8.2
322 votes
Grand Designs

Grand Designs

Channel 4 1999

Kevin McCloud follows people as they build their dream house, often focusing on modern design, energy efficiency, maximizing space and views.

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The 10 Best Episodes of Grand Designs

Grand Designs - S13E6

#1 - Monmouthshire: The Japanese House

8.30

Season 13 - Episode 6

Tamayo Hussey's missed Japan ever since she moved to the UK with her husband Nigel. To stave off the homesickness they've decided to transform a forester's lodge into a Japanese house complete with roof bath, tatami room and sliding paper walls. Keen to keep costs under control, Nigel and Tamayo decide to engage only the design skills of an architect and with no previous building experience they bravely go it alone, working without any detailed drawings and fire-fighting problems every step of the way. The wood they're using for the timber frame - Japanese larch - hasn't been used for building houses before in the UK, so no one can be sure it will be strong enough, the new interior walls don't meet properly and the replacement window design can't cope with the rain. But Nigel and Tamayo are determined to overcome any obstacle to get the Japanese house they're so desperate for.

The episode was rated from 79 votes.

Grand Designs - S7E1

#2 - Yorkshire: The 14th Century Castle

8.30

Season 7 - Episode 1

Every Englishman’s home is his castle but for Francis Shaw this is quite literally true. He and his wife, Karen, and their two young daughters, bought the ruins of a 14th Century castle in Yorkshire and took on the remarkable challenge of turning a pile of stones into a beautiful home. Surrounded by rolling green fields, the location is idyllic; however, the castle itself was little more than four crumbling walls.

The episode was rated from 30 votes.

Grand Designs - S7E12

#3 - London: The Glass & Timber House

8.30

Season 7 - Episode 12

In this episode Kevin meets master carpenter Bill Bradley and his wife Sarah, whose plan is to build two identical timber houses in south London, selling one to finance the building of the other.

The episode was rated from 10 votes.

Grand Designs - S9E4

#4 - Weald of Kent: Arched Eco House

8.27

Season 9 - Episode 4

Kevin McCloud follows the progress of architect Richard Hawkes and wife Sophie, who are moving from London to the Kent countryside to build a hi-tech eco-friendly house with room to grow their own food. Richard also wants their new home to blend effortlessly into the surrounding countryside, concealed beneath a huge arch of clay tiles covered with earth and planted with grass

The episode was rated from 37 votes.

Grand Designs - S7E11

#5 - Tuscany: The Tuscan Castle: Revisited

8.26

Season 7 - Episode 11

Kevin McCloud meets a couple who bought a ruin and moved to Italy in 1999, hoping to start work building their dream home in Tuscany. Since then they've spent all their time trying to get planning permission, but finally, after four years, they are about to start work. And it's an epic project: they have bought a derelict 1,000-year-old castle in the Tuscan hills. Now, the couple face their biggest battle of all: rebuilding this massive ruin into a comfortable and luxurious five-bedroom home.

The episode was rated from 19 votes.

#6 - London: The Derelict Water Tower
8.23
Season 12 - Episode 5

Kevin McCloud marks the 100th episode with one of the programme's most ambitious projects to date. Leigh Osborne and Graham Voce want to convert and extend a landmark 150-year-old water tower in central London into a luxury home. Grade II-listed, derelict and with 6ft-thick walls, it's a huge challenge for the pair, who also plan to build two structures at the base - a lift shaft connected by a series of glass tunnels, and a modern living space. The result will be a four-bedroom property over nine floors, complete with a room at the top offering spectacular 360 degree views across the capital. The tower, which is located directly above London Underground's Northern Line, was originally built for Lambeth Workhouse in 1877 and became a Grade II listed building in 2008.

The episode was rated from 82 votes.
#7 - South Cornwall: Steam Bending House
8.19
Season 17 - Episode 3

Kevin McCloud meets Tom and Danielle Raffield, whose lifelong passion has been steam-bending wood. They've used the technique to create extraordinary furniture and lighting, but now plan to use it on a larger scale. In an attempt to escape the confines of their tiny gamekeeper's lodge, they have decided to build a wavy wooden house in South Cornwall, completed with curved cladding, twisted furniture and interior walls covered with weathered timber. With a £100,000 budget, the pair have decided to do a lot of the building themselves, and Kevin is on hand to discover whether they're up to the challenge.

The episode was rated from 233 votes.
#8 - Les Gets: 300 Year Old Chalet: Revisited
8.19
Season 6 - Episode 6

Kevin McCloud revisits Nicky and James Dobree. Nicky was raised in France, James in Beirut – both have fond memories of the mountains as children. So it was natural for them to one day look to buy a place amongst France's tallest peaks, the Alps. The journey moving the family, including their two young sons, Fabian and Felix, from South London to a renovated 300-year-old farmhouse in Les Gets was to have its ups and downs. It was never meant to be a permanent move. The original plan was to develop the top two floors of the chalet so the family could spend the summer there, overseeing the completion of the bottom floors. They would then be able to rent our the whole chalet in the winter months. The family were only planning to use their new home for the summer seasons.

The episode was rated from 16 votes.
#9 - County Londonderry: The Shipping Containers House
8.12
Season 14 - Episode 4

A young farmer and architect in Northern Ireland hopes to make a home out of four large shipping containers welded together to form a giant cross. Patrick Bradley has come up with a £100k house design to be built out of four 45-foot shipping containers, welded together to form a giant cross and cantilevered over the top of a stream at a beautiful secluded spot on the family farm. His mum is hoping his new home will get Patrick a girlfriend. But his tiny budget is soon under threat.

The episode was rated from 127 votes.
#10 - Revisited - Lake District: The Dome House
8.06
Season 11 - Episode 8

Kevin revisits Robert and Milla a year after their ambitious Lake District eco home seemed on the verge of running out of money. Have the couple completed their visionary timber home?

The episode was rated from 33 votes.

Last updated: sep 22, 2021

Comments

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Love this show, Kevin is a brilliant presenter who is both engaging and passionate about good architecture. His commentary and philosophy of building concentrate on sustainability and good design where he holds the self builders frequently to account.

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