Rotting Grand Designs homes exposed

Grand Designs has treated viewers to some of the most incredible home transformations in the last 20 years … but not every project went according to plan.

Some people saw their dreams turn nightmares after planning issues, cash challenges and vandalism got in the way - with at least one tearing a family apart.

The extensive builds can be a strain on any relationship, and some of the amateur developers have even ended getting divorced from their spouses during the process, The Sun reports.

 

Chris and Sze were unable to live on their boat of dreams. Picture: Channel 4
Chris and Sze were unable to live on their boat of dreams. Picture: Channel 4

Meanwhile, their dream homes lie rotting and far from the finished vision.

So what happens when the cameras stop rolling and host Kevin McCloud has left the builders to their own devices?

Here are some of the luxury homes which tore families and bank accounts apart and ended up being more trouble than they were worth.

 

 

THE ECO-BARGE

Chris Miller and his wife Sze Liu Lai dreamt of escaping London and renovating a ramshackle houseboat in Essex to live on with their two kids.

They planned to spend £80,000 ($150,700) on adding recycled materials to their 100-foot Medward Eco-barge.

However, the family were left all at sea when their boat was left moored unfinished in the Thames estuary near Southend.

Here it became a target for squatters and vandals, and broke free from its mooring in 2011 to be later found washed up a beach.

While Chris said they hoped to continue renovating the boat, the £70,000 ($131,900) worth of damage by vandals meant it was no longer financially viable.

 

THE LIGHTHOUSE

Earlier this month, Grand Designs viewers labelled Edward White's coastal home as one of the "saddest episodes ever".

Edward and wife Hazel had an ambitious plan to build a £1.8 million ($3.4 million) pad on Chesil Cliff House in Croyde in Devon.

The couple hoped to transform the clifftop home into an incredible white art deco "lighthouse" with a glass edge infinity swimming pool, home cinema, sauna and steam room.

While Edward said it was a "little boy's dream", Hazel has slammed it as being a "nightmare" which has driven the couple deep into debt.

The strain of the building since 2011 and Edward being nearly £4 million ($7.5 million) in debt has caused them to split up, and Edward's downhearted daughters say they doubt the lighthouse is "ever going to happen".

Locals have now slammed the grey concrete home as an "eyesore" on the stunning coastline, and Edward and Hazel estimate they need a further £2 million ($3.8 million) to finish the project.

Almost a decade after the couple were given permission for the project, the home is far from finished, despite them originally estimating it would take 18 months to build.

 

THE DOME HOUSE

The Dome House was the project of architect and owner Robert Gaukroger, and he hoped to make the modern, seven-bedroom pad of his dreams.

He dedicated two years and £1 million ($1.9 million) constructing the unique hillside project above Bowness-in-Windermere in 2011 and Kevin called his vision "awe-inspiring".

The goal was to create a futuristic eco-mansion complete with an indoor pool.

However, locals who saw the home in 2016 worried that it had been abandoned, after the grounds looked overgrown and scruffy.

It emerged that Robert had been caught up in an eight-year dispute with a neighbour and moved down south to study at university.

He then tried to sell the home for £2.3 million ($4.3 million) in 2015 and then dropped the price to £1.45 million ($2.7 million) months later.

Thankfully the home had a happy ending, as it was purchased by Yvonne Malley, who had previously donated cash to save the build five years before when the credit crunch left Robert with a half-finished home.

Now it has been renovated and is run as a luxury guesthouse boasting glowing reviews on TripAdvisor.

 

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

Originally published as Rotting Grand Designs homes exposed


Warrego MP slams Labor for unemployment crisis

premium_icon Warrego MP slams Labor for unemployment crisis

The state’s unemployment rate remained the same at 6.5 per cent in October – with...

Aussie Helpers spreads joy to drought-stricken farmers

Aussie Helpers spreads joy to drought-stricken farmers

The ‘Make a Farmer’s Christmas Special’ appeal is designed to raise much-needed...

Aussie Farm group stripped of charity status

premium_icon Aussie Farm group stripped of charity status

What does this move mean for South Burnett farmers whose details are published on...