Nick Knowles and the team recruit help from the local community to build an extension that will allow a brain-injured son to return home after a year in hospital.
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Welcome to DIY SOS. This week, in Chippenham, me and this lot...
Well, me, this lot,
and this lot of big-hearted volunteers have just
nine days to take a house apart and put it back together again.
In order to bring a family back together again.
Yes, this is DIY SOS, The Big Build.
-There's a shock!
We're here to reunite the Jenkins family - Sue, Lois and Harry.
Sue's eldest son, Jay, has been in hospital for the last year.
He collapsed after suffering a traumatic brain injury
whilst playing rugby for his school team in the spring of 2009.
They came out to my car and said,
"Oh, Sue, Jay's had a funny turn," so I drove my car across
the front of the clubhouse and went into the changing room
and he was on the floor, foam coming out of his mouth.
I knew it was more than a funny turn.
Jay was flown to hospital to have a blood clot removed from his brain.
He survived the operation, but his condition was critical.
They said he had a 1% chance of living for the first four weeks.
He was totally life supported for the first week
and, on the seventh day, they said I either turn off the life-support machine
or give aggressive treatment and I went out to his bedside after that meeting.
And I just put my hand on his right shoulder and said,
"Jay, come on, you've got to get up and breathe, you've got to go out!" and he took his first breath.
It was just like a bad dream and like, none of it was really real,
and it was just so upsetting knowing
that our brother could've died, but I'm so glad he didn't.
The first couple of days, I just really wanted to wake up,
because I thought I was asleep, but obviously not.
We've always been a very close family.
We always say we're the four Musketeers.
I've been a single mum for 11 years now
and we've always been very close. I mean, Jay, being the eldest,
he was more like a father figure for Lois and Harry as well.
So, for them, it's been quite a shock for them not having him around
in that respect and for me, obviously,
he was just so grown up and just a friend as well as a son,
you know, which...
Mum and Jay were just so close. He used to just come home from school
and just crash on my mum's bed and just fall asleep talking to my mum.
They were just really close together.
Just I really miss... I really miss him.
'Jay's condition is now stable, but to get him home, Sue's had to move her family and buy a new house
'that can be specifically adapted for Jay's needs.'
Long-term, is he going to be all right?
-I think so.
-You think he can fight back against all of this?
I've got a lot of belief in God. I know that God heard me when I cried out, when the helicopter took off.
I know for a fact. And I've got massive belief and faith
that God's in control and got him in his hand and he's going to be OK.
But you've also got to have a life for your...
-for the two others, Harry and Lois.
It's only in the past couple of months, actually,
I've realised I shouldn't feel guilty about taking them places and having fun, because...
because Jay's missing out, you know?
Because we haven't really done anything for...
until about the past month, since we moved here.
But it's quite a hard one to...
to realise that I shouldn't feel guilty about doing things.
HER VOICE BREAKS
And that life's got to go on, really.
Jay wouldn't want us to have no life just because he's in the predicament he's in at the moment.
-Still going to be a long road, isn't it?
It'll take as long as it takes and I say to him all the time,
I'll be with him every step of the way until he's back on his feet.
What is it that you need doing to this house? It's not bad, in terms of open plan.
We've got a living room, dining room area, a decent size.
What is it that you need doing to this house and why?
He needs a bedroom, he needs a wet room, big enough because he's 6 ft 4.
And we need a porch to put his wheelchair in,
and some lockable cupboards for his medical supplies and everything.
'Sue and the kids are moving out, so we can move in.
'We've got a massive challenge to get this house fit for purpose in just nine days.'
All right, so how much can we do to this?
I don't know how... What are we going to do?
-Shall I tell you?
-I'm looking and thinking there's not much that we can do to it.
There's huge amounts! It's important, when Jay comes out of hospital,
he has full accessibility on the ground floor to be very much part of the family again.
'Our first task is to make some big structural changes downstairs.
'We're taking out a wall to create a new, open-plan family room.
'We're building an extension on the back of the house for Jay's bedroom,
'wet room and to provide separate wheelchair access.
'Julia's design needs to be functional and practical as well as easy on the eye.
'We also want to do something special with the garden, as this will be Jay's window on the world.
'But this story isn't just about Jay. We want to do something for the rest of the family as well.
'So, as a one-off booking, we're bringing in an extra designer with bells and whistles.
'We've pushed the boat out and booked a national treasure,
'a star interior designer with unrivalled experience and hair.
'Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen is a household name,
'best known for restyling the nation's homes with a garish, trademark flair.
'He dresses like a modern-day Beau Brummell.
'He's been commissioned by moguls and millionaires but not for a while by the BBC.
'But today, we're letting him loose on an ex-council house in Chippenham.
'He's got his own unique style, but remember,
'the Jenkins family can paint over it if they don't like it.'
-Come inside, come forward, say hello.
-It's like the seven dwarfs.
-You can approach! Come in.
-Meet our designer Julia.
-Very, very nice to meet you.
-Do you want to meet Billy, or would you rather not?
-This is mum's room.
-Obviously, very, very plain,
and you get a real sense from this that,
with all that's been going on over the last year, the last thing
that she's going to think about is making a space for herself, time for herself, a treat for herself.
'Whilst Julia's doing downstairs, Laurence has to transform
'three bedrooms from blank canvas to bespoke boudoirs in a few days.
'He must complement the practical and pragmatic design downstairs
'with something indulgent and impressive upstairs.'
I know a lot of people that would be extremely happy to help with something like this.
So there's a particular... Mum wants...
she's definitely going to get some kind of five-star,
very, very elegant, very indulgent, very grown-up, feminine space,
then we'll have a bit of fun for Lois and Harry.
'This is a build of two halves, combining functionality and beauty.
'Downstairs we've got to create a space that caters for Jay's special needs
'but also retains the feel of a home for the rest of the family.
'Upstairs, Laurence's here to give Sue, Harry and Lois
'tailor-made treats in their bedrooms.
'We've only got nine days for a job that should take six weeks,
'so we need to clear the decks and get a move on.'
-My fan's turned up!
'Jules, Matt, Mark, Chris and Billy are here to do the business.
'They're good, but not that good, and so to stand a chance
'of getting the job done on time, they'll need a lot of help.
'Not only are the Jenkins' family and friends lending a hand,
'but a bunch of local trades have given their time for a good cause.'
My wife's a teacher in the local school
and she saw your advert that had gone up
and said I should go and get involved with that.
-You're local trade?
-Yes, just in Chippenham.
-All right. And you've come along to help out?
-I saw the advert and just phoned up and came along.
-Lovely, thank you very much.
'First up, Laurence needs to consult with his new clients about their design tastes.
'We're keeping Sue in the dark about her room, so Laurence will have a free rein in there.
'But the children have clear views on colour schemes.'
What things would you like to see? What colours would you like? What sort of things do you dig?
-Well, my favourite colour's blue.
-What kind of blue? Sky blue?
-Yes, sky blue.
Right, now, Lady Lois.
What about your passion palace, your boudoir?
-She wants a night disco in her room.
-Really? We'll see what we can do.
Well, I don't know.
-Black and white.
-Right. OK. Any accent on that at all?
-Kind of black-and-white.
-I don't know.
-Yeah? If you had to put a colour with black and white,
what would you put in?
-Um... I don't know.
-The nation is on tenterhooks!
What is she going to say?
-Um... I don't know.
-I like purple, but I'm not sure.
-I like green.
Good. Jade would be very good with black-and-white.
'Really?! I think I'll reserve judgement on that one.
'Back at the house, the extension is starting to take shape.
'It's like a massive flat-pack and three guys have to construct it in just two days.
'Pretty impressive by anyone's standards.
'At the front of the house, the well-dressed - well, the over-dressed one - is back.'
What are you doing? I can't stand by and have you carrying things like that.
-Don't you mind your nails.
What surprises me is that such a relatively small house can yield such a lot of rubbish.
-Why are you making her carry things?
-Julia, excuse me.
-Just give us a lift up here.
Do you want to do this one?
-That's it. Come on, you boy, you!
-That's it. Look at that.
Just don't tell anyone, OK? Just don't tell anyone.
Do you not have to do this when on site?
Obviously, I'm always happy to help and that's why I'm wearing tweed(!)
-LAUGHTER My work-wear.
-Yeah, I can see that.
But you... I mean, um... I do feel...
I know it's very old-fashioned, but it is odd to see a wonderful,
-gorgeous, glamorous lady like yourself carting bits.
-I remember glamorous.
-Big bits of masonry. Look at you.
-Not really glamorous any more.
-The more you stand next to him, the more glamorous you become.
'What Laurence has failed to grasp is the bag of spanners look is de rigeur on site this season.
'Just look at father-and-son kitchen fitters, Steve and Kyle.
Not only have they given up their time to help with the build, but have dressed appropriately.'
-I understand you know the family.
-Yeah. My, um...
one of my son's knows the lad who's got injured.
-Yeah. That's why we got involved with it.
Make a big difference, if we can get this sorted.
If he gets to come home, and they hope that'll improve his chances of recovery.
Sue's in a crazy situation at the moment.
She can't get him home until this is done.
But she's got to get him home, so it's got to be done.
'I couldn't have put it better myself.
'We've made a great start to the build thanks to the local trades.
'We've managed to wreck the house. Tomorrow, we can start putting everything back together.'
'Day two, and the team are moving from destruction to construction.
'The steel beams to support upstairs are going in like a treat, and outside, one of our many supporters
'is delivering something else that will go down a treat.'
-Just baked this morning! Just baked now.
-Look at that!
Would you like one with your tea? Go on, you haven't...
-You haven't had anything sweet all week.
-I'm trying not to...
-Shall I peel it for you?
-I just think I'm going to have to.
-They're still hot in the middle.
You know you're not allowed cakes, don't you(?)
-Laurence, do you want a cake?
-Do I want what?
-Would you like a cake?
-Yeah, a cake.
-I assume this is a joke, isn't it?
-No, this lady's just made us cake.
Oh, cake! Oh, thank you, that's very sweet.
That's lovely. Thank you. That's very kind.
As you can see, they do need fattening up.
'The roof's the most complicated part of the extension
'as every piece of wood has to be cut and shaped individually.
'The brickwork's going up at a rate of knots.
'These guys don't know Jane, but have taken time off to help out.'
Maz, Andy and Colin have been doing the brickwork for us.
When they came in yesterday, we said, "How fast can you go?" And they said 1,000 a day.
Didn't get started until 4 o'clock yesterday,
and they reckon they'll do 1,600 today, because they're trying to pick up speed.
And this wall's coming up really nicely.
-How's it going, boys, all right?
-Not too bad at all.
'If only it were going so well indoors.'
-What's that, then?
-Who put that structural beam in there, when I wasn't looking?
-The roof people?
-It's on the roof.
-Did you not think that through?
-That's news to me.
-Well, hold on a minute. Um...
-I didn't know that was going there.
-Ah! Is that a problem?
-Well, it is a little bit, because our windows won't fit now.
-Hang on a second! Where's...?
-Here we go. I didn't measure them.
It is my fault. Pencil in the air, it is my fault. I didn't know that that beam was going up there.
-Unless you leave it as part of what you look out at.
-No, that's silly.
Put some lights up there. It would look lovely, that, into the room.
Or put a couple of nails in and hang your dishcloths. That's where the sink's going.
-Take those blocks out and lower it.
-Right, so that's done.
'You'd think we were making it up as we went along.'
I mean, it's quite a tricky, small space, but it's the biggest room.
'Upstairs are people with notepads and measuring tapes.
'Laurence is the perfect booking for this job.'
Talking about black-and-white, which is extraordinarily stylish.
A green accent, weirdly. You know, like a jade or a chartreuse.
'This family need to be wrapped up in luxury and, with the help of his studio director, Julie,
'Laurence will bring glitz and glamour to this box-shaped house.'
We're going to use curtains going right the way across.
It's so weird the way that architects build these houses
with the window completely to one side like that.
Actually, it feels really incongruous,
so if we have floor-to-ceiling curtains,
I think that's going to improve the sense of space here and make the room feel a lot bigger.
In here, come.
The whole idea is to create something that feels very
like a sanctuary. Very serene, very elegant.
Make a really very grand statement with the bed.
Either a big floor-to-ceiling headboard,
upholstered headboard, or some kind of drapery around it.
'He's quite bossy with her, isn't he?
'With everything we're doing, we hope to change this family's lives.
'After a traumatic year, they deserve a break.
'Harry and Lois have spent a lot of time apart from their mum while Sue has visited Jay in hospital.
'They need some fun together and remind themselves they're still a family.'
They're quick, aren't they? They're hopping up like monkeys.
They are. They've always been like monkeys since they were young.
-Have you been to this park before?
-Yes, but didn't come here.
We were over by the beach about three years ago.
-So, Jay would have been with you?
-Is it strange to come back?
It is, actually. When we first drove in, I was like...
-Last time we were here, Jay was here. But we'll come back again when he's ready.
Oh, look, she's shaking, bless her!
OK, try and kick your legs over. That's it. One leg.
Good boy. Two legs. Now wave to Mum.
Have you told Jay we're here and what's going on at the house and that DIY SOS is around?
Yeah. Every day I say about it and tell him what's happening.
I've taken videos on my phone. Obviously, I can't now, cos it's all a big secret.
-But yeah, when I show him, he opens his eyes and he watches.
He even tracks my phone when I move it around. He's watching it.
-You're fairly sure he knows what's going on and what we're doing?
How is it seeing them hopping about and jumping about and having a chance to do something physical?
It's lovely to see them enjoying themselves actually. Really lovely.
It just makes me realise I need to do it more often with them.
Come on, you can do it.
'A new day, a new roof. Every single bit of wood has been made to measure
'and there's the added complexity of supporting the special equipment Jay will need.'
How's it going? I've been watching and it's probably the most complex roof I've seen in a long time.
It is pretty complex, but we've got there in the end.
The three different pitches are different. The angles are different?
Everything is different, yes. You've got one pitch on this end,
a small elevation with another pitch and you've got the side there,
-That's a different pitch again.
-What's the hammering for up here?
They're being beefed up, because there is a special hoist going in.
Yeah, this is the hoist, so they can put him into bed.
-When he comes home, you can move him around, cos he's a fair old size. He's 6 ft 4.
-So that's the purpose of these extra heavy beams. Lovely, thank you very much.
'Upstairs, Billy's trying to throw light on Laurence's flamboyant designs.
'They may look like works of art, but the lack of technical detail is confusing our electrical friend.'
-He's got two hanging lights here.
We don't know the size of the bed, not sure where the bed's going.
-We believe the middle of the room.
-There is a picture there.
Yeah, a lovely picture, but we're used to a picture with dimensions.
'Laurence is taken a huge risk leaving his design plans open to interpretation by Billy.
'Julia's taking no chances in the garden. She has drafted in a husband and wife garden design team
'to help create a vivid and stimulating space for Jay and the family.'
We've got plans for a lovely deck area outside the house.
A low sloping ramp going through to a lower deck area with a lovely L-shaped sitting area and a pergola.
Lots of nice plants, things that smell nice and sound nice.
It's really important for me that we create as much of a sensory garden as we possibly can,
because that's really going to help Jay with his rehabilitation.
That all sounds really exciting.
You've got your work cut out for you, haven't you?
You say "we". It's that one over there, really.
Poor hubby. Do you not get your hands dirty as well, then?
I don't get my hands dirty!
-There's something very wrong, clearly.
-I do the airy-fairy planting bits.
Well, it's just as important.
'Indoors, Julie and Chris and their mates are like pigs in plaster.'
-How old are you?
-I'm 63 in November.
-Are you really 63?
You thinking of retiring at any stage?
Not really, no. I enjoy working and having a good craic with the lads.
-Are your arms extra-long?
-Do you want me to show you?
Come here. Put your trowel down. They all take the mickey out of me, right.
-I haven't been plastering as long as you. I've only been plastering 23 years.
-But doing ceilings and that, you adapt. Your shoulder.
Right, so I got extremely long arms.
-So the way we measure it, you see...
-Not face to face, is it?
-The way we measure your wingspan...
-Are you winding me up?
No, no, no. I'm going to do it for you.
Look, that's my wingspan.
And that's my height. Yeah? Now, your arms should be the same length as your height.
If I do mine, for example.
They call me gibbon baboon man.
Look at that, see, it's the same.
My wingspan is the same as my height.
Go on, have a go. Do the best possible you can reach.
Got it? There you go.
Have we got it? Now, go on, tell the truth.
Yes, boom! My hero!
See, it's years of plastering.
-I still think there's some orang-utan in the family somewhere.
-It's a pleasure to meet you.
'Up on the roof, the felting is going on,
'which means the tiling can start tomorrow, and it's only day three.'
All done? All finished?
-Thank you very much.
And, Margaret, group hug? Group hug!
Not me, you fool, him.
Isn't that a beautiful thing?
'If it weren't for all the help we're getting,
'we wouldn't stand a chance of turning this job around in just nine days,
'and we wouldn't be here if it weren't for Jay's friends.'
-Who wrote in? Yeah. Why did you write in?
Um, cos one of my friends mentioned they wanted to do it, and they just didn't get round to it.
I thought it would be the right thing to do at the time.
And I'm friends with Lois, and my brother's best friends with Jay's little brother.
-So Harry's always at our house now.
Have you seen what's going on in there?
-Yeah. What do you think?
They're going to be so shocked.
-You think it will make a big difference?
-They deserve this.
That's what we're here for, 'to make a difference. Whether it be digging a hole,
'wielding a hammer,
'or installing a kitchen unit, every little helps.'
I'm now about to join the merry crew of workers. I'm here in my work wear.
I'm wearing my work tweeds.
I've even got my work cufflinks on.
These have the added advantage of being silver bullets,
and it's coming up to full moon, and we know what happens to Nick at a full moon.
Just in case, I'm prepared.
Oh, now, look, this is looking really crisp...
'Laurence and Julie have a problem on their hands.
'They've got to get a large wardrobe into a very small hole.'
-So the wardrobe matches the bed...
-It was apparently bought by Jay...
..before his accident, so I know Sue would really like to keep it.
-You've thought of a cunning plan.
-I've thought of a cunning plan.
-Is it going to work?
-Well, it should work.
What's going on in here?
-The big wardrobe that needs to be incorporated into the scheme because of its emotional importance...
..which doesn't actually work...
If we put it there it's a bit of a shame,
because it ruins the possibility of having a nice console table and a mirror.
-But you want to put it...
-Which I think is quite neat.
-Depth and height is fine.
-What width is it?
-The wardrobe is 118?
-Basically, it would mean taking the architraves off and bringing the studwork back.
Is it studwork or brickwork? It's brickwork, isn't it? You've got to take the door frame out.
-You might have to...
-Chip back a little bit.
..cut a little bit of brickwork back.
I'm sure we can find somebody for you later on.
'How come he's being so helpful? Laurence may be wearing work tweeds,
'but his definition of work seems to be a bit different to ours.'
Are you opening a tin of paint?
-Are you painting?
-I'm doing stuff.
-Are you actually painting? In a tweed jacket?
-Who paints in a tweed jacket?
-Aren't you going to splash it?
It goes everywhere when I paint.
You're doing the wrong thing.
No, but seriously, when I started off with really swanky places, in sort of palaces and mansions,
you're actually encouraged never to use anything more than a small dust sheet.
If you kind of cover everything and you wear overalls, the temptation is then to be a bit messy.
If you're turning up to work like this, little bit of a dust sheet,
-the idea is that you keep it controlled.
-Yeah, so there we are.
-OK, all right.
-Do you do the same sort of technique when you're rolling a ceiling?
-No, I don't do rolling.
That's the only disadvantage. If I'm doing ceiling, it does take a long time.
A little tiny bit at a time.
And our designers over the years,
-because they tend to go at walls with two-inch brushes, and we get very annoyed with them.
It takes forever! We haven't got forever! We've got a limited amount of time to get it done.
How are you going to feel about this brush, then?
-You're not seriously going to...
-I am seriously going to do that.
It's these freehand scrolls,
which are going to be in white on black.
Lois was very keen on the idea of black and white. She says sort of girlie, florally wallpaper,
but I really like the idea, rather than doing something that's all over,
of actually just picking areas to bring the pattern in.
So a little bit of curl is fine. Too much, it could go horribly wrong.
Have you mentioned that to your hairdresser?
I have, but the thing is, I'm never there.
I have to leave a little Post-it note, "Don't go too far with this one."
I'll leave you to it, I'll come and see what it's going like later.
'Well, obviously, with Laurence on the tools, we're going to tear through the upstairs(!)
'We've got more than 70 volunteers on this job,
'and it's not just the local trades who've given up their time to make the house ready for Jay.
'His schoolmates have been fund-raising for the last year to help the family.'
# I got a feeling, whoo-hoo
# That tonight's gonna be a good night... #
We're at a school who are organising a fund-raising event for Jay this evening,
and Sue and the family are here, aren't they?
And lots of Jay's friends, and we've had a chance to get all poshed up this evening, it's lovely!
Smart, isn't it? Very smart, eh?
What's great about this, Sue can come out and have a really good time, let her hair down.
She's put so much energy in, travelling back and forwards to see Jay all the time.
It's a great opportunity for her to come and let her hair down a bit.
I'm glad you haven't put really high heels on, cos I didn't want you to be towering over me.
-No, I was very careful about that tonight.
-Shall we go?
'There's a huge turnout, and loads of different ways of raising money.'
Oh, this is amazing!
It is absolutely fantastic, yeah.
We thought we were going to get 240 tickets, we got 400.
It's absolutely fantastic, the support's been amazing. We're so lucky.
It just goes to show, the support from Chippenham is just incredible.
-Come on, Chippenham!
-It really is.
-Come on, Chippenham!
Katie? You set up a fund for Jay, is that right?
After the accident, we decided that we'd set up a fund to raise money
so that when he came home, we had enough money for equipment and things like that.
It's within school, and the first thing we did was a massive rugby match, which raised over £3,000.
-Wow, well done.
So that was like the beginning, and since then any money that we get just goes straight to the fund.
-Can we have a toast?
-You want a toast?
ALL: To Jay!
'Jay's friends from the sixth form have pulled out all the stops.
'This fund-raising ball raised £8,000, all of which is going towards getting Jay back home.
'It's over a year since his accident.
'He's defied the odds, and is now in a stable condition.
'We're all desperate to reunite the family and get them back under one roof.'
You know, it's the sheer scale of the job that we've taken on here that's so impressive.
Go and have a look.
'Guest designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen still has a lot to do in Sue's room,
'but that sparkly wallpaper gives you an idea of what he has in mind.
'Harry's room now has a view and a cleverly designed bed.
'We're totally restructuring the downstairs.
'With this wall out, the kitchen's taking shape.
'Down into Jay's room, with the new entrance.
'And the wet room's coming together.
'Finally, it's out into the new garden.'
Pretty impressive, isn't it?
Look at this, almost all boarded out in here. What's that going on there?
Pocket door, they're finishing off.
Oh. The pocket door is when it slides in and out to make maximum use of the space.
Is that the bloke with the name?
-That is the bloke with the name.
You can't call someone Hareward, what are you called for short?
How easy are these to sort out, these sliding doors, then?
If we had the instructions at the beginning, they would have been quite easy.
-We've now got the instructions, and it's going along swimmingly.
I see! So first off, you were just trying to throw it all together without knowing how it fitted, yeah?
-It's always nice when you get something new like that, isn't it? Is it going to be all right, though?
It will be wonderful... I hope.
Really? So if I pulled it now, it would work, would it?
-Yeah, it'll work, Nick, yeah.
-That's all right, isn't it?
-Thanks for that.
Had fun with it, though, have you?
Er... I think, how many hours?
-Ten hours to fit a door!
Well worth it in the long run, though, innit, yeah?
'We may not have thought of instructions for the door,
'but we have given a lot of thought to our beams.'
Interestingly, the beam that goes through here is a wooden beam, and it's a laminate beam,
and it would actually last longer in a fire than a steel beam would.
Isn't that incredible?
It doesn't twist, that's why,
whereas a steel beam, once it gets hot, will twist and buckle
and then will collapse, whereas the wood beam won't twist, simple.
'He's my mentor.
'A brief but informative distraction from the ongoing drama of the pocket door.
'There's only so much door drama any of us can take in one day.'
Erm... We have a problem, Houston.
If anybody's vaguely interested,
this pocket door has got increasingly narrower and narrower,
and it's not going to be wide enough for the shower trolley.
It's all gone very quiet.
Mark and I rather foolishly took a view...
..that the door that we've got would be wide enough. And it's not.
Well, I don't see how you can change it now, the walls are in and the walls are plastered and the...
How did we get to that position?
We actually had a standard-sized door on it, and then Julia said it would be too small.
-It's got to be wide enough.
-So I went and got a bigger door to go into it, and it's still too small.
Didn't we know the size of the trolley before we started? No?
-Have you just got the size now? Have they just rang through?
-They've just rang through.
It's been a bit of a moveable feast, these sizes.
But it is absolutely something I should have...treble-checked on.
You haven't got 168 from the electrics.
So even if you had a door wide enough, and an opening wide enough,
you wouldn't have another recess for the door to disappear, anyway.
-Because you've got electrics down there.
-Oh, my God.
Well, I think all you can do is take the door back
and put a frame in so that it takes a 900 door, and have a swinging door,
but it means we're going to have to cut all this out.
All that pocket door stuff that was really complicated to make will have to go.
We can't make this any bigger,
because all the frame's cut, so it wouldn't fit any more.
So we'll have to bin the frame.
Hang on, look, the boy's thinking.
Maybe we could gain more that... Take this out, back to the wall.
Well, from that cheek to the wall is 900.
Oh, actually, do you know?
That's a really, really good suggestion. Isn't it?
You see, people overlook what's actually going on inside that melon.
And actually there's a lot, isn't there?
Sorry, I'm standing on your side on this, because we...well, I have to take the responsibility.
You should both take responsibility for letting the team down on this one.
Do you mind?!
Mind the plasterwork!
If she wasn't in the way...
Yeah, I know, I know!
Stay there for a minute.
Anyway, there's another problem solved!
'Upstairs, no violence at all, it's all gentle and freehand and froufrou.'
Oh, look, it's all gone swirly in here.
It's a bit swirly.
This is my early swirly phase.
Welcome. Welcome to it. This is Tim, by the way.
Are you doing your own swirls, or are you filling in swirls that have already been created?
I do basic swirls, and Laurence does the fancy bits round the edge.
-Actually, to be honest, I think Tim does swirls, I do furbelows, but we won't...
Yeah, let's not even go there, it's all going to get very complicated.
Is a furbelow to a swirl what voiles are to nets?
-Blimey, hark at you!
You've had some kind of designer book.
No, it's just the designers always call things different names ten years on,
so my mum used to have nets, they're out of fashion, now people put voiles in.
-Are they in or out at the moment?
-Well, it depends how nosy your neighbours are, really, doesn't it?
'Downstairs, Julia's facing a much more fundamental design challenge.'
Just trying to come up with a design for the storage solution for the hallway.
It's really important for Sue that she has storage for all of Jay's medical equipment.
Although we've got a nice wide hallway, we need a big turning circle
for the wheelchair as it comes round a tight corner.
So I'm trying to come up with something that still allows for that, that maximises all the space.
'Sue has no idea we're doing up her room.
'At this rate, she won't notice the difference.'
I was going to say, not a great deal of change.
Ta-da! I beg to disagree.
This is really the only element of richness in the room, but I think it's absolutely wonderful.
It looks quite organic, so I don't think she's going to be too frightened by that.
A little bird tells me £250...
It is quite expensive.
-I wanted to spoil her.
We never spend more than 40 quid a roll.
This is what was so lovely. The minute I rang some of these people up
-and told them what we were doing, it's like the suede that's going...
-And the silk that's going on the bed.
And the shag-pile carpet, all of these things, people have been so desperate
to give Sue a real sexy, slinky, quality environment.
'We're not sexy or slinky downstairs yet, but we're working on quality.'
The toilet originally we were going to put here.
-But the way the toilet, again, is moulded, the back of it is very tight,
so I think we would have to look at putting it diagonal.
We can't do that, because at some point in the future
there will need to be wheelchair access to it.
In order to shift from a wheelchair to a loo you need to be able to get either side,
and you need to be able to get a wheelchair up too,
so it's got to go on that wall, so we'll need to get a new loo.
-We'll have to get a new toilet as well.
And there was me thinking I could go out and buy nice, pretty, shiny things.
Instead I shall be buying basins and loos.
And then Harry's room is now blue. These are actually self-adhesive.
This is actually just a shot from a local wood that we did on the way home the other day.
And the idea is to bring a sense of perspective into the room, because it's a very, very small room.
Explain to me something, because I've often wondered, what's the big deal with the three?
If there's a single theme in art over the last 20 years, it's been,
"take a picture and split it into three chunks." What's the deal?
You see, that's very interesting.
It's... You do tend to instinctively go for odd numbers in modern decorating.
Traditional decorating, you always go for even numbers,
so you think, a Georgian fireplace will have two candlesticks, two vases on the mantelpiece, or whatever.
Modern decorating, you tend to do it so it's asymmetric.
What this has done, by splitting the image into three, it's made it much more abstracted, which I wanted,
I didn't want it to be too intimidatingly a view of something, like Hilda Ogden's Muriel.
-I'm going to get back to the furbelows.
-Your furbelows and your flounces, lovely.
'There's no such fun downstairs. Julia can only dream of furbelows and wall art.
'She's got bridges to build with the sliding door work detail.'
How's it going, then?
-It's going OK.
-Yeah? Thank you very much, boys.
Got me out of a real hole here.
Not a wide enough hole, but there we go. That's great.
It'll be fine. We'll get it done.
-Yeah, it'll all work out.
It's all about solving problems, isn't it?
Solving problems that designers cause in the first place!
We didn't say that.
'You didn't have to, mate, it was written all over your faces.'
Hello. You know what day it is today?
-It's not Thursday.
-It says so on my socks.
-You've got the wrong socks on.
-No, it's Thursday.
-It's not Thursday. I knew you were the wrong person to ask.
Steve? What day is it?
Er, Monday, isn't it?
Any sort of special Monday?
-It's a Bank Holiday Monday.
Exactly, there, thank you very much.
Mario, pull your trousers up.
-Andy, what day is it?
-What sort of Monday?
-Bank Holiday Monday, thank you.
All these people have given their time up on a Bank Holiday Monday to help us out. Thank you very much.
'Yes, thank you, thank you. The wardrobe Jay bought for his sister has arrived from storage.
'Julie's job is to see whether it fits into the widened opening.'
I'm sure it'll be fine.
'If she can't pull it off, he'll beat her. Not really, he doesn't do that.'
-Julie, who measured the hole? Did you measure the hole?
-I rang up and someone gave me the measurements.
Do you not think if you'd measured it yourself, you'd know?
-Yeah, but I couldn't measure it because it was in storage, so you have to rely on other people.
It'll be fine. It's always fine.
That's not good.
Straight backwards until we've got it in line with the edge. Then start going in.
I feel sick.
Pass this end, yeah?
I feel really sick.
-It's going, yeah.
-Is it in?
-Yeah, it's going.
Thank God for that.
I don't know what everyone was so worried about.
'We've been flat-out in Chippenham for a week, working on home AND garden.'
-It's come along beautifully, hasn't it?
-It's looking lovely, isn't it?
-Lots to look at and think about.
-You pleased with it?
-Yeah, we are really pleased, just shows what you can do in seven days, really.
We are very pleased. I can't believe you came in and did all this. It will make a big difference to her.
Yeah, we can say there's going to be a few tears tomorrow.
And it's going to be very nice to see her reaction and be able to meet Sue,
and, you know, for her, for the pressure to be gone, it's going to be great.
'The special equipment Jay needs to move back home is being tested.
'And two of his heroes from Bath Rugby Club, David Barnes and Joe Maddock,
'have come to help with the finishing touches.'
Don't slow them up. There's more to do here, guys. Thanks very much.
-That's a nice colour, where did you get that?
I don't want to interrupt your ironing too much, but you've been to see Jay, haven't you?
Yeah, we went to see Jay not long after his accident, actually.
It's obviously very sad what's happened to Jay but his family have rallied round
and, obviously, what you see today, a lot of people have rallied round him and it's great to see
something like this happening, get him home, and have him get better as quickly, as soon as possible.
'Sue's faith has got her through the last year, so we're painting a psalm on the wall.
'Upstairs, Laurence is admiring his handiwork.'
-I'm waiting for an ironing board.
-Made the bed. It looks sort of...
It's getting there, isn't it?
The heirloom cupboard that it has to work around now fits almost perfectly
-in there. The carpet tiles look absolutely brilliant.
-These are tiles?
And she was very keen on this idea of bringing a bit of green in there. Ah, more green.
Which is an unusual thing to do with black and white, but I think it works really well. It freshens it up.
I'm very happy with that.
At the moment, we're a bit congested in here.
Andrew's desperately finishing off the headboard and the bed.
Doesn't look desperate. He looks very much in control, in command.
-The most tranquil room in the house.
-Look, he's just made of suede.
-He's so unfazed, unhassled.
-Isn't he? He has great hair.
Shall we go and have a look at the other room? Yeah?
And then, to Harry's room, which is taking shape. You know Jamie.
-Nice to meet you. How are you?
Very good, thank you very much. Look, sharp-dressed man.
How come everyone in your team looks like they are going somewhere interesting?
Do you notice how sweet that was? Because he's, very tactfully, he's taken himself off,
because he knows that that very smart shirt clashes with the walls.
-So you've got to be careful.
-This looks good.
-He's done brilliantly.
This is a workstation. Very simple, very modernistically done.
-Storage under the bed.
-Could you have put a bigger pelmet on, do you think?!
-It is, but I like that.
-I thought I would make a statement with my big pelmet.
-Are you pleased?
(HIGH-PITCHED) Yes, I'm delighted, thank you very much, Nick Knowles.
It's been a wonderful experience(!) Not life shortening at all(!)
-No, it's been a worry, hasn't it?
-You know, my parting's a lot wider.
-Is this the other one?
-It's got a lot wider.
-You put the other one on this morning.
-This is the one that I washed at too high a temperature.
'The team are working into the night to get the job finished.
'The garden looks amazing in all its night-time glory.
'With specially fitted lights and a fantastic water sculpture.
'Look at that!'
'Nine days ago, Sue, Harry and Lois moved out so we could move in
'and get their home ready for Jay's return from hospital.
'They haven't seen the house since and, in that time, we've managed
'to completely transform the entire house and garden. On the ground floor,
'Julie's overseen a monumental amount of structural work to transform this drab interior
'We've taken down the kitchen wall and tarted up the units so they look brand-new.
'As well as a new hob and extractor there are new composite stone worktops.
'Julie's also designed windows looking straight into Jay's new room.
'Successfully marrying design and practicality.
'Jay's room was the one we simply had to get right.
'We built an extension with its own entrance and its own wet room.
'This work alone should have taken weeks but we've managed it in just a few days.
'Julie's big challenge was to come up with a design that provided everything Jay needs to come home.
'Impressively, she's also managed to add light, space and colour
'while filling the extension with stimulating images and familiar objects.
'At the back of the house, we've turned the disused garden into a sensory haven
'for Jay and the rest of the family.
'The gardeners have worked tirelessly to create a stimulating and interesting landscape,
'as this garden will be Jay's window on the world.
'He'll be able to see and hear the water sculpture, day or night.
'To bring a touch of glamour to this ex-council house,
'we made a one-off booking and invited a guest designer
'with an unrivalled reputation for opulence, luxury and big hair. Upstairs, Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen
'had a very different design challenge. We asked him to create
'three bespoke bedrooms for the rest of the family.
'Lois's drab room has been transformed into a teenager's dream den, with its black-and-white theme,
'its hand-painted furbelows and green accent. It's a room most girls Lois's age can only dream of.
'The pretty, sparkly consoles and cushions add essential glitz and glamour.
'Harry's tiny boxroom was a real challenge.
'The trio of tree panels gives the room depth and space,
'and a clever, extended built-in bed, gives the room character with plenty of storage underneath.
Next door, Sue has got a big surprise waiting for her.
'She knows nothing of the changes Laurence has made to her bedroom.
'He's gone for a luxury, upmarket feel with sequinned wallpaper,
'high-quality upholstery and suede coverings.
'Sue's room is classy and relaxing, a room fit for a glamorous mum
'who needs somewhere to recharge her batteries.'
We need...a bedroom and a wet room for Jay.
-And a home, where you can be all together.
-You don't care what it looks like, do you?
-Not really. Well, yeah, but not really. It's not as important as having rooms for Jay.
Open your eyes.
Oh, it's awesome.
-I'm glad you like it.
-Let's step up this way a little bit.
-I can see through the window.
-That's what you're excited about. The table, by the way, extends out
so you can get loads of people in there.
Look at that!
"The Lord looks over all who love him".
-And you really believe that, don't you?
-Mm, I know that he's going to give Jay a full recovery.
Definitely. And he who believes receives, and I do really believe that.
You weren't sure whether you'd want something like that
in the dining room, but it means a lot to you, so...
We've taken a wall out. Do you want to wander in and take a look?
Wow. Oh, wow, I love the worktops.
-Composite stone worktops, yeah.
The paint that we've used throughout the place is anti-bacterial - the kind of stuff
they use in hospitals - so that you don't get bugs or germs. That's important to you.
-Yes, definitely. Definitely.
-This used to be the back of your house.
It did. I can see through the window.
-You're excited about that room more than anything else, aren't you?
It's really lovely. And it's...
It's just lovely. Amazing.
Come this way. That's the doorway that goes out to back
out the front and has wheelchair access and a ramp on that side
so you can get him in. There's room to get round the corner. That's why we left the cut-out -
-to move around.
-That's really good, yes.
-Storage, lockable cabinet
-for all the medical stuff.
There's a few other things I want to talk to you about in here.
We were talking about sensory things, sensory lighting.
The light over his bed has a splay of light as it gets darker at night, and the little one up there,
it throws shaped lights out. And all of the lighting
-is sensory lighting.
-Oh, that's a coloured one.
That coloured one changes. It throws on to this piece on the wall. It creates shadows and colours
-on the wall, so there something in his eyeline all the time.
-To stimulate him. Brilliant.
-The bathroom's really important to you.
-Definitely. Jay's just going to love this
as well. Absolutely love it.
Temperature is really important. I know how careful you are with him, so showering is really important.
We have an automatic mixer in the roof that has a maximum set temperature
so it can never, under any circumstances, get too hot. No-one can make that mistake.
The other thing is when you start to hoist him,
there's a little silver button among the plugs on the wall.
Press that when you start to hoist him. The thing starts off and starts in there,
so that by the time you're in here it's actually up to temperature.
Gadgets. Jay loves gadgets, too.
Is it what you wanted?
It's more than I could have ever imagined.
-What do you think Lois and Harry will make of it?
-They'll love it, absolutely love it. Absolutely.
Oh... I'm goi... Oh!
-Just look in here.
-What do you think?
Oh, the kitchen.
-I love the colour of the walls as well.
-Oh, woah, this is amazing.
-Oh, that's cool.
Oh, woah, look at Jay's room.
-Look at his TV.
-That's well cool.
-Can I go to Jay's room?
-Look at this hob thing.
-Is that a hood?
-Is that the hoover thing?
Yeah, a hoover thing. Hoovers all the cooking smells out.
-Take a look at...
-Look at how...
-Woah. The car, flying things and...
-This is jaw-dropping.
-It's like a lad's pad, isn't it?
-And the thing.
-So what do you think?
-As Lois said, it's jaw-droppingly amazing.
-Can we go outside?
We have got one more thing to show you, actually. Well, let's just show you. Come this way.
-Check out the water thing.
Oh, my days.
So we had some local garden designers turned up and said, "Do you mind if we help out?"
-They did everything they could. There's a slight slope.
All of it has been designed so you can get the wheelchair out here easily.
In this area, you've got the wind chimes, you've got flowering trees
and the bamboo which will rustle in the wind and make noises, too. So, how have we done overall?
I am just...
It's beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
-I could never have afforded to do this myself.
-This is one of the nicest houses I've seen.
Or had the imagination to do anything like this myself.
It's just incredible. I'm just overwhelmed, really.
It doesn't look like our house.
It feels like I'm visiting one of my friends with a posh house.
'If Harry thinks this is posh,
'I can't wait to see what he thinks of his bedroom.'
In you go.
Loving the carpet.
This is awesome.
This might sound weird but purple is my second favourite colour.
-Well done, Nick.
-Hop up and give it a try.
-Do you like your bedroom?
-Yes, it's well cool.
In you go.
Oh, my days.
-It smells lovely in here as well.
-I can't believe this.
-This is awesome. Look, it's the cupboard.
It's the wardrobe in the wall.
We had to make a few adjustments to the wall to get that in.
So what do you think? Has Laurence got this wrong and you hate it?
-Look at the black curtain.
Talk us through it. What do you like?
-I love everything about it. This isn't my room.
-But it is.
-It's like a boudoir.
-What was that in English?
What was "ee"? Oh, the dressing table.
It's like a dream bedroom.
Sue has no idea that Laurence has done her bedroom, too.
I can only hope she's as delighted as the children.
Laurence thought you might like a little place to just come and chill out at the end of a long day.
-I love this wall.
-It's a feature wall.
Very good. It is. He's a young Laurence, isn't he?
I love it.
Is this...? Not that you ever told us that you wanted a bedroom, but will this do?
It's absolutely incredible.
Just lovely. It's really calming and peaceful, which is just incredible.
You've done the whole house.
And the garden.
You look a bit gobsmacked.
-I think Mum's pretty...
I think Mum's lucky because she didn't exactly...her old furniture was, like, falling apart.
Mum's never treated herself and now someone's treated her.
We wouldn't have been able to do any of this if it hadn't been for the extraordinary people around here -
the tradesmen, the brickies, garden designers, plasterers,
construction workers, all of whom came along and gave their time.
Here's just a few of the people that have been helping out.
Step forward. Go and meet them.
-What an amazing community you have, don't you think?
Thank you, everyone.
Obviously, those of you that have worked and been involved this week, thank you very much.
Not all of you have heard why it's such a big deal.
-The change is not just about giving you a pretty home, is it?
-Why is it important?
Because it's perfect now for Jay to be able to come home.
You can all come and party with us and Jay.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-I'm Laurence and I've spent the last eight days in your knicker drawer.
-I love my bedroom.
-Oh, and I did your bedroom as well, but anyway...
-Well, I really am very pleased you like it.
There were moments when I was worried about the sequinned wallpaper.
I knew you had it in you.
-Oh, it's amazing.
-I love it, I love it. Really love it.
It's brilliant. Jay's going to love it.
That's the important thing.
This is the one who's responsible for it all. Yeah.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Come on, then.
Oh, OK. And the other side.
I've got to go to Jay's review this afternoon. I'll be able to say, "His home's ready. He can come home now."
It was a strangely different job this week because functionality was the key.
It had to be functional so Jay could come home and join his family.
A year this family has been apart since that accident.
People always tell you that the community doesn't exist any more but look behind you.
All the trades have turned out. We asked people to come for two days. They turned up and stayed for six.
I love doing this because -
look at it - you've got a community together and a family back together
at the end of an extraordinary week. We'll do another one soon.
Do you like it?
Are you all right? Nice to meet you.
Come here, my darling. Thank you.
E-mail [email protected]
Nick Knowles and the team recruit extra help from the local community to build an extension that will transform a home and bring a family back together.
Sue's eldest son Jay suffered a brain injury while playing rugby in the spring of 2009. Jay has spent over a year in hospital and can only come home when his carers have approved the space he will move into. Sue moved her family in the hope they could raise enough money to build a specially modified extension.
When one of Jay's friends contacted the DIY SOS team to ask for help, they leapt into action. They rallied over 80 family, friends, local trades and designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen to get the job done.