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Grand Designs


Chris303
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15 hours ago, Pelekophoros said:

 

Then just the first bit of what I said, a massive central heating system. 

 

I thought last night's was shit. A third repeat viewing of all the previously seen stuff and then a bit at the end where the twist was so obvious from all the wires hanging everywhere that....well....whatever.

 

Even at the end, the dude is in cloud cuckoo land. 

I couldn't quite understand why he could not live in it and there was no kitchen. Is it a condition of sale that it's brand new for the prospective buyer and they would choose their kitchen design?

 

All that pain and misery and all he will walk away with is a pile of cash. So pathetic.

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33 minutes ago, sofasurfer said:

I couldn't quite understand why he could not live in it and there was no kitchen. Is it a condition of sale that it's brand new for the prospective buyer and they would choose their kitchen design?

 

All that pain and misery and all he will walk away with is a pile of cash. So pathetic.

 

It was an unfinished show home, essentially. Christ knows if it's even fully signed off. They're waiting on putting a £20,000+ kitchen in because, well, it'd just be a possible waste of £20k and I assume a condition of sale would be "We'll do the full second fix for you". Reading some articles after the show, back in June he wasn't even putting flooring in for exactly that reason.

 

I'm not convinced there were any lights at all in it, though there may have been some spotlights somewhere. I think all of the furniture was just for dressing to sell it.

 

Essentially: he still can't let it go, it's still costing him fortunes, and he's got some property developers lending him the money for as long as it takes him to sell it. I also liked the very quickly skipped over "full refurbishment of all the windows". They were £200k the first time around, so that's literally £200k he's just chucked in a skip.

 

The guy is absolutely deluded, and the success Kevin thinks he has is that he's a) finished it and b) still has title on it and some chance to recoup his money. I think the latter is a little bit optimistic.

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It's worth considering, as he asks for £10m for the two buildings (was it £7m on the lighthouse and £3m on the smaller one?), that the most expensive sale in Cornwall ever was Gordon Ramsey's period mansion for £7.5m. I know it's a bit further down the road but also lol.

 

According to Google-Fu - in 2019, the most expensive house ever sold in Devon was for £5.2m. In January this year, the most expensive house on the market was just under £6m.

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The house did look fucking amazing, it has to be said. The design and the layout were stellar; it's really rare that I look at super high-end new-build houses like that* and think anything other than the person who built it has the taste of a Russian strip club tycoon, but that place looked stunning. I especially liked the bit round the back with the staircases and walkways, although I bet it would be a bugger to clean.

 

I feel really sorry for the guy, he destroyed his marriage to build his dream house, and he can't even live in it. His daughters must have had a traumatic time, too. It's like some kind of parable, except the core message is "don't spend millions of pounds you borrowed from a hedge fund building a mad lighthouse mansion", which feels like a trap I'm unlikely to fall into.

 

 

*on television, I should say, I'm not really in the market for £10m gigamansions.

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I bet it's an easy trap to fall into if you've got a few quid mind you. The kind of men – and it is always men – who have a large surplus of cash, and people who want to have a big legacy of themselves do seem to correlate quite neatly. It's a bonkers story though. He's just a gambler chasing loses when it's all boiled down so I do feel sorry for him.

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I like watching the ones that go wrong and end up costing a load more than expected. I often think how they could have spent 500k and built something a bit less stupidly extravagant and still ended up with a really nice and fancy house but with a lot less stress and troubles (and divorces).

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OMG. As if to prove my previous point, the latest Aussie GD was an absolute horror. A spoilt princess who wanted to build a ‘medieval’ castle, and who kept changing her mind. Again - far too big, unsympathetic to the landscape, environmentally ruinous and utterly lacking in taste. Horrible. 

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Watching the lighthouse episode, now having seen this project before, it is a bit of a tragic cross between Linklater’s Boyhood and Dave Eggers’ Lighthouse.  A classic story really.

 

Now some other rich people will get to enjoy it and make money off it.  

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What a tale that Devon one is. You have to admire the determination to not walk away, even if it was driven by ego, or maybe just a desire to not go bankrupt. Not sure how he's survived financially thru this as can't imagine CD sales of Euphoria collections are that high nowadays.

 

Doing the sums there can't be much in it to walk away with. He bought the original 1950s house for £1.4m (incl stamp duty) and has now spent £5-6m on build costs. He also had finance at one point at 8%, but not sure what terms he's on now. The interest accruing though will be huge, even at 4% interest on £6m is £240k a year (and who is to say what rate he's paying, I suspect it's more). 

 

Doubtful he'll get the £10m for the pair, has generated zero income from either and must be getting close to £8-9m in the hole. He'll be lucky to get out flat.

 

It's a recurring theme across all of the version of this but the advice so many people get from professionals or architects on costings is so often utter pish, always grates on me when the architect who has given the costing sits there and shrugs their shoulders over it like it's some other twat's fault. Fair enough when materials spiral like post covid but that isn't often the case. 

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On one of the numerous George Clarke shows the architects are absolute gits when it comes to the budgets. The overspend is routinely in the tens if not hundreds of thousands, which seems completely mental to me. I appreciate if something totally unexpected happens like that couple who found Japanese knotweed the day the build kicked off, but otherwise it seems like bad advice. It jars badly too as the main crux of the programme is 'hire an architect for your renovations'. They always get the homeowners to say something to that effect too as they're sat there on the bones of their arse. 

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On 17/10/2022 at 12:32, superfunk said:

I’ve watched the last four or so episodes of the Aussie one (including the one with the wife who keeps calling her partner “Babe!” with that upward inflection that we love so much). I’ve also seen quite a few from previous seasons. 

 

 

Just watched that 'babe' one last one. I don't know how people make peace with their ideas sometimes, the house was lovely but it was being built as a retirement forever home and it was 1h drive to the nearest shop. The bloke had a nasty bout of illness during the build and despite the location being stunning I'd be really worried about ageing that far from civilisation. 

 

I wouldn't move somewhere that didn't do Ocado delivery.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Brilliant ep on ch4 this week with Kevin doing an update on a build he started visiting in 1999. The original footage was not only SD but 4:3 aspect ratio. 

 

Clearly an odd fish couple with their design by meditation principles and very early eco credentials but's it clear to me it's one of the most successful and best builds the show has covered. They ended up with a perfect family home that they wouldn't swap for anything else. 

 

Can't help but come away at the end of it with a huge amount of admiration for their grit to keep going and sticking to their guns and ending up with something so perfect for them. It's a brilliant antidote to the self made pillocks spending £100k on a Kitchen.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Has anyone been watching the RIBA House of the Year spin-off? In some ways, I enjoy it more as it’s basically 5 money shots in one programme, without all the usual theatrics about financing the build on credit cards and uncovering ancient Indian burial grounds. 
 

I’ve not agreed with all the shortlisting decisions so far, but there are some lovely houses featured. My favourites are always ones that use a small plot imaginatively. I was surprised that the Peeking House (terrible moniker) didn’t get shortlisted as I love the way it appeared to trick you into thinking there was more space by allowing you to see other rooms and floors from a single point. Maybe the judges didn’t like the awful name, though. 

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yeah been watching, though find the architect wank speak a bit annoying when viewing some green window framed kids drawing of a house thats been actually built.

 

I loved the small incredibly tasteful pink beach house in the first ep, just beautifully designed and located.

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That one is also a favourite. It’s located on Camber Sands in East Sussex.  We watched it being built as we lived in Rye up until recently. The architects (https://www.rxarchitects.com) have done quite a lot in the area. When we first saw it being rendered we were assuming it would ultimately be clad in wood like the other houses it’s next to (see pic), but eventually we realised that the pink concrete was the finished exterior. 
 

RX have got some beach houses further along at Pett Level for sale if you fancy it. 😉

 

https://www.rxarchitects.com/clonnette

 

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I absolutely loved it from the outside but felt the interior was completely underwhelming. I'm going to have to admit I don't know as much about architecture as the RIBA panel,  but I knows what I likes. Even once it was explained I didn't get it. David Shrigley wall of tribute notwithstanding it lacked any real flair for my tastes. Saying that, nothing truly blew me away this year, with that cluster of farm buildings standing out as a real dud for me. It looked like a youth offenders institution.

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I always think the absolute worst bespoke houses are those that don't get any reaction at all out of me, just a meh like you'd have towards the average mass produced modern box with windows.

 

That said the winner evoked a strong reaction in me as I thought it was fucking hideous inside and out and a total blight on the landscape. 

 

This prog now seems mainly an exercise in upping one fortunate architects practice billable hours or rates for the coming year.

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I do notice that lots of houses that get elevated to the level of being discussed as a house of the year do tend to be lonely little outposts situated miles from anyone. There's obviously exceptions to that where they're building into a slither like that library home, but it feels a bit luxurious. We're gilding the lilly now when it comes to sustainable building, whereas the challenges lots of self-builds avoid is how we promote community and cooperation in a world that is increasingly isolating. Grand Designs is especially guilty of showcasing these ridiculous gated fortresses for the wealthy in the middle of absolutely nowhere. 

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I think part of the reason that many of the houses are isolated is due to planning or rather, the mercurial whims of planners. Cities like London tend to have over zealous planners trying to protect conservation areas. Perhaps counter intuitively, the more rural planning authorities tend to be a bit more open to new architecture. This is perhaps because its impact on communities is lessened if there are fewer people about. 
 

I do agree that GD does tend to feature vanity mega mansions too often, but I suspect they’re there sometimes so the audience can revel in the poor taste decisions of some of the house builders.  I know I do, sometimes. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 06/09/2021 at 21:21, OneDvBmbr said:

I love doing a bit of digging into stuff like this. 


https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunal-decisions/mr-j-priday-v-elemental-digest-ltd-1400583-2020

 

He had an unsuccessful claim for unfair dismissal that he lost earlier this year and he was ordered to pay £37k costs. Not long after is when he resigned his directorships.

 

I just rewatched this - what the actual fuck is the story with this guy?

 

He's Joe O'Connor on this but his name is Joe Priday. He seems to have started a consultancy firm straight out of college and then he's buying 3.4 million of supercars four years later.

 

Drug dealer. No other explanation.

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