As Grand Designs celebrates 20 seasons on our TV screens, we take a look at what happened to some of the show’s biggest builds after the cameras stopped rolling.

From on-site arguments and building site problems to happy conclusions, the big reveal was only the beginning for these couples.

Here’s what happened next for some of the show’s most ambitious house builders, including whether their design project really did turn out to be the home of their dreams — or left them with unmanageable debt.

Old-meets-new house, Muswell Hill

Owned by Penny Talelli and Mark Edwards

An awkwardly sloping site, bought by owners with two young children, very demanding jobs and completely different tastes in architecture. What could possibly go wrong?

In fact, despite the stress of project managing a long build, the family house built by neurologists Penny Talelli, an ardent fan of contemporary architecture, and Mark Edwards, a fan of period houses, somehow went very right.

Back in 2013 the couple, now both 47, were living in a flat in Highgate when they spent £750,000 on a site in Muswell Hill with a semi-derelict Victorian gatehouse.


Owners Penny and Mark bought a plot of land with a semi-derelict Victorian gatehouse in 2013 (Channel 4/ Paula Beetlestone)

The gatehouse, which Mark loved, proved too ruined to save. So they rebuilt it, with a giant zinc-clad box behind it. The result was a five-bedroom home for them and their two children, now aged eight and 10.

Time flies on Grand Designs. But in reality getting planning consent for the project took a year-and-a-half, the build took another two-and-a-half years and the family moved in during 2017.

The original quote for the build was £1 million, but the couple were able to whittle this down to £600,000 by dissecting the project.

Their contract with their builder was for labour only, they sourced all the building materials themselves and hired specialist contractors for some elements of the work, such as the heating and the kitchen.

“It was stressful but fun, too – we got much more involved in the project than we otherwise would have.”

Three years on, the couple are happily ensconced in their old-meets-new home, but not without a few regrets.

The house was so highly insulated that the family sweltered in summer. So they have installed solar glass to cut back on the overheating.

Shortage of money meant the basement idea had to go.

“We have got a sort of half-basement, which is okay, but it could have been much better,” says Mark. But they are staying put.. “We like the area, we like the house, we built it as a place to stay,” says Mark.

VERDICT: a success story. The house is valued at £2 million.

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