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"We sold it because of the market and also because it was crazy to just have one person living there," says Jane Ellis, whose Hillcot Barn in Herefordshire home featured on the Channel 4 series in 2006. My husband was spending all that time in there by himself with two cats."I'd been approached to do a big job for Armani in London... The other thing, is we could see the overcooking of the property market and we were determined we didn't want a mortgage after a certain age." Ellis and her husband, Robert, bought the barn on the edge of the Forest of Dean in 2004 and sold it at the tail end of 2007."Heating bills were okay." What about the space – how did the family fill it?"Actually, we ended up getting rid of lorry loads of furniture from our previous house," she says. "There's a tremendous amount of emotional attachment when you've bought every bit and piece yourself and put it where it should be. You can't put emotion into it." Ellis now splits her time with her husband between a house in Herefordshire and one in Greece.The boat had to be mothballed in the Thames Estuary, was vandalised, then broke free of its moorings and washed up on a beach near Southend earlier this year in a sorry state of disrepair.The House Of Straw Jeremy Till and Sarah Wigglesworth, above, are architects and their Holloway home featured in the very first series of Grand Designs in 1999.I don't think a lot of people could have lived in the house we lived in for two years while this was being built – with a leaking roof and horribly damp. We've seen that happen a lot of times on Grand Designs." Architect Garry Thomas from RRA worked on Jane Ellis's Hillcot Barn. "That when a client doesn't want to follow the advice of professionals, to walk away sooner," Thomas says. I had a builder prepared to build the project to the quality and specification that was drawn. If you were doing it and you didn't have the discipline of the camera you'd think, 'oh well, I could just leave that bit'.
"In my opinion, Grand Designs is the best of the best in terms of a TV grogramme that documents the build process from start to finish.
Janne Hoff-Tilley's restored Castello di Brancialino in Tuscany was featured on Grand Designs Abroad and is on for €1.95m (£1.7m) with Knight Frank International.
In 2009, Barry and Julie Surtees built The Curve, a one-off modernist edifice on the crest of a hill in Withdean, Brighton.
Property for sale in East Sussex Houses for sale in East Sussex 2 bedroom houses for sale in East Sussex 3 bedroom houses for sale in East Sussex 4 bedroom houses for sale in East Sussex 5 bedroom houses for sale in East Sussex Detached houses for sale in East Sussex Terraced houses for sale in East Sussex Bungalows for sale in East Sussex Property for auction in East Sussex Shared ownership properties for sale in East Sussex Retirement properties for sale in East Sussex Commercial properties for sale in East Sussex New homes for sale in East Sussex A stunning estate set in beautiful rolling countryside on the Kent/Sussex border.
The estate includes an historic Grade II* listed house, converted timber barn, 3 cottages and extensive equestrian and farm buildings.
When you see the amount of dedication some people put into the biggest project of their lives – building their own home – it's surprising to think that they could ever find the will to sell up and move on.