You're spot on Jack, the setting and views would have been there for a much less expensive house.
People have mentioned Clinton the perfectionist from a couple of weeks ago. I felt that he was quite a sad lonely person in the end. The quality of finish and detailing on his house, however, was fantastic. Hence my comment that I loved the outside of the Isle of Wight house. They didn't really show much of the inside but it certainly didn't look like the inside of a £2m build.
I was genuinely scared for guy's health in the end and unlike Clinton I felt a lot sorrier for him, I think it was because he seemed like a nice enough bloke who had got carried away. I don't know if anyone remembers the house with the inverse winged roof a few years ago where the guy argued about the price of everything. He was a quite unsympathetic character but he was visibly being hurt by the stress he was putting himself under, as well I think as actually hurt by spraining his ankle!
To Declan's point I had the chance to buy a great plot a few years ago. At the time I made the decision that the cost of the plot and the house would mean working another 6 or 7 years to pay for it. My decision then was I'd rather be retired earlier and not stressed by having a massive mortgage. I'd give the same advice to anyone.
It brings up broader questions about budgeting for a self build. Of course everyone has different aims and different budgets, but I am certainly finding that most efforts to keep the price of things down is met with the accusation of being penny pinching and that it isn't worth it within the overall cost of the build. In general this may be right, but dozens of decisions made like this quickly turns into tens of thousands of pounds. It seems that there can be a feeling that once you have decided to build a certain design of house then you are stuck with it and have to spend whatever is necessary to get it built. This is a dangerous way to spend money. It can partly be avoided though by trying to design a house to your budget, something which two of this year's projects have totally failed to do.
I would often like to know what people have spent relative to the value of the houses. Quite a few GD houses have struggled to sell over the years, certainly at prices commensurate with their build cost. The participants are often very reticent to talk about this.
One last point on Grand Designs. Other than a few eco builds, the people seem often totally unconcerned with insulation in their houses.This house for example appeared to have a single glazed hallway and once again massive amounts of frameless windows, also I am not sure about the curved glass walled room's insulation. I am surprised they don't put more emphasis on the eco credentials of the houses. Instead to make better entertainment we are likely to get difficult to build houses where the costs spiral out of control. It is a shame as one of the reasons I like the show is that it is much more positive than most reality television. In general you are seeing people achieving a dream and I find it often quite uplifting. I was brought to tears by the soldier who had lost his legs building his house.
Edited by AliG, 30 September 2015 - 06:31 PM.