McCloud’s silver lining
KEVIN McCloud must think half the people on his show Grand Designs are absolute nutters.
After all, what sort of rightthinking person would spend up to three years of their life and millions in hard-earned cash renovating centuries-old houses that look like candidates for the wrecking ball?
It must put a huge strain on the relationships of the couples involved. Surely it’s a one-way road to divorce?
Not so, host McCloud says.
‘‘The whole process is immensely stressful, but looking back, we’ve done about 80 projects and have had only two separations that I know of,’’ he says. ‘‘I would argue that far from having a bad effect on a relationship, building your own house is a positively reinforcing thing.’’
One house is a prime example of the folly of some projects. Barry Surtees and his wife Julie decided to build a four-storey modern mansion. During construction, Surtees had double hip-replacement surgery, suffered a heart attack and underwent quintuple bypass surgery.
‘‘I tell them all the time— don’t try to do it yourself. Employ a project manager— but what happens is that people always ignore my advice,’’ McCloud says.
‘‘They always think theirs will be the perfect project.’’
host Kevin McCloud.