Grand Designs

The WORST episodes of Grand Designs

Every episode of Grand Designs ever, ranked from worst to best by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The worst episodes of Grand Designs!

Kevin McCloud follows people as they build their dream house, often focusing on modern design, energy efficiency, maximizing space and views.

Last Updated: 8/12/2022Network: Channel 4
The Water Tower: Revisited
89 votes

#1 - The Water Tower: Revisited

Season 2 - Episode 16 - Aired 9/24/2002

Kevin is in Amersham to update on a project taken on by Deborah and architect Andrew. Their venture involved designing an 'invisible' house that blended in with the surrounding reservoirs.

The Glass-House
137 votes

#2 - The Glass-House

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired 6/24/1999

Kevin McCloud travels to Doncaster where Michael Hird and Lindsay Harwood are building a futuristic glass and steel house in a suburb of Doncaster.

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The Eco-Barge
124 votes

#3 - The Eco-Barge

Season 7 - Episode 3 - Aired 3/14/2007

Chris Miller and his wife Sze Liu Lai lived in a tiny flat in East London with their two children Alexion and Tayszea. It was very tight for space and as the kids grew they really felt in need of more room. Chris and Sze are both social workers on low incomes and they have very little in the way of savings.

Customised German Kit House: Revisited
33 votes

#4 - Customised German Kit House: Revisited

Season 8 - Episode 9 - Aired 3/12/2008

Kevin revisits David and Greta Iredale, who replaced their original house which they designed and built themselves with a German built, precision engineered Huf Haus.

Water Tower Conversion
122 votes

#5 - Water Tower Conversion

Season 6 - Episode 4 - Aired 4/26/2006

For six years Bruno and Denise Del Tufo stared at the large concrete water tower at the bottom of their garden trying to figure out what to do with it. It’s a very rare object – a square water tower on stilts designed by architect Edwin Lutyens, who built it to supply the manor house nearby. The planners were open to persuasion so they approached an architect who came up with a bold, uncompromising extension in metal, glass and concrete. Denise and Bruno were keen to keep the original structure visible so the new house is threaded between the legs of the water tower.

The Gothic House
126 votes

#6 - The Gothic House

Season 8 - Episode 4 - Aired 2/6/2008

Jo and Shaun Bennett want to build an Addams Family style Gothic house with a £400,000 budget. With the challenge growing bigger than they ever imagined they face financial problems and struggle to stay within their budget.

The Curved House: Revisited
2 votes

#7 - The Curved House: Revisited

Season 6 - Episode 8 - Aired 5/23/2006

Anjana and David Devoy started building a contemporary home that curved around a protected chestnut tree in their garden. Kevin McCloud returns to see if their plan worked.

The Brittany Groundhouse
121 votes

#8 - The Brittany Groundhouse

Season 9 - Episode 5 - Aired 2/25/2009

Daren Howarth and Adi Nortje are keen to build an earth-sheltered home from recycled materials in Brittany. The house is a very low tech one, mainly constructed from old car tyres.

The Eco-House: Revisited
59 votes

#9 - The Eco-House: Revisited

Season 7 - Episode 5 - Aired 3/28/2007

Kevin revisits Andrew and Lowri Davies who embarked on a project to build an environmentally friendly farmhouse in rural Wales. Encouraged by their architect, they opt for some state-of-the-art experimental building materials; but do their builders know how to use them? As the budget spirals out of control, they find it increasingly difficult to balance the budget with their desire for a sustainable home.

The Modernist Villa: Revisited
10 votes

#10 - The Modernist Villa: Revisited

Season 13 - Episode 10 - Aired 11/6/2013

Kevin catches up with the story of a daring modernist home in the Andalucian hills in southern Spain.. Ten years ago Gil and Hillary Briffa decided to retire to southern Spain. Rejecting the coastal sprawl around Malaga they found a virgin plot of land up in the Andalucian hills for just £35,000. But instead of building a home like the traditional old fincas nearby, their architect son's design was a confrontational, modernist glass box, surrounded by boldly coloured connected rooms, hidden behind a giant citadel wall. Construction proved stressful. The couple put all their trust in a local Spanish builder who had never built a house like this before. The local residents didn't like it and the mayor tried to get it re-painted white. But if they could just finish the build, it promised to be the coolest retirement home Kevin McCloud has ever seen.

The House of Straw
158 votes

#11 - The House of Straw

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired 6/17/1999

Kevin McCloud is in lslington where Jeremy Till and Sarah Wigglesworth have come up with a highly experimental design for a home/office.

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The Lime Kiln House
149 votes

#12 - The Lime Kiln House

Season 8 - Episode 5 - Aired 2/13/2008

Pru and Richard Irvine plan to build a bespoke family home in the Midlothian countryside, but the plot of land is an old industrial site with lime kilns and they come with conditions.

The Miami-Style Beach House
77 votes

#13 - The Miami-Style Beach House

Season 5 - Episode 10 - Aired 11/9/2005

Kevin McCloud meets Julie and Mark Veysey, whose Grand Design is a stunning Miami-style beach house on a beachfront plot overlooking the south Devon coast. Julie and Mark have had several holidays in Miami, and Julie wanted to recreate the outdoor beachfront lifestyle back in England, living in a house full of light and sun, within easy reach of the waves.

The Contemporary Barn Conversion
122 votes

#14 - The Contemporary Barn Conversion

Season 6 - Episode 2 - Aired 4/12/2006

Hillcott Barn looked more like a Tuscan monastery than an English barn. When the farmer put it up for sale, most people who viewed it walked away. It was dark and isolated and could only be reached by a half mile farm track with a steep 1:8 gradient. But furniture designer Robert Ellis (58) had had his eye on it for some time. For years he’d been jogging past the barn and always thought one day he’d like to live there. Against all advice, Rob and his wife Jane, (58) a textile designer, went ahead and bought the barn for £210,000 and proposed to convert at £250,000.

The English Barn
214 votes

#15 - The English Barn

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 5/6/1999

Kevin travels to Oxfordshire to meet the Randolphs, who built their first house 10 years ago and now, in their 70s, have decided to do it all again!

Watch Now:iTunes
The Large Timber-framed Barn
258 votes

#16 - The Large Timber-framed Barn

Season 11 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/5/2011

Kevin McCloud follows the conversion of a large, Grade II-listed timber-framed barn in Essex into a family home and work-space by artists Freddie Robbins and Ben Coode-Adams. Their plans involve few interior walls to display their collection of toys, but at seven times the size of an average three-bedroom house, the transformation of the 500-year-old building proves extremely challenging.

Watch Now:iTunes
The Self-Build
57 votes

#17 - The Self-Build

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired 8/21/2001

In May 1999, 11 people in Bordesley, West Birmingham, set out to build their own homes. Few of them had any professional experience in construction. For the previous two years, the Accord Housing Association had been training them in the skills they would need. Now they were to put them to the test. Angela, who worked for Accord, would be the project co-ordinator. Peter, a builder with 20 years' experience, would be site manager, overseeing the work. The group members; Calvin (who was appointed leader), Paul, Carol, Mr Azad, Petrona, Tab, Gerald, Paul, Yasser, Richard, Bash - had not known each other when they signed up, having been attracted to the project through advertising and word of mouth

The Tree House: Revisited
10 votes

#18 - The Tree House: Revisited

Season 12 - Episode 9 - Aired 11/14/2012

Kevin catches up with Lincoln Miles and his wife, artist Lisa Traxler, who had discovered an uninspiring 70s bungalow on the Isle of Wight on a prime piece of land surrounded by unspoilt ancient woodland and were going to convert it into their dream home.

The Eco-House: Revisited
96 votes

#19 - The Eco-House: Revisited

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired 11/15/2001

Kevin McCloud travels to Suffolk to revisit a couple who dreamed of building a 100% environmentally friendly house. How far have they managed to stick to their green ideals?

The Glass-House: Revisited
64 votes

#20 - The Glass-House: Revisited

Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired 11/8/2001

Kevin McCloud travels back to Doncaster to catch up with self-builders Michael Hird and Lindsay Harwood and their futuristic glass and steel house in a suburb of Doncaster.

The Timber Frame Kit House
327 votes

#21 - The Timber Frame Kit House

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 4/29/1999

A couple in Newhaven face a race against time as they build their dream home on windswept cliff-top site in time for the birth of their baby.

Watch Now:iTunes
The House of Straw: 2nd Revisiting
38 votes

#22 - The House of Straw: 2nd Revisiting

Season 3 - Episode 10 - Aired 10/15/2003

Kevin McCloud revisits the improbable build of two architects who built their central London house out of straw bales, springs, nappy cladding and silver tin.

The Bournemouth Penthouse
101 votes

#23 - The Bournemouth Penthouse

Season 7 - Episode 4 - Aired 3/21/2007

James and Katrin Gray live in Bournemouth on the south coast. James runs his own book distribution business and Katrin works for an investment bank. They used to live in an apartment on the second floor of a former Victorian hotel. But three years ago, James bought the top floor flat. It was originally built as a solarium for the hotel in the 1920’s where holiday-makers could soak up the sun. Now James and Katrin plan to convert it into a modern, luxury penthouse

The Co-Op: 2nd Revisiting
3 votes

#24 - The Co-Op: 2nd Revisiting

Season 12 - Episode 12 - Aired 12/5/2012

Kevin saw a ground-breaking co-operative of ten families built their own homes on the edge of Brighton. They where known as 'The Hedgehogs' and were made up of former travellers and those living in insecure accommodation. Kevin catches up with the community over ten years on.

19th Century Manor House: Revisited
35 votes

#25 - 19th Century Manor House: Revisited

Season 6 - Episode 5 - Aired 5/3/2006

Kevin McCloud revisits Denise (Deni) Daniel and Doug Ibbs. The couple, in their mid-50s and from Dorset, bought a 19th-century manor house in Creuse, Limousin – in central France – on a Sunday, having seen it for the first time ever on the previous Tuesday on the Internet and visited it on the Thursday. They don't mind hard work too, which is even better news because the house was a wreck.

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