Grand Designs, series 16, episode 8:budget industrial-chic box house in the Wirral suburbs upsets the neighbours - but finally wins them over

An ugly, Sixties dormer bungalow is transformed into a cutting-edge, industrial-chic 'box house on a budget' on the final episode of this series of Grand Designs.

Stuart and Rosie Treasurer not only had limited funds of £150,000 to realise their dream, but roused the ire of their neighbours with the uncompromising design of the property.

However, Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud calls the plan "an extraordinary, pound-stretching, semi-industrial world".

Nearby residents didn't quite agree. Neighbour Tony Argent summed up local feeling during construction: "I hate it, I hate it. It looks like a giant garden shed."

As the couple set to work on half demolishing the house on the Wirral Peninsula they had lived in for five years with their children Ben and Molly, Stuart says: "It's been a wonderful home, but it's a crummy house."

Surrounded by a mix of handsome Arts & Crafts and Georgian houses, the couple's plan involves removing the top floor of the original house and installing a new one with five bedrooms and three bathrooms.

This is topped with a sloping rubber roof, while exposed joists form the ceilings.

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The crowning glory of the house is a beautiful sedum roof - at £30 a square metre - which Rosie calls "a little slice of heaven" (Channel 4)

The ground floor is finished outside in a cork-like render, and the new first floor clad in rough-textured, heat-treated timber, still bearing marks from the pallets they were stored in.

A major feature of the house is a fake cantilever supported by steel struts hidden behind a sandstone wall.

Stuart says: "Hopefully, what we're showing is that you can actually build something that's large and modern and striking, at a similar price to something that is just a developer's box.

"We'll end up with something great for the price of something mediocre."

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The ground floor is finished outside in a cork-like render, and the new first floor clad in rough-textured, heat-treated timber (Channel 4)

At the start of the project, the couple wanted not only exposed ceiling joists, but also unplastered, bare breezeblock walls.

By the end, they soften and the interior walls were not only plastered and even painted, but one vast wall in the living room was clad in wood - albeit from offcuts of the exterior cladding.

With such a tight budget, the couple knew that they would have to finish the interior themselves.

Fortunately, the couple run a business making wooden gifts, giving them access to sophisticated wood turning and machining equipment.

They made a fabulous industrial-style kitchen for less than £2,000, while scaffold poles and even old wooden joists from the former first floor of the house were made into furniture and light fittings.

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The couple left the stripes on the wood cladding left by the pallets they were stored on

However, Kevin, although admiring of the couple's creative and frugal approach to creating their dream home, says: "What I don't find is acceptable is the reluctance to spend money on things like insulation." He adds that this a "wasted opportunity and a misplaced saving".

The couple claimed a shortage of money, but, as with their plans on the extremely stark interiors, they eventually softened over this - although they did install the underfloor heating themselves to save money.

The crowning glory of the house is a beautiful sedum roof - at £30 a square metre - which Rosie calls "a little slice of heaven".

The couple went £25,000 over their budget, thanks to these home comforts, and when challenged over their softening attitude, Stuart says: "We don't feel disappointed that it doesn't look like the inside of an old factory."

Calling the couple the Swiss Family Heath Robinson for their ingenuity and despite the house still sitting incongruously amid comfortable family homes of the 19th and 20th centuries, Kevin concludes: "It's as fine a piece of modern suburbia that you'll find."

This time, however, the last word should be left to neighbour Deborah Lowe: "The finished product is quite spectacular."

The last episode of this series of Grand Designs is on Channel 4 at 9pm on Thursday 17 November 


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