Grand Designs

10 Best Episodes of Grand Designs - Season 12

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

Written by Sophie and last updated on feb 10, 2023.

PS: The following content contains spoilers!

PPS: I will admit that parts of this page was written with the help of AI - it makes my work so much easier to not start from a blank page!

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Grand Designs - S12E10

#11 - The Disco Home: Revisited (Season 12 - Episode 10)

Kevin catches up with Claire Farrow and Ian Hogarth who began a wild journey in 2010 to create d the ultimate fun family home, right in the heart of London, including a dance floor, dj booth and sauna.

The episode was rated 6.86 from 14 votes.

Grand Designs - S12E9

#10 - The Tree House: Revisited (Season 12 - Episode 9)

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Kevin catches up with Lincoln Miles and his wife, artist Lisa Traxler, who had discovered an uninspiring 70s bungalow on the Isle of Wight on a prime piece of land surrounded by unspoilt ancient woodland and were going to convert it into their dream home.

The episode was rated 7.00 from 11 votes.

Grand Designs - S12E12

#9 - The Co-Op: 2nd Revisiting (Season 12 - Episode 12)

Kevin saw a ground-breaking co-operative of ten families built their own homes on the edge of Brighton. They where known as 'The Hedgehogs' and were made up of former travellers and those living in insecure accommodation. Kevin catches up with the community over ten years on.

The episode was rated 7.17 from 12 votes.

Grand Designs - S12E7

#8 - The Larch-Clad House (Season 12 - Episode 7)

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Kevin McCloud meets artists Indi and Rebecca, who are planning to build a modern, larch-clad home on the Isle of Skye, with a second hand-crafted building alongside to use as their studio, all on a tight budget of £150,000. They have been saving for years, but making it happen will mean taking on the savage weather, not to mention the sceptical locals - and as if that weren't enough, most of the work is being done by one man, local builder Donald.

The episode was rated 7.39 from 56 votes.

Grand Designs - S12E1

#7 - Cloontykilla Castle (Season 12 - Episode 1)

The story of one man's heroic attempt to fulfill his childhood dream and bring back from the ruins an incredible castle set in one of the most beautiful landscapes in Ireland. Kevin McCloud meets more people trying to build dream homes, beginning with Sean Simons, who bought the ruins of Cloontykilla Castle in the Irish county of Roscommon with a view to using them to create a spectacular mock-16th-century home. However, the outlandish plans - including jacuzzis in the battlements and water-spouting gargoyles - have Kevin worried the project could become a garish nightmare, and his scepticism increases when he realises Sean has not consulted an architect. Disaster seems to be looming as the contractors get frustrated and planning regulations are ignored, but somehow things begin to slowly take shape - until a national economic crisis plunges everything into chaos.

The episode was rated 7.41 from 71 votes.

Grand Designs - S12E4

#6 - The Thames Boathouse (Season 12 - Episode 4)

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Kevin McCloud follows Lysette and Nigel Offley, who are knocking down an old Thames boathouse and constructing a cutting-edge home in its place. Taking inspiration from the river itself, they have designed a building of waves and curves with a huge glass porthole for a roof light. But problems begin almost from the start, as they can't find a contractor willing to build over the water, their architect leaves unexpectedly and the costs turn out much higher than expected. To make matters worse, the neighbours aren't happy about such a radical sight in their traditional community. As they begin to compromise, Kevin wonders if the couple's dreams will ever be realised.

The episode was rated 7.45 from 58 votes.

Grand Designs - S12E3

#5 - The Glass Cubes House (Season 12 - Episode 3)

Mary Martin and Carl Turner want to build a home that resembles a giant stack of glass cubes in Brixton, south London. The couple are hoping the structure will become an instant landmark, while on the inside they are planning a Zen retreat. But to succeed, their finances must be pushed to their limit, so Carl takes on as many of the specialist jobs as he can to save money. Kevin McCloud follows their progress.

The episode was rated 7.50 from 62 votes.

Grand Designs - S12E6

#4 - The Edwardian Artist's Studio (Season 12 - Episode 6)

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Kevin McCloud meets Audrey and Jeff, who dream of living in one of west London's most exclusive areas. However, the way they can afford it is to go underground. Their plan is to transform a listed Edwardian artist's studio - along with 5,000 sq ft of derelict basement - into a bespoke subterranean home, complete with supersize kitchen, mezzanine sitting room, four en-suite bedrooms, a gym, cinema, steam room and wine cellar. As if the task weren't tricky enough, they are doing it without proper architect's drawings and Audrey is project managing - and the difficulties begin almost from the start.

The episode was rated 7.58 from 69 votes.

Grand Designs - S12E8

#3 - The Joinery Workshop (Season 12 - Episode 8)

Henning Stummel and his partner Alice Dawson attempt to convert an awkward,covered space, trapped between buildings in the crowded heart of north London into a contemporary family home and office for Henning's practice.

The episode was rated 7.65 from 48 votes.

Grand Designs - S12E2

#2 - The Computer-cut House (Season 12 - Episode 2)

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Kevin McCloud meets a pair of civil partnered university professors who have decided to build their first home from scratch. In addition to all the complications this usually entails, they have also enlisted the services of industrial designers who have developed a new computer-assisted method for cutting precision-engineered building blocks from scratch. However, though the technique may be clever, its creators have never created a building before - meaning everyone involved with the project is taking a giant leap into the unknown.

The episode was rated 7.89 from 74 votes.

Grand Designs - S12E5

#1 - The Derelict Water Tower (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 8.14 from 71 votes.

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