accent, but fgs..

BurningGubbins Fri 25-Mar-16 17:17:38

I'm also addicted to these programmes, not least because we're planning an extensive renovation of our new house. I'd not really considered going to an architect but had thought we'd deal direct with builders etc. I would like someone to come up with a few suggestions that we might not have thought of now, having seen the programmes though.

Wonkylegs, do you have any tips for approaching and dealing with architects? Aside from keeping to budget I'm worried about over-improving our house and not getting the value back as we won't be here forever. The people in these programmes never seem to want to move again so don't care - just like last night. I can't believe that they increased the value of the place by 200k!

RTKangaMummy Fri 25-Mar-16 17:17:52

I love watching this programmes but sometimes get them muddled up

Was this the one with the polystyrene outer covering over pebble dash?

Our old house had pebble dash that was in dreadful state when we sold it to a bloke who wanted to "do a project on it"

This stuff was very interesting idea for insulation from outside

I didn't like the metal black frames for windows inside or outside windows last night

I have no idea why they don't think about storage when doing these houses

On our new house we have an extension with light tunnels in the ensuite which look great and let loads of light into the room as it only has a small window, hopefully won't be a problem with cleaning the outside as I certainly can't reach to clean the outside of the tunnel

BTW last week looked like the TELETUBBY house in our opinion gringrin

pizzaeatingmonkey Fri 25-Mar-16 17:28:05

RTKanga I was thinking or having a light tunnel in my dark, windowless middle room, aren't they incredibly expensive?

specialsubject Fri 25-Mar-16 17:35:31

the pebbledash on the house was a bit scruffy, but a coat of suitable white paint would have sorted that. The external insulation is a good idea on a 20th century house, but it needs a new roof or extended eaves. I hope the plastering made the surface more solid.

but adding insulation on one side and then walls of uncovered glass on other other, however triple glazed, seems a bit bonkers. And yes, zero privacy too!

it wasn't an ugly house before but it certainly is now. Oh, that porch...

RTKangaMummy Fri 25-Mar-16 17:44:52

TBH I don't actually know how much they were

I just said to the builder that was what I would like in there, this was not part of the plans but as the ensuite was being put in I realised that the ensuite was going to be quite dark with only a smallish window, which opens but had to be frosted

So he put in 2 really quite large ones and as they face South the difference is amazing

The ensuite is part of a garage conversion as I am mobility impaired so the house extension has been designed around me and my mobility, it is going to be fantastic when fitted out with carpets and decorated etc

IMHO and IME they are brilliant and you won't need lights to be switched on during the day, especially if you can access a south facing bit of roof

Cel982 Fri 25-Mar-16 17:52:47

I really liked last night's renovation, I love massive expanses of glass like that, and I thought the front looked much better too. (In fact, I've liked them all except for the bonkers roof from last week.) But there was no need to put in such an expensive kitchen, for example. They really seemed to lose control once they decided they were going to have to borrow more.

RTKangaMummy Fri 25-Mar-16 17:53:03

Never thought about damp problems with the outside insulation

Totally agree about walls of glass and lack of privacy and lack of cosy factor unless you have curtains

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