Grand Designs Australia

The WORST episodes of Grand Designs Australia

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Grand Designs Australia tells the stories of new homes and perhaps more importantly the Aussies who are building them. Based on the award-winning UK series, Grand Designs Australia is the first international format of the critically acclaimed show. The series charts the in-depth process of elaborate design projects undertaken by self-builders - from the initial details of blueprints, to the long and often arduous task of turning the designs into a practical living space. No design is too ambitious when it comes to creating your dream home. But discovering the hard realities that complicate your plans can often be too much to bear. Hosted by leading Australian architect Peter Maddison.

Last Updated: 5/22/2022Network: LifeStyle
Clovelly House Revisited
74 votes

#1 - Clovelly House Revisited

Season 3 - Episode 10 - Aired 4/22/2013

Julie and Patrick fast tracked the construction of their modern beachside home, thanks to a firm of pre-fab builders in Victoria. Peter re-visits them to learn how they have settled in.

Battery Point Glass House
115 votes

#2 - Battery Point Glass House

Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired 5/31/2012

Adventurous, outdoorsy types, Greg Kay and Trish Knight, live in the ideal spot to enjoy nature - right on the waterfront in Hobart’s exclusive Battery Point. The view is dazzling and the aspect fabulous so when the time comes to downsize, they don’t want to go far – and end up buying the block next door. The plan is to subdivide, sell the heritage cottage at the front of the block and build a new house at the back, facing the water. But councils have a way of altering even the best laid plans – and after several set backs and a re-think, Greg and Trish find themselves embarking on an epic upsizing adventure. The old cottage must be integrated into a massive new house with two distinct zones – historical cottage at the front, ultra modern glass, timber and exposed concrete extension at the back. But it’s not easy. Stubborn blue stone bedrock, steep, narrow, restricted access, and a rogue sewage line indicate trouble ahead. Add to that an architect given free reign, contracts done on a handshake, and Greg’s insistence on quality, and you have a schedule blow out with a budget spinning out of control. The big question is – can they afford to live there?

Yellingbo Artist's House
85 votes

#3 - Yellingbo Artist's House

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired 5/24/2012

Art teacher and sculptor Laurie Smith and his wife Renee Hoareau, a trained artist turned web designer, are both zealous art lovers; so joy of joys when, after years of searching they found the ideal block to create their ‘sculpture in space’. It’s almost as if this picturesque piece of Victoria, with its red alluvial soil, was designed especially for their new dream home. Their vision is to create a sort of domestic gallery that will inspire both inside and out. A modernist cube shaped construction of steel, stone and glass that celebrates and pays tribute to some identifiable artistic references. This will be a place to live, work, create and display their extensive art collection in equal measure. Inspiration comes from many sources – for example the 25 metre long stone facade with its tricky curved window is reminiscent of a well known state gallery. But handing over artistic license to a construction team is a big ask especially after an oversight at one of the first jobs on site, the concrete pour. It’s an early reality check that tests their ability to let go and trust. Will they manage to go with the flow and end up with the art house they so desperately crave?

Inverloch Sand Dune House
93 votes

#4 - Inverloch Sand Dune House

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired 10/10/2013

After eight years of planning, Melbourne couple Glenn and Kate Morris are finally making a start on their striking, sustainable ‘sand dune’ house near Inverloch on Victoria’s Gippsland coastline. For them, this crescent shaped, spaceship-like design is the ultimate response to a wind swept location. Once building gets underway, the couple need even more patience as attention to detail is paramount in this curvaceous new building. Lets hope it lives up to their high expectations.

Hunters Hill Textural
88 votes

#5 - Hunters Hill Textural

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/28/2013

Daniela Turrin, Niran Peiris and their son Calum are doing something no-one in their historic street in the prestigious Sydney suburb of Hunters Hill has done before. They’re knocking down their old house to build a smaller one. But these are people who believe that the family that spends time together stays together – a premise that forms the core of the design of their new home.

Very Small House
373 votes

#6 - Very Small House

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/28/2010

Architect Domenic Alvaro and his partner Sue Bassett are urban animals who love the inner city suburb of Surry Hills in Sydney. However their dream location comes with a nightmare price tag. So, they come up with a unique way of keeping costs down and do this by buying very small and building very tall. After buying a tiny corner car park measuring 7m x 6m they set out to create 220 square metres of light filled living space. Their vertical build comes together quickly thanks to pre-fab concrete panels which fit together like Lego. Construction itself is fast and efficient but there are interesting challenges on site. A miniscule block and two narrow cross streets won’t submit to the needs of a gigantic crane in a hurry – and the crane is essential as it hauls the huge panels and windows into position. Basically something’s gotta give – and it does. Will the result be worth the hassle?

Stonyfell Watertank
145 votes

#7 - Stonyfell Watertank

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired 5/17/2012

Life in Adelaide, the driest capital city in Australia, has made Mike Dare and wife Lowen Partridge passionate about conserving water. Like many people, they decided to put a couple of water tanks in their new house. But these are tanks with a difference. Massive, custom designed steel anchors that support the house above the ground. With the roof acting like a giant funnel, 100,000 litres of water can be caught and stored in the tanks which are hidden behind internal walls. It’s out of the box thinking and what Mike does best. With 40 years of design and engineering work on some of Adelaide’s most prominent buildings, he’s developed a reputation as a lateral thinker. But Mike is now responsible for creating something that looks great too and preferably in the colour he’s most comfortable with – grey. Mike likes total control so he’s acting as architect, engineer and project manager. Working with logical systems on a house built largely offsite in factories, what could possibly go wrong? Just all the things he can’t control: the weather, the schedule, his walling company going broke and most importantly – his wife’s opinion of the colour grey.

Hornsby Heights Adobe
88 votes

#8 - Hornsby Heights Adobe

Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/31/2013

Ardent collectors Kerry and Judy have a passion for Sante-fe style, mud houses even though they live on a sloping bush block on Sydney’s north shore. Inspired by an unconventional builder who changes his mind (and their design) on a regular basis, they set out to create a home out of recycled timber and corrugated iron, rendered in clay dug up from the side of the road. It may be straight out of the American mid west but this hybrid home will have a distinctly Australian flavour and provide an earthy backdrop for their many artistic objects, artifacts and collectables.

Dee Why, NSW
19 votes

#9 - Dee Why, NSW

Season 8 - Episode 10 - Aired 9/18/2019

Barbara and Craig have built two companies from the ground up, so when they decided to embark on their dream home, it wasn't surprising they threw out the rule book and decided to do it their way, with a building system that's untested.

Stirling Glass Stone House, SA
49 votes

#10 - Stirling Glass Stone House, SA

Season 7 - Episode 8 - Aired 6/15/2017

Six years ago Louise and Steve bought two acres of a rambling English garden in the Adelaide hills. Using the local stone their dream home will be a rustic two storey stone farm house with a modern twist.

Ilford Sheep Station
85 votes

#11 - Ilford Sheep Station

Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired 11/21/2013

Thirteen years ago Meredith and Matt Bayfield needed an escape from their busy lives as doctors in Sydney so they purchased a working sheep property at Ilford in the central table lands of NSW.

Paynesville Industrial
169 votes

#12 - Paynesville Industrial

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 4/12/2012

Ten years ago retired Civil Engineer Bernie Ryan and his wife Ruth, packed up their three kids and moved to Paynesville, a charming seaside town in Victoria's popular Gippsland Lakes region. Bernie’s a tinkerer with a huge shed filled with crazy projects started in a flurry, but left unfinished. Needing a new house and unwilling to pay a builder, Bernie takes on the construction himself, armed with an eccentric, industrial design, a minimal budget and a cowboy attitude. Bernie wheels out his old crane and ropes in a bunch of retired mates to lend a hand. He’s built bridges and industrial constructions before, but this is Bernie’s first ever house - and his ‘she’ll be right’ attitude lands him in hot water when the building inspector turns up unannounced. Bernie tries to do as much as he can on the cheap, with supportive Ruth ever hopeful he’ll pull it off, so the family can move from their rough old shed into a real home. This is a makeshift, do-it-yourself construction that could easily end up a shambles. Will this be the one project Bernie manages to finish, or a blight on Paynesville’s picturesque skyline?

Byron Bay Beach House
171 votes

#13 - Byron Bay Beach House

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired 11/15/2012

Max and Mariella have been planning to relocate to Bryon Bay since the birth of their daughter Ruby. As successful property developers, an ambitious build shouldn't be a problem - but handing over control to a local building team is harder than they thought. From the outset they make fundamental changes to the design making it a headache for the builder and for Max. Something has to give - especially when the bank learns the house they're loaning money on isn't quite the house being built.

Toowoomba English Farmhouse
53 votes

#14 - Toowoomba English Farmhouse

Season 5 - Episode 6 - Aired 11/13/2014

Sarah and Alistair bring a piece of the English countryside to Sarah's hometown. From the pitched roof to the European interiors, they are committed to authenticity - with a touch of fantasy.

Deakin Retro '70s House
50 votes

#15 - Deakin Retro '70s House

Season 6 - Episode 9 - Aired 12/10/2015

Barbara and Bill love modernist design so they've sought an architect designed 70s style home. Bill has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease so the home's curved roof line and glass entrance is designed for the future.

Lockleys, SA
18 votes

#16 - Lockleys, SA

Season 8 - Episode 4 - Aired 8/7/2019

Tony and Tania want a million dollar house on a $400,000 budget. Working off handshake deals with the architect and builder, will their dream home be finished?

Mansfield Indoor/Outdoor
144 votes

#17 - Mansfield Indoor/Outdoor

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired 10/18/2012

Victoria's high country is the idyllic location of Pamela & Stuart's quaint little weekender but with a permanent move here looming, it's time to upsize.

Steels Creek Earth House
85 votes

#18 - Steels Creek Earth House

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired 6/7/2012

Edd and Amanda lost everything when bushfires swept through Steels Creek. Determined to stay with the land they love, they're building a concrete bunker embedded in the landscape with one side facing the outside world.

Hamptons House
199 votes

#19 - Hamptons House

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired 11/25/2010

If ever there was an ideal place for a Hamptons house outside the Hamptons, the Gold Coast hinterland would be it – wide open spaces, balmy sea-kissed air and a sense of prosperity. For Steve and Lisa Morley it’s the American dream or nothing for their 4,000 square metre block. They love everything about the Hamptons style, from the warm timbers, to the many windows, pavilion style design, parquetry flooring and classic, soft interior furnishings. Lisa has done her research, designing many elements herself and will stop at nothing to fulfill her dream.

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Kyneton Flat Pack
144 votes

#20 - Kyneton Flat Pack

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired 4/26/2012

Kyneton, a country town in Victoria’s Macedon Ranges, is known for historic architecture and bustling farmers markets. It’s the perfect place for foodies Rod Moore and Di Foggo – who are embarking on a huge life change. They’re farewelling a classic Victorian home with traditional furnishings and building a brand new, cutting edge flat pack house on a rugged escarpment overlooking the racecourse. Di is a keen gardener and wants to create a lofty paradise with a wide, rolling view. They’ve been burnt before with budgets spiralling out of control and schedules doubling, so they have chosen a high end, quality flat pack home knowing there’s a fixed price and a speedy schedule. Trouble is, the land isn’t complying and from almost day one generates unexpected problems. Seems even the most regulated grand designs are at nature’s mercy.

Mt Tamborine, QLD
16 votes

#21 - Mt Tamborine, QLD

Season 8 - Episode 9 - Aired 9/11/2019

David and Sarah are in love with MtTamborine, the place they were married 22 years ago. They're now about to build a long-awaited home-away-from-home there, on lush mountain acreage boasting a rainforest and creek.

South Melbourne Brick
85 votes

#22 - South Melbourne Brick

Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/17/2013

Greg, a former bricklayer is passionate about two things – his family (partner Emma & their 4 yr old son Archie), and...bricks. As a testament to his love for both, he’s building (literally with his own hands) a tri-level, solid brick contemporary terrace house with a cantilevered pool on the top floor. He’s creating it from the rubble of their well loved old house located on a narrow corner block in Sth Melbourne – all that will remain of the original building is its classic Victorian facade. Greg has dreamt of building this home for years and is certain the time is right, even though it means sharing the place with the in-laws.

Lake Bennett House
314 votes

#23 - Lake Bennett House

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 11/18/2010

For 17 years Trevor and Francoise Sullivan have lived with their two kids and numerous animals in an open sided shed on 33 bushy acres at Lake Bennett south of Darwin. With money tight they were sustained by thoughts of the beautiful home they’d one day enjoy – so they both nutted out a unique design. A cyclone proof, tropical tree house that is windowless and based on the shape of a 50 cent piece. With little or no funds, Trevor (a wood carver) is building it all himself (including furniture) with the help of generous mates. The going is slow but one of the first things finished is the magnificent central staircase, carved from a fallen Paperbark Tree. Will they get the roof on before the wet season? That is the question.

Kensington Curvy, VIC
47 votes

#24 - Kensington Curvy, VIC

Season 7 - Episode 6 - Aired 6/1/2017

Architect Tim Hill has made his name designing small, radically shaped, timber houses. Now it's time for Tim's family to up-size to a new house that will be curvaceously shaped like a foot.

Southport Heritage House
371 votes

#25 - Southport Heritage House

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 11/4/2010

When Jan and Ed Gillman bought a tumble-down weatherboard in Southport, their first intention was to demolish and start again. But on learning its unique history as the 1880’s summer house of Sir Augustus Gregory (one of the oldest houses in Southport), they decide to restore instead and plan to lift the original house and move it forward two metres on the block. What follows is a painstaking restoration process – and with no official heritage guidelines in place Jan and Ed are faced with a difficult choice: take the laborious path of restoring the house to its former glory or opt for the easier path and lose the history of the house.