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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:

Whatthefoxgoingon · 12/10/2018 10:55

It was definitely style over substance dondrapers I saw it several years after it was built, it was not wearing well. The larger living areas were all underground, humans aren’t designed to thrive in the dark. I felt a bit sorry for the owner/architect but he really should have known better than to shoehorn a large house into a tiny place! A much smaller house would’ve suited the site and had room to breathe.


EllieQ · 12/10/2018 10:55

My favourite is the one where they restore a (small) castle somewhere in Yorkshire, where one of the internal walls collapses during filming (no one was hurt). It turned a derelict ruin into a beautiful home by the end.

The woodsman one is another favourite, especially when Kevin turns up for a visit a year later and discovers the woodsman has a wife and new baby!

Does anyone remember one of the early ones where the couple where converting an old water works (I think) and made desks out of classic minis?


Whatthefoxgoingon · 12/10/2018 10:56

I like homes by the sea. The smallest bolt hole with the biggest windows looking out to sea is my ideal. Smile


DonDrapersOldFashioned · 12/10/2018 11:08

I loved the waterworks one. That couple did so much with their bare hands. They had such a small budget and so much space, they had no choice. That is probably my favourite episode. It has changed hands a few times since they did it and the new owners have made changes, adding partitions mainly. Probably to try to make it warmer, that huge living area was stunning but all that glass, tall ceilings, bare brick and hard flooring must’ve been cold and hard to heat.


DonDrapersOldFashioned · 12/10/2018 11:09


DonDrapersOldFashioned · 12/10/2018 11:10

I liked the sentimentality and sense of place of the woodsman’s house. It suited him, them and the location but I wouldn’t want to live there.


CinnaMessala · 12/10/2018 11:38

Speaking of silly sausage architects, I had to giggle at this Grand Design architect genius.

Yes, that built in bench below a stovetop is a brilliant space saving idea. Never mind about boiling water or grease oil above a seated child’s head. We can design some quirky protective headgear.

Grand Designs has lost it's focus. AIBU?

TheSteakBakeOfAwesome · 12/10/2018 11:46

Come on we need more gossip about the underground dance floor house now! You can't tease us like that.


DuggeesWoggle · 12/10/2018 12:50

Remember that one where the couple were building a huge eco house (probably creating a massive carbon footprint in the process) that involved a self supporting archway of tiles? Kevin was demonstrating the process with slices of toast or something and in the background you just saw the whole thing collapse. You couldn't have planned it better maybe the production team gave it a prod. It was like watching a car crash in slow motion.


MiniCooperLover · 12/10/2018 12:55

We are a few episodes behind and I've noticed a current theme this series seems to be at the start we have an optimistic happily married couple. After three episodes I've noticed a distinct trend. By the end, the man has aged dramatically and the woman is talking through gritted teeth about how much they love the house and how it was soooo worth it. I had serious concerns about the couple from Madrid (well, he's Spanish) buying the folly in Aylesbury. I didn't even think it was that nice at the end for that money 😳


DonDrapersOldFashioned · 12/10/2018 13:08

That truly was a folly, wasnt it? It was so tiny and impractical for a family home. They’d already outgrown it wheb they moved in.


Whatthefoxgoingon · 12/10/2018 13:12

The stress of building or renovating your home is like 1000x the stress of buying a house. Really, it tested my relationship to the absolute max and we had never before or since fought like that. And I have completed a number of renovations before we did our own house, so I thought I had enough experience and it would be smooth sailing. Never again!

So I do sympathise with the couples. If you can survive it, the excruciating process makes you stronger!


Squirrel26 · 12/10/2018 13:16

I watch the old episodes practically every day on More 4. Blush Even when I’ve already seen them several times.

What I always wonder about is that I’ve never seen one where the couple split up, either over the course of the build or when they do the return visit. Is there some archive somewhere of unfinished Grand Designs episodes which ended in divorce??


DonDrapersOldFashioned · 12/10/2018 13:18

Several do. The one with the hideous church conversion with the plastic dome on top was a divorce one. The guy had all sorts of health problems and his wife left him as a result of the stress during the build. Apparently she agreed to be in the final shots for GD but they weren’t together.


DonDrapersOldFashioned · 12/10/2018 13:19


lottiegarbanzo · 12/10/2018 13:19

Oh yes, the collapsing self-supported arch! (I think the tombliboos on In the Night Garden made a similar arch once. They were able tio jump on theirs).

Does anyone remember the episode where the husband, of a couple in their 30s, died very suddenly (within six months but, programme-wise, by the first ad break)? The wife paused, then scaled down the project and built it for herself and the children. I thought that showed Kev's interview and presentation style at its best. He was sensitive and able to discuss practicalities and present the programme at the same time.


SleepingStandingUp · 12/10/2018 13:20

I want ot get pregnant, I might invite Lenin over for tea! I se rely think he has babies all over the country, living in New builds.

Bingo player here - quit job? Broken window / frame etc that was imported from a random country for 100k. Who will they lend money off. Baby?

I think the loss of focus is thry alway used to be eco homes etc. Now it's just rich people who want to quit work to become builders.

Except last week with the poorly kids. Was soooo happy for them


DonDrapersOldFashioned · 12/10/2018 13:22

I’m not sure Lenin is available for fertility-boosting tea dates Grin


LittleBearPad · 12/10/2018 13:23

The folly bedrooms were so small. It’ll be on the market in a year!

They so frequently build a house with the exact number of bedrooms so each child can have one. Three month. later the wife is pregnant. Either know you’re planning another child and design accordingly or don’t see Kevin - he seems to have a catastrophic effect on contraception.


frogsoup · 12/10/2018 13:30

I like the way Kevin's many talents have got artlessly revealed over the years. Obviously the multiple languages, but then the other week they had him making a totally flawless sketch in an art gallery. Where will the man stop? Grin

I did laugh at the HAP episode where they had the fancy pants London architect being totally savaged by the mostly female prospective tenants going 'err, storage please? You know we'll have to actually live here rather than waft about fulfilling your wanky metropolitan minimalist fantasies?'


Whatthefoxgoingon · 12/10/2018 13:31

I’m 100% sure Kevin is hiding every woman’s contraceptive pills


SleepingStandingUp · 12/10/2018 13:36

Dammit I want a Kevin baby not a Lenin baby!! I want a Baby Cloud!!!!!!

Yeah tiny bedrooms, exactly enough space then night of Kev Passion and oops this house is too small!!

Wood House was my favourite


greathat · 12/10/2018 14:27

There was a phrase he always always used to say every episode and then one series it just stopped and it's now really pissing me off that I can't think of it


Cheeseplantandpickle · 12/10/2018 14:39

This was my fave. They sold a lovely home to buy an old dairy and ended up spending 1.2 resulting in a two bed house whose only bathroom was the en suite. Ridiculous.


DonDrapersOldFashioned · 12/10/2018 15:21

Oh yes, that one was so painfully batshit trendy, cheeseplant. Those are the ones I love. The ones you boggle at in a WTF are you DOING sort of a way.

Like the Amersham gull wing roof house. The guy was so fixated on the thing. The budget went out of control and earlier this year it was on the market and was STILL UNFINISHED Shock Amersham disaster

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