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The House that £100k Built

Wed Sep 18, 8-9pm, BBC2

TV has struggled to make much sense of life since the financial crisis. Usually, it’s just tried to shoehorn the nation’s reduced circumstances into familiar formats. With that in mind, welcome to ‘Grand Designs: The Austerity Years’, in which journalist Kieran Long and architect Piers Taylor follow the progress of people trying to beat the cost of living squeeze and the property bubble by building a new house instead of buying one.

We begin with Ruth and Tony, who have pulled down their crumbling Shropshire farmhouse and are planning to erect an ambitiously designed new one. There are probably a few cheap decor hints for keen home-improvers, but generally this glosses over the extreme financial risk that the couple are taking in favour of some exaggerated TV jeopardy and cheery resolution.

It also sees Piers spend what feels like half of the episode persuading Ruth that what she wants her house to look like isn’t close enough to what he, Piers Taylor, thinks she should want her house to look like. Which is probably only half as aggravating to watch as it must have been for Ruth to experience, but pretty annoying all the same.



If Harrison had bothered to watch until the end of the programme, he/she would have seen how very pleased, (if not ecstatic), both Ruth and Tony were with the finished building, and how the presenters managed to inspire them to try things they would never have considered at the beginning of the project. This is the whole point of the programme. There are materials and approaches to building and design which ordinary people like us feel are out of our range in some way, or maybe too daring or unusual. Throughout this series, Kieran Long and Piers Taylor have encouraged and empowered people to go in directions they hadn't even considered. All of them have been totally bowled over by the end result. All of them have a home which is interesting, stylish, and individual to them . All of them have achieved this for £100,000 or less (including most of the interiors). This programme has given me more hope, encouragement, and inspiration than any of the others, and what impresses me as much as anything is its modesty. Design shouldn't rely on the ''Grand ''

Jackie Ryder

This has to be the worst programme on house building I have ever seen,Piers Taylor is an idiot I feel sorry for the people who's houses he has been let loose on. Who would want to clad there house in cow shed tin a small child could come up with better ideas than this so called top architect . How many more lives will he ruin by the end of the series , this man needs to be stopped.

joe mcsharry

The house that 100k built , I watched an episode of this programme yesterday where the owner of cardboard cottage had 50k to build a house .I believe the person involved had a design and building quote to complete a straight forward one bed bungalow . UNTILL the BBC came along and completly redone this womans house with the idea of raising the ceiling and using wooden sheeting as the finish on all the walls apart from the one that was left as concrete breeze block , I understood that because of the change to the build and the delays this caused that the build cost rose behond what the owner had bugeted for and in fact the project was left unfinished . she had been convinced to not use traditional rendering so at the end of the programme she had in fact no rendering on the building anyway it looked terrrrible and no amount of enthusiactic spin by the architect and presenter could bluff anybody . . was this build a set up for a revisit programe of dont get done get dom . Are the BBC gonna pay to put this womans house right