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Grand Designs has lost it's focus. AIBU?

236 replies

SecretLocker · 11/10/2018 17:33

I've watched this lovely programme since it began all those years ago. It's always been a fascinating programme, heavily focussed on building, design and all related subjects. There would be brief info on the people featured each week, with relevant nods when necessary to their financial situation or project setbacks etc.

This current series seems to have changed the balance, and now seems more interested in the personal lives of the couples and their extended families and friends. Too much airtime is taken away from the actual project and the progression of the build.

This week's episode was the worst by far - it just didn't get going. It kept bouncing between the relationship of the female of the project and her best friend, and the struggle of living with kids in a caravan.
Kevin just appears to be conducting interviews now. There was barely any of the building process shown, and I gave up after the second ad break.

Anyone else agree?

OP posts:

steppemum · 01/11/2018 14:51

well, just had to go and watch the Cob one!

The house is amazing, but I don't like it, if you see what I mean, I love the staircase and that bit at the top where the roof beams all meet is lovely.
Love the rounded shapes etc.

But the straw sticking out of the walls in the kitchen? no. They will get dusty and you can't clean them etc.
And some of the rooms were just vast empty spaces.

Also the polystyrene, didn't get that at all. So 1m thick walls aren't very insulated? Hmm, maybe not such a great building material!

they glossed over the divorce bit - now here he is living there with his new partner.


DonDrapersOldFashioned · 01/11/2018 15:21

I’m just watching last night’s catch up episode. This one didn’t appeal to me originally. I’m not a fan of the crunchy ‘eco’ ones, generally.

This one was just about his ego and making the biggest possible house just to prove his skills, at the expense of everything in his personal life. Obviously we don’t know whether this was the reason for the divorce but it can’t help and his (ex) wife did say at the beginning about his stubbornness and determination. She seemed rather absent from the building process anyway, so I wonder if things were already on the skids by this point.


DonDrapersOldFashioned · 01/11/2018 15:43

It looked very chaotic from the outside. Glazing, white window frames, wood window frames, pipes, curves, staircases, roof overhangs, green roof, bare cob, lime render, pebbles. Too much going on, just looked a mess.
Inside just too sparse, boring and low ceilinged downstairs. I agree re the unhygienic cob cupboards.

What a disappointing mess


pandarific · 01/11/2018 18:12

The cob one is bizarrely magnolia. It is the most magnolia thing I have ever seen - what a bloody shame, the actual bones of the house are lovely, it's just so incredibly dull. One of those houses where you walk in and know the owner has no taste - not even bad taste, just an utter vacuum where it should be.

Shock at that floor in the gym - what on Earth was that?! Hire an interior decorator for the love of god.


WipsGlitter · 03/11/2018 14:29

That concrete house was HIDEOUS. Their furniture was totally wrong as well. Too small.


DonDrapersOldFashioned · 14/11/2018 17:42

We were talking about the fort folly thing in Aylesbury being a GD classic of ‘too small before they even move in’... Well it’s up for sale already


NewYoiker · 14/11/2018 20:01

@DonDrapersOldFashioned 😲


MiniCooperLover · 14/11/2018 20:41

DonDrapers, that is very interesting!!! I think that will take a long time to sell ...


WipsGlitter · 14/11/2018 20:48

I wonder what profit they've made on it? It's fine for a couple but not as a family home.


MiniCooperLover · 14/11/2018 21:42

I can't remember how much it cost to build but it was close to £500K I think plus the land cost which was about £250K I think. I felt sorry for the wife of that couple, he was so determined and she was so tired and seemed like she had to be happy at the end but I didn't quite believe them.


DonDrapersOldFashioned · 15/11/2018 15:06

It was madness. They couldn’t extend it in any way either, so were restricted to using the existing footprint. I wonder if, once they were in, the architect DH had tried to get approval for glass boxes and whatnot (like the Welsh couple who ‘came back from London’ and converted a similar thing in S Wales) but the planning dept just weren’t having it.

TBH, I don’t really see the problem with those, so long as the joins (where the new meets the old) don’t impact the old building too much, the build quality is excellent and the ‘new’ is very obviously ‘new’ and not some terrible Disney pastiche, then I think they are mostly fine. A glass link from an existing doorway to a modern and separate ‘extension’ would have given extra, essential living space and allowed an old derelict building to be preserved and usefully enjoyed. The Spanish guy may have been woefully shortsighted when it came to practicality of that space as a home for 4 but he did do an excellent job on the restoration of the building itself (things like stonework etc). Without him, that building would’ve likely been a pile of rubble in 20 years time.

I do think that there must be a ‘third way’ for conversion of heritage/conservation buildings like this. One that walks the line between the extremes of allowing developers to do whatever they want and of having a building that is so bound by conservation red tape and the need to keep everything ‘as is’ that the space becomes useless for modern living.

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