ROBERT Gaukroger is an optimist.
Well, he’d want to be with plans to renovate a home to more than quadruple its size on a diminishing budget while living with his young family on site.
In tonight’s Grand Designs, hosted by Kevin McCloud ( pictured), Robert and Milla are redeveloping an 1980s house in the Lake District. But the radical build is risky and their budget very tight.
When the couple find a plot overlooking Lake Windermere in the Lake District National Park, they reckon they’ve hit gold.
There is already an ugly ’ 80s house on the site. But rather than knock it down, Robert plans to incorporate this into a new design which will quadruple its size.
Three large linked extensions will be added and, to cap it, an enormous and complicated domed grass-covered roof will be constructed over the entire house.
Passionate about sustainability, Robert also designs his own system of heating.
He builds an enormous spine wall in the building, lined with a latticework of pipes which will carry water heated by solar panels and a wood burning stove. The idea is it will act like an enormous storage heater, if it works.
But in a build full of risks, the biggest of all is starting with only $ 100,000 of the $ 400,000 budget in place. To make matters worse, as construction kicks off, Robert and Milla are soon introduced to an evil villain, the GFC, and their eternal optimism is all that keeps them sane through the whole saga.