Featuring architectural homebuilding projects, the popular television series, Grand Designs, has just celebrated its 18-year anniversary since it was first aired on Channel 4 in April 1999.


Presenter, Kevin McCloud, has been at the helm from the onset, following each project from start to finish – for all 17 series, he has met with homeowners who were looking to refurbish their property.


Show’s Format


The show’s regular format sees McCloud – a British designer, awarded the MBE in 2014 for services to energy saving property refurbishment and sustainable design – meet the clients who are commencing building projects. They tour the site, discuss the plants and look at a computer-aided visualisation of how the completed project will look.


After the ground work begins, McCloud visits the site regularly to check the progress. He highlights any unique features or materials being used, making his final visit when the project is finished or almost finished. Viewers are treated to a tour of the house, with McCloud summarising the work that has been done and giving an opinion on how he thinks it has turned out.


Unusual Designs


The featured properties vary in design and style but they all have one thing in common – they are unusual or extravagant in some way. Homes that have featured in past shows have included dwellings constructed underground, a house constructed from a converted water tower and examples of “green” homes built using sustainable architecture.


A favourite among viewers was the home featured in episode three of series three, when author, natural eco-builder and woodsman, Ben Law, decided to construct a house using a chestnut frame manufactured with materials from his own woodland. The building of his home was filmed for Grand Designs and viewers later voted it the most popular design ever.


Such is its popularity that the Grand Designs show format has been taken up by television networks in Australia and New Zealand, with their own presenters.


Green Housing Scheme


A highlight of McCloud’s long history in the industry began in 2007, when he launched HAB Housing Limited, standing for “happiness, architecture and beauty”. He then led a consortium and bought two plots of land on the outskirts of Swindon, Wiltshire, where the first HAB housing development – HAB Oakus – was constructed.


The joint development between HAB and housing group, Green Square, comprised 42 environmentally sustainable and affordable homes, which were built on a former caravan park. The scheme was backed by UK regeneration and housing charity, Homes and Communities Agency, who contributed £2.5 million.


The project was completed in 2011, with the whole process being filmed and broadcast for a Grand Designs special episode, entitled Kevin’s Grand Design.


Bifold Doors


The design or refurbishment of your home, whether old or new, is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. It’s an interesting fact that many of the homes that are refurbished on Grand Designs incorporate bifold doors. Maybe not so surprisingly because bifolds afford extra space, as they create a seamless flow that carries you effortlessly into outside areas – and they invite an abundance of light into your home.


Slide or Fold has a large selection of high-quality Schuco bifold doors that will enhance any home-building or refurbishment project. To complete your very own Grand Design, please contact our team of professionals…we will be happy to offer our expert help and advice on a bespoke solution for your bifold door requirements.