Grand Designs couple build dream 'floating' home over a swampy pond

Grand Designs couple struggle to build their dream ‘floatinghome over a pond in West Sussex, and then face the future of the project being threatened when their £70,000 windows order is delayed

  • Architectural designer Dan and his wife interior designer Nina appear on the Channel 4 programme tonight
  • Bought plot of landwhich houses a tired 1930s home they intend to knock downfor £850,000 in Sussex
  • Includes a swampy pond filled with local drainage which they want turn into a biodiverse waterscape
  • A couple has revealed their struggles to construct a Grand Designs home which ‘floatsover a pond in the middle of their West Sussex plotwith just a £650,000 budget.

    Architectural designer Dan and his wife interior designer Nina appear on the Channel 4 programme tonight as they set out to build their dream house.

    The duo bought their plot of landwhich houses a tired 1930s home they intend to knock downfor £850,000 in West Sussexbut it includes a swampy pond filled with local drainage. They ideally want turn this into a biodiverse waterscape including a natural swimming pond.

    Maar die egpaar se bouvorm word uit die staanspoor deur probleme belemmer, including issues with funding after a mortgage loan fell through as well as delays to the delivery of £70,000 worth of windows, meaning their structure was left dangerously open to the elements.

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    A couple has revealed their struggles to construct a Grand Designs home (op die foto) which 'floats' over a pond in the middle of their West Sussex plot - with just a £650,000 budget

    A couple has revealed their struggles to construct a Grand Designs home (op die foto) which ‘floatsover a pond in the middle of their West Sussex plotwith just a £650,000 budget

    Architectural designer Dan and his wife interior designer Nina appear on the Channel 4 programme tonight as they set out to build their dream house (op die foto)

    Architectural designer Dan and his wife interior designer Nina appear on the Channel 4 programme tonight as they set out to build their dream house (op die foto)

    The duo bought their plot of land - which houses a tired 1930s home they intend to knock down - for £850,000 in West Sussex - but it includes a swampy pond filled with local drainage. Op die foto, the living room

    The duo bought their plot of landwhich houses a tired 1930s home they intend to knock downfor £850,000 in West Sussexbut it includes a swampy pond filled with local drainage. Op die foto, the living room

    The couple ideally want turn this into a biodiverse waterscape including a natural swimming pond. Op die foto, die kombuis

    The couple ideally want turn this into a biodiverse waterscape including a natural swimming pond. Op die foto, die kombuis

    But the couple's build (op die foto) is hampered by difficulties from the outset, including issues with funding after a mortgage loan fell through as well as delays to the delivery of £70,000 worth of windows, meaning their structure was left dangerously open to the elements

    But the couple’s build (op die foto) is hampered by difficulties from the outset, including issues with funding after a mortgage loan fell through as well as delays to the delivery of £70,000 worth of windows, meaning their structure was left dangerously open to the elements

    Father-of-two Dan, who runs his own business in London, is eager to finish the build within two years as his father was diagnosed with leukemia a year before they started constructionand wants to see their dream home.

    Hy sê: ‘There’s definitely an anxiety to get the project done as soon as possible because my dad’s so poorly at the moment. He was diagnosed with leukemia a year ago. It was terribly sad because I just want to desperately to finish this so we can share it together.

    Tydens die program, Dan is pictured ringing his former farmer father, who taught him how to layer bricks, drive a digger and weld, for advice.

    ‘It’s overwhelming,’ admits Dan during the early stages of the project. ‘Everywhere I seem to look something seems to be happening and truth be told I haven’t done many new builds. So its a pretty massive undertaking and I just really hope I can deliver.

    Ongelukkig, just three months into the gruelling project Dan’s father passes away.

    Dan says: ‘The first time he acknowledged to me that he thought he was on his way out, was when he saidI’m not going to see the finished project”, which was about a month before he died, which was a sad moment.

    Father-of-two Dan, who runs his own business in London, is eager to finish the build (pictured is the bedroom) within two years as his father was diagnosed with leukemia a year before they started construction - and wants to see their dream home

    Father-of-two Dan, who runs his own business in London, is eager to finish the build (pictured is the bedroom) within two years as his father was diagnosed with leukemia a year before they started constructionand wants to see their dream home

    Dan is hoping to finish the project (op die foto) without an overload of builders by doing much of the work himself to save costs, admitting he'll be giving '90 per cent of my time getting involved'

    The couple were hoping for a £650,000 budget - which presenter Kevin McCloud called "tight and ambitious" - by selling their home, remortgaging a flat in London and from their income from their own businesses

    Dan is hoping to finish the project (op die foto) without an overload of builders by doing much of the work himself to save costs, admitting he’ll be giving ’90 per cent of my time getting involved

    ‘But it just installed in me the fact that he was so proud of me, of what I was doing and I think that’s what I’ve got to take from it and I’ve just got to push forward and make sure I do the project really well.

    Dan is hoping to finish the project without an overload of builders by doing much of the work himself to save costs, admitting he’ll be giving ’90 per cent of my time getting involved’.

    The couple were hoping for a £650,000 budgetwhich presenter Kevin McCloud calledtight and ambitious” – by selling their home, remortgaging a flat in London and from their income from their own businesses.

    Egter, a remortgage loan falls through and they have to sell their rentalmeaning months of waiting until the sale eventually happens.

    In Augustus 2019, they finally sell their flat which pays for the whole build, as well as a tennis court for Dan as a ‘treat’, with the father saying: ‘I can’t wait to play on it with the kids and the new puppy.The couple also spend a staggering £10,000 on trees.

    By the time another winter comes around, Nina bemoans having to spend more time in the 1930s house, verduidelik: ‘There’s no insulation, there’s holes in the window’, and the family also have to top up their baths with water from the kettle.

    Dan (op die foto regs) feels torn through building as he is late to a camping holiday with his family and unable to help Nina put the kids to bed, sê: 'I want to be the best dad... but also have to work to pay the bills.'

    Dan (op die foto regs) feels torn through building as he is late to a camping holiday with his family and unable to help Nina put the kids to bed, sê: ‘I want to be the best dadbut also have to work to pay the bills.

    Teen Februarie 2020, the house (pictured is one of the rooms) and pond structure is built, however due to a misunderstanding with the window supplier, the £70,000 worth of windows are delayed by weeks - putting the whole structure - and the decorations that have been started inside - at risk of the weather

    Teen Februarie 2020, the house (pictured is one of the rooms) and pond structure is built, however due to a misunderstanding with the window supplier, the £70,000 worth of windows are delayed by weeksputting the whole structureand the decorations that have been started insideat risk of the weather

    Intussen, Dan is at one point filmed building at night as he tries to complete the project, sê: ‘I always remind me of my dad because he’s the only one that would do this kid of thing. I dreamed about him last night and told him about the project.

    But Dan feels torn through building as he is late to a camping holiday with his family and unable to help Nina put the kids to bed, sê: ‘I want to be the best dadbut also have to work to pay the bills.

    Teen Februarie 2020, the house and pond structure is built, however due to a misunderstanding with the window supplier, the £70,000 worth of windows are delayed by weeksputting the whole structureand the decorations that have been started insideat risk of the weather.

    Potentially resulting in thousands of pounds worth of implications, Nina says of the windows: ‘I think that would make such a different to our emotional state because it feels really cold and windy and grim to be honest on site.

    Potentially resulting in thousands of pounds worth of implications, Nina says of the windows: 'I think that would make such a different to our emotional state because it feels really cold and windy and grim to be honest on site.' Pictured, the bathroom

    Potentially resulting in thousands of pounds worth of implications, Nina says of the windows: ‘I think that would make such a different to our emotional state because it feels really cold and windy and grim to be honest on site.’ Op die foto, the bathroom

    The two-year deadline passes in July 2020, and thankfully all the windows are in except one and only the natural swimming pool is left to be created. Op die foto, the project

    So, will the couple get their dream home - complete with a natural swimming pool?

    The two-year deadline passes in July 2020, and thankfully all the windows are in except one and only the natural swimming pool is left to be created. Op die foto, the project

    ‘It has a massive impact on Dan, his sleep, his eating, it affects our relationship but we’re trying to be there for one another but it’s not been easy. It’s been really, really tough.

    Dan adds: ‘[Die maatskappy] wanted all the money up front. We’re totally at their disposal. The implications are massive.

    ‘You put your life savings and everything you’ve emotionally got into it and you’re kind of at the disposal of waiting for these windows that never arrive.

    In Maart 2020, Nina, whose parents are isolating at that point due to both having cancer and because of the global Covid pandemic, sê: ‘I’m praying that one day it ends so that we can just get this b***** house done.

    The two-year deadline passes in July 2020, and thankfully all the windows are in except one and only the natural swimming pool is left to be created.

    So, will the couple get their dream homecomplete with a natural swimming pool?

    Grand Designs airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 4

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