Grand Designs: Man is stunned after builders quote him £4 million

Grand Designs returns! Owner with a £1million budget is left shocked by £4million quote to turn abandoned Neo-Gothic cemetery lodge into his dream home with a swimming pool and a MOAT

  • Justin, from London, appears on Grand Designs with an ambitious project to transform Neo-Gothic building
  • Father-of-one wants to transform abandoned cemetery keepers lodge into a family home for £1.6 million  
  • But he is left gobsmacked when a builder quotes in £4 million for the project 
  • The new series of Grand Designs airs tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm 

A father-of-one has been left stunned after builders quoted him £4 million for his ambitious renovation of a Neo-Gothic cemetery lodge on Grand Designs tonight.

Justin, from London, appears on the hit Channel 4 series, which returns at 9pm, and reveals his desire to transform the abandoned keepers lodge  and adjorning ex-council toilet block into a luxurious mansion in just 12 months for £1.6 million.

His vision involves restoring the lodge but demolishing the ugly toilet blocks and replace them with an enormous luxury ground floor extension, with added moat and giant basement with a swimming pool – all just metres from the nearest grave. 

But the former army captain is left shocked when his builders quote him £4 million for the project – more than double what he had initially budgeted.

Justin, from London, appears on the hit Channel 4 Grand Designs tonight as he reveals his ambitious plans to transform the abandoned keepers lodge and adjorning ex-council toilet block into a luxurious mansion in just 12 months (pictured, presenter Kevin McCloud outside Justin’s home) 

The self-builder, who has a £1.6 million budget, is left baffled when builders tell him the project will be likely to come in at over £4 million (the giant basement with a swimming pool – all just metres from the nearest grave)

The father-of-one hopes to build the house, for himself and his five year old son, in just one year, and with no more than £1.6 million

Justin hopes to build the house, for himself and his five year old son, in just one year, and with no more than £1.6 million.

However, the project hits delays right from the off. 

In a clip released ahead of the episode, presenter Kevin McCloud said: ‘You can understand just how nervous Justin is about this project.

‘It’s scale, it’s size and it’s ambitious. All accepted.’ 

The former army captain’s vision involves restoring the lodge and building an enormous luxury ground floor extension, with added moat (pictured, the main part of Justin’s home) 

Justin furnishings his stunning home in trendy turquoise and brown tones, with added accents of gold (pictured, the kitchen and dining room) 

He continued: ‘The thing is though, he is a soldier. And soldiers remain soldiers through and through  forever and ever.

‘With a combination of that daring do, military precision and focus, nothing should go wrong – should it?’

Reacting to the news some of the builders were budgeting his project, Justin said: ‘£4 million? Woah! I mean – I don’t know what they thought I looked like.

‘But £4 million!?’ 

Presenter Kevin McCloud praised Justin’s ambitious plans and modern design as ‘daring’ and said he had ‘military focus and precision’ 

Justin’s budget rapidly spirals out of control on the programme, which airs tonight, as he attempts to transform the Neo-Gothic structure 

However, when the tortuous demolition and excavation finally start, Justin decides his basement needs to be even bigger.

He plans to extend the excavation directly underneath the heavy stone-built Gothic lodge, adding hugely to the engineering costs and schedule. 

With challenges coming thick and fast, including a global pandemic, remarkably Justin refuses to compromise even as the budget spirals out of control.

The new series of Grand Designs will see self-build including a radical barn reconstruction for a remarkable young couple defying illness to build a new life near Sevenoaks. 

Meanwhile Justin demolishes the dated ex-council toilets next door to the gothic lodge and creates a stunningly modern extension with glass windows (pictured) 

There’s a risk taking, sky diving couple breathing new life into a seventeenth century Cornish mill on the verge of collapse. 

In South Lincolnshire a local builder creates an enormous Dutch influenced tile-skinned home at breakneck speed while near Bletchley, there’s a pioneering couple defying logic to create one of the UK’s first self-heating houses. 

Speaking of the new series, Kevin said: ‘We can expect the usual kind of rock and roll mixture of everything really, from new to old. The great strength of the series is that I think it deals with all human emotion. 

‘We have grief in this series, and we have joy and we have loss and we have hardship and illness and determination and hope.

The former army officer was left flummoxed when builders quoted him £4 million for the project, which involved a moat and an underground swimming pool 

‘And all of this of course through Covid, because these projects have been ones that we’ve been able to follow during the periods around lockdown, and we’ve brought them to conclusion. 

‘So inevitably, Covid is part of the story.’

Meanwhile he said that potential self builders shouldn’t be deterred by the current pandemic, saying: ‘Well I’d give them the advice that I give to all of our self builders, and that is that if you have an idea of what you want to build, and where you’re going to do it, then get yourself an architect who shares the same view of the world as you do. 

‘Don’t think it’s a waste of money, it’s not, because they will deliver you savings in the building, they’ll deliver you beauty and joy, and an experience of living in it which is way beyond what you expected.’

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