Do Grand Designs properties make money?


Kevin McLoud

A number of homes featured on the Grand Designs property programme have hit the market. They range from a converted industrial waterworks to a swanky new property and a historic B&B in France.

But have the properties made any money since the owners appeared on the show, and was it worth it? spotted that three separate properties that had been featured on the programme are all currently on the market.

The profits

One is a converted industrial waterworks in Bolsover in Derbyshire, which was lovingly transformed into a spacious family home on the programme in 2002. Even 12 years on it's hard to forget the backbreaking job the owners did to scrape away the years of paint and plaster to produce a spectacular property.

They are set to make quite a profit. It is on the market with a guide price of £700,000-£750,000 - having cost £150,000 to build.

The second property is known as The Big White House, a four bedroom property on Pett Level beach in East Sussex that appeared on the programme in 2004. The property was a labour of love for an art collector who wanted to use it to display some of his finest works. One of the most striking features was the reception room running the length of the top floor with extraordinary views of the sea.

It cost an impressive £350,000 to build. However, if it sells for the asking price the owner is set to make a fortune - because he is asking for £1.675 million.

The French property is harder to assess. It's an impressive seven bedroom property with two additional gites. The programme showed how the owners restored it from the burned out shell it had become at the end of the war, and it has since become a busy B&B business.

However, although we know it's on the market for the equivalent of £492,598, the owners were always very coy about what they paid for it.

Will they sell?

The resurgent property market, coupled with the exceptional quality of these houses, and the investment of money and time into what were often labours of love, mean that if they get the asking prices, they should have made serious profits.

However, this is by no means a foregone conclusion. Last August we covered the fact that an impressive home converted from a Victorian water tower in Lambeth on the programme had its asking price cut by £2 million after failing to sell. The couple bought it for £380,000 and spent £2 million renovating it, but they failed to find a buyer for £6.5 million. In the end, after cutting the price to £4.75 million the property sold.

Fortunately for the sellers, since then, the market has improved, so they can be hopeful that they have profited from their work.

Was it worth it?

Whether it was worth months of backbreaking toil, serious stress, or money worries is another matter.

Perhaps they should simply count themselves lucky not to have ended up in the same position as Dean Marks, whose converted 18th century church in the West Midlands was on the show in 2005. The stress of renovations took their toll on Marks and his wife. The separated in 2007, and she never moved into the property.