Grand Designs (Australia)

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.

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Episodes Season 8

  • 1. Euroa

    Eddie and Dot Spain are a dynamic couple running their own large training/education professionals company in Victoria. They’ve purchased a 95-acre property in the Strathbogie Ranges – the rolling hills behind Euroa where bushranger Ned Kelly and his gang hid out. This is a tough landscape that’s strewn with huge granite boulders, but it’s no deterrent for Eddie! He’s a semi-retired, hands on kind of guy who wants to jump on the tools himself in order to build the massive Corten Steel clad contemporary home that he and Dot envision. With a $1.3 million budget and a two-year timeframe to build it, Eddie soon realizes that this project is far bigger and more complicated that he’d planned. It will test all his resources – both physical and financial – to finally get it finished.

  • 2. Elsternwick

    Interior designer Lori Bastone and town planner Maugan Bastone want to create a quirky, one-of-a kind contemporary home with an off-street car stacker and a trapeze net over the dining table. Trouble is, they want to build it in one of Melbourne’s most historic suburbs, and will have to negotiate heritage regulations, a tight block and an even tighter budget to achieve the house of their dreams. Having commissioned top architect Andrew Maynard to design something radical, Lori and Maugan face financial hurdles before the first brick is laid, and decide to manage the build themselves. But will their compromises jeopardize their vision for a house that stands out in the crowd and is the perfect family entertainer?

  • 3. Curl Curl

    Builder Steve Mallinger couldn’t help himself when he stumbled upon a staggeringly steep block for sale with 180-degree views of the coast in Sydney’s Curl Curl. With existing plans for a James Bond-style home dangling nine metres over the cliff, he dives in with the support of wife Rae and decides to tackle the multi-million dollar project. But for a perfectionist like Steve, this job will challenge his building abilities and his budget as he struggles to not only build a house, but also run his construction business, cope with the demands of a new baby, and work on the side as a personal trainer.

  • 4. Lockleys

    Tony and Tania Kanellos believe good design doesn’t need to cost big dollars so when their dream block by the Torrens River in Adelaide comes up for sale they set about designing a truly original, Space Age looking home. With a meagre $400,000 budget and just a handshake deal with their builder, work begins onsite but very quickly they realise building a home requires more than just clever ideas and wishful thinking. As the weeks turn to months and the months to years with little progress on site, Tony and Tania have to decide whether to persevere or sell up. Either way, it’s going to stretch their finances and test their relationship in their quest to build a radically different home.

  • 5. Lewisham

    Author and travel writer Alice Hansen is one of the proudest born-and-bred Taswegians you’re likely to meet, and has spent much of her career promoting the Apple Isle. She now wants to build a tiny house in a spectacular location overlooking Tiger Head Bay just outside Hobart. It’s designed to showcase and celebrate everything – and she means ‘everything’ – Tasmanian. She’ll travel to some of the world’s most beautiful areas on the hunt for materials and inspiration for her home – from the submerged timber forests of remote Lake Pieman to the spookily spectacular Pumphouse Point on Lake St Claire, as well as engaging some of Tasmania’s most creative and eccentric furniture designers. But with a tiny $250,000 budget it’s not long before Alice’s champagne tastes leave a nasty after taste.

  • 6. Toolangi

    Tabitha Barclay and Chris Secretan had always dreamed of living in the forest. Thirteen years ago they bought their perfect block – 120 acres of old growth rainforest in Toolangi, 73km north east of Melbourne. With two small children and another on the way, as well as two businesses to run, they finally decide to start building their perfect home - a two storey farmhouse inspired by the 15th century ‘saltbox’ homes of New England. But there’s a catch! This house needs to be able to withstand a furnace! Surrounded by towering Eucalypts on all sides bushfire is an ever present threat. With Chris doing the build and trialling some innovative new building systems, and zero wiggle room in their $420,000 budget, Chris and Tabitha couldn’t have foreseen the sacrifices required to build their dream home.

  • 7. Rivett

    Teacher and mechanical engineer Peter Bullen, 65, has reached a time of life where he wants to do things his way! Quirky and now happily single, he’s packed up his Sydney home and moved to Canberra to be closer to daughter Belle, where he plans to undertake a bold experiment. With a passion for making things, he wants to build the ultimate underground man shed in suburban Rivett– basically a concrete bunker that will double as his home. The house is designed so Peter can fire up the power tools at all hours of the day and night, and will be thermally efficient, and have a large native garden on top. But at $750,000 it’s a lot of money to spend on a highly unconventional project. Will this be the house of Peter’s dreams, or a risky financial folly?

  • 8. Suffolk Park

    Fashion designer Mike Fishwick and his graphic designer wife Megan have a passion for Mid-Century Modernist architecture and its pared back, minimalist aesthetic. So much so that Mike’s single-handedly designed and wants to build their three-bedroom Modernist home and swimming pool on the edge of a rainforest close to Byron Bay. But with a tiny $300,000 budget and little experience in the construction industry, building this home is going to push Mike to the limit. With the family squeezed into a tiny 1970s caravan, there’s a huge incentive to get this house finished as soon as possible…if only he can keep his perfectionist tendencies in check!

  • 9. Mt Tamborine

    Financial consultant David Hobart and speech pathologist Sarah are a Queensland couple with an affinity for Mt Tamborine, the place they were married 22 years ago. Together with their two sons, they are about to build a long-awaited home-away-from-home on lush mountain acreage, boasting a rainforest and creek. Working with close friend and award-winning architect James Russell, the couple are creating a modern hybrid house, an L-shaped reinterpretation of the traditional verandah-style Queenslander, married with an open plan village-style Asian farmhouse. Wrapping the entire home in one form or another will be an unusual mesh screen shade cloth allowing the occupants to be outside all year round. Can David – a self-described control freak – trust his architect buddy to build the house of his dreams without blowing the budget? And will the design be enough to tempt Sarah to relocate to Mt Tamborine permanently?

  • 10. Dee Why

    Craig Chal is an inventor who thinks he has come up with a building system that just might revolutionize how we build our homes! And what better place to trial it than on the family home he plans to build with wife Barbara. With sweeping views over Sydney’s glorious Northern Beaches, Craig and Barbara have designed a massive four storey home with indoor swimming pool, a climbing wall and a bizarre underground workshop. But while Craig’s building system makes sense on paper, in reality it is almost impossible to execute. With endless complications – from manufacturing in China to trying to secure a patent for his invention – this build will test not only his faith in his own abilities, but also his health, and make him question whether or not he should have ever started this project in the first place.

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