This evening on More4 Grand Designs Revisited (i.e. repeats with a sneaky wee bit tucked on at the end from a later time window) had a ‘conversion’ project from South East England, where the owners were planning to convert a disused Water Tower and add on a new build wing. The owners were an Engineer and a Commercial Architect who know their beans, frankly.
The project started by building the ‘new’ part of the house and the design was superb. The walls were either made of glass, or an interesting concrete / polystyrene combo which provided superb insulation and was constructed in two days – about a fifth of the time scale to build a similar square footage against conventional building techniques. The Architect brought this type of commercial expertise across the build which meant that the project’s delivery speed was immense against normal expectations.
The presenter, Kevin McCloud, is famous for being a bit of a downer on the projects on his show, was clearly aghast and seemed seriously disappointed that the whole thing was going on time & on budget!! The glee on his face was almost palpable when a leak was discovered!! Yet the rest of the build seemed to go swimmingly – pun intended – including the gardening / setting of the house, near a main road, was also done beautifully and simply.
However the couple moved in to the property on time… well, they moved into the ‘new’ part of the house on time. The ‘conversion’ of the Water Tower hadn’t actually started and the big shock of this ‘Revisited’ episode came when McCloud returned to the property 3 years later… to discover that it still hadn’t been completed nor in truth – apart from a few superficial bits – started!!
Clearly it’s more than a bit Tardy, though McCloud was prepared to forgive on the basis that taking a break after a major home project is the norm. I was less so, given that the Water Tower was supposed to be the bedroom wing of the house!!