We love watching Grand Designs. It’s a television addiction, in which we regularly partake. Each week Kevin McCloud, the host and our hero, takes the viewer on a home building journey, a Grand Design, born of grit and determination and sometimes, sheer lunacy.
As with any TV program, there are certainties:
- Everyone wants to be in his or her new build by Christmas.
- Everyone has a vision and a wildly underestimated sense of budget and timeline.
- It seems just for extra drama, the people building have no experience and take it all on by themselves usually after they’ve fired an architect or their builder has fled the scene.
- For good measure, the couple building their grand design – exhausted, stressed, broke, living in a leaky camper van, etc. – somehow end up pregnant. This part always seems implausible. Honestly, how do they have the energy to have sex after all that stress and work?
With our bathroom completed, I’d like to say to Mr. McCLoud, “I think you’d like what we’ve done.”
- We didn’t have an architect, but we had a part time builder for the stuff we couldn’t do and was clearly beyond our skill set;
- We avoided fixed deadlines (several Christmases came and went) and hence stress. We were not good television material, unless watching us contemplate with templates made with boxes just where the tub, sink and toilet would be located.
- We stuck to a tight budget.
- We sought green credentials in as much as we could, given that we live in an old stone building run on a generator.
- Nobody was fired or got pregnant during this project. That said, our builder friend and his partner are expecting a baby. Oh well.
Basically, we’d make for boring, boring television, but who cares? Here are a few pictures of before, during and after. It may have taken nearly three years to complete the downstairs, and there are still decisions about where to hang art work, but we’ve done it. Hey Kevin, have a look!
Next posting, the finished bedroom.