A couple are forced to battle the elements as they build a new house right on top of a 100ft cliff in Galloway, Scotland, in Grand Designs.
In tonight’s episode of the Channel 4 show, Andy Stakes and Jeanette Hardy, who live in Yorkshire, reveal they have already spent £120, 000 on an old military listening station which they stumbled upon while walking their dogs on holiday in the area.
The couple aim to knock it down and spend £250, 000 on creating their dream home, but high winds, pounding rain and additional costs risk ruining everything they’ve worked for.
‘You can see all that dark in the sky over there and when that hits, the wind is going to go from 20mph up to 40 or 50 mph,’ explains Andy as he sets to work.
‘It’s going to hit us in the next two minutes so I think we need to abandon this decision and get downstairs.’
Andy Stakes and Jeanette Hardy, who live in Yorkshire, appear on tonight’s episode of Channel 4’s Grand Designs. Pictured, the couple in Galloway with presenter Kevin McCloud
The couple reveal they bought an old military listening station which they stumbled upon when walking their dogs on holiday in Galloway, Scotland. Pictured now
Jeanette, who is an interior designer, and husband Andy, have big plans for the development.
‘I’m going to attempt to build a three-side waterproof box and then the whole thing is buried to hide it from passerby’s on the land-side,’ explains Andy. ‘Then on the cliff-top side it’s wall-to-wall glass looking out on the ocean.’
Jeanette adds: ‘For me it’s all going to be about the interior design. When you walk through that door you want that same wow factor as when you stand on the cliff.’
However, having such big ambitions and choosing such a remote location doesn’t come without its risks.
The exterior of the impressive house offers 180 degree ocean views from the cliff top – and comes with one acre of land
The couple say they aim to spend £250, 000 on the project, before Andy suggests £350, 000 is more appropriate. They end up spending £420, 000. Pictured, the living room
While Andy is eager to make the exterior impressive, Jeanette is adamant she’ll give the inside the wow factor. Pictured, the kitchen
‘The issues to worry about with this construction is it’s on the top of a cliff, its got tremendously tight access, but the winds could be a deciding factor,’ explains Andy. ‘If it’s that windy that people can’t stand upright then it’s not safe.’
In just a few hours the old listening station is gone and the 180 degree view of open ocean from what will be Andy and Jeanette’s living room is fully revealed.
But the following days the wind picks up and the couple get a taste of just how punishing the coastline can be – and it takes an extra two weeks for the tower to come down.
And as Andy starts work on the roof of his new build, his worst fears come true as the Scottish summer plays havoc with their schedule.
Speaking of the difficulties ahead of the project, Andy (pictured with Jeanette outside their house) says: ‘The issues to worry about with this construction is it’s on the top of a cliff, its got tremendously tight access but the winds could be a deciding factor’
As Andy starts work on the roof of the house, the Scottish summer plays havoc with their schedule. Pictured, the bathroom
While the project may have been more than they anticipated, Jeanette says: ‘Everything we’ve spent on it was well spent. This house was never part of the grand plan. This just came long and neither of us could resist it’
Kevin McCloud (pictured) visits the cliff-top house and is more than impressed with the finished results
In such extreme conditions it takes almost two weeks just to complete the first layer of the super strong roof.
Similarly, the wind is still howling when they come to the most delicate insulation – the glazing.
‘What we don’t want is this wind picking up anymore so let’s get this frame in,’ says Andy. ‘This piece of glass we’re putting in now the wind is blowing straight at them.’
‘If the wind catches one of these pieces of glass and drops it on the floor they’re going to hospital.’
With £38, 000-worth of sturdy double-glazed windows acting like sails in gale-forced winds, it’s a pain to get the windows in – but come the end of the show, the hard work appears to have paid off.
In total, the couple reveal they have spent £420, 000 on the project – and are delighted with the results.
‘Everything we’ve spent on it was well spent,’ says Jeanette. ‘This house was never part of the grand plan. This just came long and neither of us could resist it.’
‘Because I was travelling so much I don’t think i ever really fully understood how spectacular this place was going to be. It’s just amazing, it’s fantastic. i don’t see any reason to be anywhere else.’
Due to the extreme weather conditions, Andy reveals it takes almost two weeks just to complete the fist layer of the super strong roof. Pictured, the couple together
The interior is just as impressive as the exterior and offers a modern feel to the build. Pictured, the kitchen
Speaking of the finished product, Jeanette says: ‘Because I was travelling so much I don’t think i ever really fully understood how spectacular this place was going to be. It’s just amazing, it’s fantastic. I don’t see any reason to be anywhere else’