Nick Knowles and the team enlist the help of the local community in Durham to reconfigure a home and reunite a family torn apart by illness.
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Hello. Welcome to the show, coming from a village just outside Durham.
This week, we've got a massive job on.
We're here to bring a family back together.
It's a living nightmare.
They've had to fight against life-threatening illness...
When he was fully awake,
we had to tell him that he'd had both his legs amputated.
We're here to help a boy get home.
The one thing he wants is to come home,
but until the house is done, unfortunately, that can't happen.
It's going to take a toon army...
-Away the lads!
-Away the lads!
..to make the impossible possible.
Not only are we doing a renovation, we're ripping a house apart to do a complete reconstruction.
It's weeks of work in just a few days.
There's only me... Well, me and this lot...
There's never been a problem we can't solve.
..and all of this lot.
And we've got just ten days. Welcome to DIY SOS - The Big Build.
Alison and Darren Purvis and their three sons -
17-year-old Kieron, 13-year-old Connor and 9-year-old Dylan -
come from a former mining village in County Durham.
Their grandparents live just around the corner.
See you later!
And they're surrounded by family and friends.
Until a couple of years ago,
we were basically a normal family, doing family things.
It was Christmas 2007... Kieron collapsed at school.
I was playing pass the baton race.
Suddenly, after we'd finished, we were going back to our classes
and I suddenly collapsed and I was being sick everywhere.
He was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, which was life threatening.
I sat down and one of the cardiologists came down
and she was crying. She had tears in her eyes.
We got asked if we wanted to see a chaplain. We broke down in tears,
-She was crying, we were crying.
It was just horrendous.
Just horrible. Just that realisation that we could actually lose him.
Kieron needed an emergency heart transplant.
He was put into a coma so his heart could heal
but his circulation suffered, and Kieron's legs had to be amputated
to once again save his life.
You hear it, you hear them telling you, but it's not sinking in.
You think, "This can't be right. It can't be true."
He only went in because he had a bad heart.
But, unfortunately, it was reality. It had to happen.
The alternative would have been no Kieron, so...
No Kieron or no legs. It's no option. There is no choice.
You have to have Kieron.
Kieron's brothers have been living at home with Grandma for nearly a year,
while Alison and Darren have been living at the hospital.
'There's loads of love in our family.
'It hurts loads inside that we're not together.'
When we're together, we're really strong.
After all they've been through, what's so frustrating
is that Kieron's been ready to come home for nine months, but his house isn't ready for him.
Once the specialised kit Kieron needs to live at home is installed,
the family will be down by two bedrooms.
Darren and Alison tried to sort this themselves by doing a DIY loft conversion,
but it all had to come out because it wasn't safe
and didn't meet building regulations.
And now they're back to square one.
Our job is to reconfigure the space
so the family can all get back under one roof.
This is the rear access. I had a look at the front on the way past,
but this looks likes it's a problem as well, given that...
access is important to you, isn't it?
Yeah. With Kieron being in a wheelchair,
to enable him to come home, he can't get into the front
so this is going to be his only access.
Unevenness on the floor. Several different levels.
Looking at the back of the house, you've got a step up
into the back as well. OK.
-With the house itself, shall we go and have a look?
This is nicer than most houses we get a chance to come and play in.
What sort of layout do you need? We just talked about the ramp, but what else do you need?
The door into the living room has got to be made wider.
-It's too narrow for a wheelchair.
-Too narrow, yeah.
-What about getting upstairs?
-He needs a through-floor lift to get up to his bedroom.
Obviously, he can't have a stair lift cos the stairs are too narrow.
But because the bathroom is split level, there's no way of making that into a wet room area for him,
so it means using one of the front bedrooms
to give him his own wet room and his own privacy.
How much of a difference is it going to make to your lifestyle
if we can get you all back in here as one family?
It'll put an end to the horrendous year that we've had.
It'll feel like a brand-new start.
-You're going back to stay with him at the hospital?
-So, if we get this right, it'll be your last few days of staying at the hospital.
-And home to the family.
-I am really excited. Really excited!
You can see why Alison's got a smile on her face.
She's within touching distance of getting her family back together.
But there's loads of work to do and no time at all for messing about.
And we've got a little joke for you as well.
This reminds me of Pink Panther country. Why, Julia?
# Dur-um, dur-um...
-# Dur-um, dur-um, dur-um... #
Shall we go? >
They said they wanted to meet him as well.
-All right. You get your stuff together. You're all packed and ready to go?
You head off, we'll head in. We'll see you again in about a week's time.
Thank you very much. See you later.
To make sure everyone in this family has somewhere to sleep,
we need to make two bedrooms in the loft
for Kieron's brothers - Connor and Dylan.
Mum and Dad will be on the first floor with Kieron,
who will have his own en-suite wet room.
To get upstairs, Kieron will need a through-floor lift
which will go from the new kitchen straight into his bedroom,
and to fit the lift, we need to reconfigure the kitchen
on the ground floor, as well as make sure
all the openings around the house are wide enough for a wheelchair.
Thankfully, we have Julia.
Really busy this week. Right, kitchen...
-What's the flooring going down here?
-It's a laminate.
A laminate in a kitchen? In a watery environment?
The staircase that comes down here is going to come out of here.
I have to get this room gutted, reboarded, replastered,
ready for the new kitchen going in on Friday.
We have to maintain the levels between the sitting room and here.
So the best option is to carry the laminate all the way through, for wheelchair access.
It's a telescopic ladder.
Yes, an expanding ladder for an expanding bottom.
Blocked out the light there!
What's going to be keeping you busy?
Mainly getting this loft floor down,
because we need to get the structure in and the basic floor down to give us a safe working environment
to get all the rooms built.
Isn't that a bit much, steel-wise, for a room this size?
It's big, innit?
They've certainly covered themselves on the structure, haven't they?
Look at the ridge beam. Got to build it strong there.
These steels went in before we arrived.
Alison wrote to us
after the DIY loft conversion had to be ripped out
as it didn't meet building regulations.
These steels, which we borrowed from the Tyne Bridge,
and the reinforced joists we're putting in,
will make sure the new loft meet building inspector John Baker's high standards.
-Hello, mate! All right?
-Yes. We've had a couple of problems so far
-with the steelwork, but that's all been resolved.
-We got over that.
-We're here for you, so...
-That's what I like to hear!
That's the kind of thing we like to hear from a building inspector!
A smiling building inspector who's here for us(?) Hmm!
This door is going to open to about that much.
We've got to do that without destroying the front room, which is pretty.
You can see my point - I'm down here... I was in the loft earlier on.
-But they said that they didn't want me up there...
because there's not enough room, and they basically sacked me.
They said I'm on the larger side.
That's unfair dismissal! You could get them for that, my chubby friend.
We've taken off this board...
and just found everything...
Look, that is all stripped back against metal there.
They're tripping, and everything.
If this had got red hot, it would have caused a fire.
This is why you must get the proper tradesmen in!
So why are you getting involved, then, Bill(?)
Ah! That's where that cable goes through!
Just gently break it.
We couldn't do these big builds without all the trades who come along to help us out.
Tea and goodwill are what keeps us going.
It's a nice atmosphere, you know.
Obviously, we've worked in a lot of sites and a lot of people's houses,
but there's a buzz about this job, which is what pushes it on so much.
It feels good to do something that will benefit the lad. Definitely.
All the scaffolding we need is being supplied by the Purvises' neighbour, Colin.
-You come from a few doors up, do you?
-Two down, that one there.
-Is that right? You know the family?
-How do you think they have dealt with it?
I am not being funny, you'll have to stop now, because I cannot talk like that.
You can't talk about it?
My dad gets very emotional about these things.
Obviously, living two or three doors away,
and he can't bring himself to talk about it, really.
The whole village knows the situation
and they just want to, obviously, see Kieron back home.
We're not short of help on this job, but we're short of space.
This compact and bijou house is posing Julia all sorts of problems.
-So, how are you going to split his room up?
-This is a complete headache.
We've got to bring the stairs up here - you have to do that where you have the full head height,
and create a landing to separate the two bedrooms.
But what that means now, because we've lost so much floor space,
-is that by the time we've got the stud wall here, if you take one step back...
..you are now into the bedroom.
-It can't be, because you can't get in alongside the wall, can you?
-That's what we have ended up with.
Once the stairs are in, we can ascertain exactly what headroom we've got,
so that if we can take this floor back any, then we can shift all of this this way
to maximise the head space that we've got here.
What you are looking at over there, interestingly, all the chicken wire that goes between the beams
is if there's ever a fire and the ceiling falls away,
then all of the stuff doesn't fall through with it,
and the fire can't get through, because all the insulation is held by chicken wire.
-And it stops the chickens escaping.
-It also stops the chicken's that we're going to keep up here(!)
I'm impressed, if doubtful, that we'll get two rooms out of this loft.
-What's going to happen in here?
-OK, this is Kieron's bathroom.
This is the most important room to get right.
We have to allow for a turning circle for the wheelchair. This whole wall is coming out.
-Yes, this whole wall is coming out.
This section of it, which is behind the shower tray, goes back 200mm.
From here onwards, the wall then comes forward by 100mm.
100mm? You're moving an entire wall for 100mm?
But it means that we can fit a wardrobe on the other side within the recess.
At the moment it's just too shy to be able to put a wardrobe in.
-So this bit's going 100mm in that direction?
You can see the distance we've got between the wall and the window is not enough for a wardrobe.
-However, if we take that back, we can fit a wardrobe in, which is perfect.
-And it is going to be very lush in here.
-Is it going to be lush?
-Lush and lovely and shiny.
-Is it going to be a boutique-hotel-style bedroom?
Because I like it when you do that. I think that's my fave thing that you do, boutique hotel...
-It makes you feel like you've got a bit of glam at home.
-Yeah, and a bit of an escape
-because there's an association with getting away from things.
She's very good, isn't she? And she's starting to make sense.
Moving the stud wall seems like a lot of effort for a wardrobe,
but small changes can make a big difference!
It's called being creative with space.
We're knocking the first floor about to make Kieron's wet room and lift,
and that's going to mean a lot of plastering.
This is my 363rd-millionth worst job.
But before plaster, there's paper.
I would sooner pull my own teeth out than do this.
I've seen him do that, in a bar with a pair of pliers. It's horrible.
Any young inventors out there looking for a project,
could you please invent something else to strip wallpaper? Not good.
Not good. There is no other way I can think of of getting it off.
Designs on the back of an envelope to Chris ASAP. In the meantime, he needs to calm down, chill out.
Anybody else want to join me in this sauna? It's lovely.
I forgot my moisturiser.
Do you not feel just a little bit sort of...
-a little bit over-gentle using moisturiser?
See, you ought to really take a tip from me with my moisturising
because now we're in high definition, all this and all of these little wrinkles
and all these wobbles, all these lines, they're all going to show up something terrible.
That's a lot of spare skin.
Someone who does pay attention to how things look, including her skin, is Julia.
Julia's been the designer on DIY SOS for five series.
She can do sitting rooms, she can do kitchens, she can do bedrooms.
And when she's not doing all that, she designs and builds award-winning eco homes,
is a property developer and has a nice line in up-cycling junk,
which is a posh way of saying she turns rubbish into art.
The question is, is she up to taking this small house
and making it feel big enough for Kieron and his family?
I'm quite keen that his bedroom
and his workroom don't look too sort of hospital-like.
-What are Kieron's interests? What's his passions?
-He loves football.
-Football and his computer games.
-Yeah, he wants to design computer games.
Xbox, PlayStation - he's got every console.
-Clever lad, then.
Tell me a bit about Connor and Dylan, what they're into.
-Connor likes his wrestling and cricket.
-And what's Dylan into?
-He loves Doctor Who.
And you guys have been without a bedroom in the house for a wee while now.
What would your ideal bedroom be like?
Just somewhere nice that you can relax in,
that we could obviously sit in as well, not just somewhere to sleep.
-Somewhere we could go and chill out.
-Right. A nice, relaxing space?
While Julia's getting creative about bedrooms, we're ripping the house apart.
Can't see a thing in here!
-Where would be we be without Jules? He's like a human demolition ball.
-It's all finished. Staircases...
It's not that messy. All that dust will settle down. We'll have it out in 15 minutes.
That was lovely in there.
They'd probably just got to the point where they were happy with it.
-And we've been in here, what, six, seven hours.
Don't pretend you don't love it.
The ceilings are down in the kitchen, and the floor is up in the bedroom.
This is where Kieron's lift is going to go in.
The nice thing about this is we've to a state now with this room
where we normally walk in on a DIY SOS. Basically,
-we've taken a decent-looking house...
-And trashed it.
-And done that.
-But you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, can you?
After making such a good start on wrecking the Purvises' home,
the right thing to do would be to build something.
The staircase, made by Darren and Alison's friend Tony, is being delivered. That'll do nicely!
-It doesn't look like it'll fit the hole.
-They never do, though.
You pick them up, and it's, like, whoops.
You've helped with the staircase... because you want to help us out?
I've known the family for about 30 year.
-The willpower and strength in that kid is unbelievable.
So full of life, so chirpy. I'll hold me head out high for him, for what he's been through. The whole family.
-He's actually going to move back in the day we finish this.
That's a year in hospital, a year the family's been apart,
and then they'll get back together, if this is finished.
Right, I've got this end. You're a bit far forward.
You need it back that way a bit. >
Does it fit, then?
Like a glove.
And these are stairs with a twist.
By putting in these kite-winders at the bottom,
we've created more space in the kitchen.
You've done the staircase, but now you're doing stud walls.
-You've decided to stay on and help out?
-Mark talked us into it.
We've got some sleeping bags, in case you want to stay late!
Upstairs, Billy is getting his orders from Julia -
basically, to be in three places at once -
the loft, the first floor and the kitchen.
He's got Martin and Gary working with him on this job,
-so it shouldn't be a problem... you'd think!
-Poor Billy, as usual, has got a load to do
-before anybody else can get on.
-The walls ain't built, doorways are not, um...in,
so we can't just leave cables in the roof
and just drop them, cos we'll lose them.
Then it's, um, catch-24, innit?
-Oh. No, this has gone further than 22!
Wait a minute, no, tomorrow morning, they'll be saying,
"We want to plaster the ceiling in the kitchen."
-And we'll still be up here.
-Then what's going to happen? "Oh, Billy, you're behind again.
-"Come on, you've got two sparks with you, you're still behind."
-I couldn't have said it better.
He needs to start multi-skilling, like our Jules.
Already, he's destroyed this, this and this.
The only thing I can't do is dance.
-Oh, a terrible dancer.
-Are you not light on your feet?
I could quite see you doing the tango. You should do Strictly.
-I couldn't do that.
MUSIC: "Strictly Come Dancing" Theme
-I've got a lot of natural rhythm.
but not in me feet.
Now, you see, you're wasted. You should so be on Strictly.
And that's why we call him Glitter Balls.
See? It's all there!
To get in and out of his house, Kieron needs a ramp.
It's specialised kit, and there are talented men here to build one.
-And this is like a modular system you bolt down, is it?
-Yeah, it's like a Meccano set.
It's all built on-site.
We'll bring it, it'll all be put together, legs go in and it screws in place.
All right, smashing. Lovely. Thank you very much. Cool.
The reason the ramp's so important
is because Kieron's been fit enough to come home for nine months.
He's been in a transplant flat at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle,
getting himself ready for the next stage of his recovery.
I feel great, really.
I'm trying to get the strength up for when I get on prosthetic legs,
start walking around, and that. Can't wait for that.
For Kieron, getting home is everything.
His occupational therapist, Liz, and her team
are helping him to build up his strength
so he can regain his independence.
-How are you feeling?
-What about the exercises?
-Are they helping?
-Yeah, they are. They work us hard. Don't you?
-Is that right?
-They bully you a little bit?
-Mm. A bit.
Gently. Gently, gently! Encourage.
No, but you have to encourage, yes,
but it varies from person to person, I suppose, that you work with,
how much you have to push them.
And how much you say, "We're going to do this, you need to trust us,
"we've done it before, this is the next best thing to be doing."
Kieron would often say, "No, please don't let us do it,"
and we'd say, "We know." And then he'd say to me, "Oh, Liz, you were right about that."
So, how is he as a patient? Is he determined?
Absolutely. Determined, dedicated.
And if he thinks there's going to be a positive end result,
he'll work really, really hard at it.
-What are your hobbies and interests?
-Cricket and football and that.
I usually have a season ticket for Sunderland.
-Oh, did you?
-I sit right at the front.
-You support Sunderland?
-And you still like football?
How much is him getting home, back into the family environment, going to boost his recovery?
Understateable. It's so important.
It's what he and his mum and dad have wanted from the day I met them,
when he was on intensive care back in January, really.
"We've got to be working to this. We need to get home.
"We need to be a family again."
We're always working with those goals.
I think he's quite inspirational,
the determination as to what he can do and how much effort he puts into it.
Kieron's story and his amazing positive attitude
are what's keeping everyone focused.
It's hard work, but it's easy when you're doing it for good reasons.
Nice hole, that, don't you think?
-What do you think of that hole?
-As holes go, that's a pretty nice hole.
-You all right there?
-He's kept out of the way, cos he's been on, um, stripping duty.
But I'm happy, because we've got an army of plasterers coming in to attack the ceiling
-and over-skim walls, and I'm going to keep prepping and prepping in front of them.
-Keep at it.
Chris is looking at spending the better part of next week plastering his pants off.
He's got help coming, and they've got a mountain to climb -
seven rooms over three floors in five days.
I think the plasterers are here. Gentlemen! I like this. Come here, lads.
-Boys! You've come to play plastering? You do the ceilings, then.
-Shall we take you in and have a look?
Board the ceiling. We're going to flush these bits out. All the new electrics.
And then basically bead up and over-skim the lot.
And we're really grateful that you guys are here.
All volunteers, mind you.
With this many people, you can go quite quick.
-Will you get up the stairs today?
-No, not up the stairs.
-Why, what's happened?
-The total reconfiguration of the upstairs.
It's going to knock us back days. It's not very good.
You wait till you get up there. You'll be heartbroken.
You'll be pleased with us here, you'll go up the hallway, feeling good, and you'll go...
That's not right.
-O-M-G, as they say in texts.
-A mess, isn't it?
I was excited, because all the plasterers are working downstairs.
And then walk up here and it's, you know...
We ARE doing the whole house.
Like a small tactical nuclear weapon has gone off up there.
Is there anything I can do to help you in your quest to sort this out?
-Big pile of rubble.
-That's an oversight.
-I don't want to dig like moles.
I'm worried about this build, because normally, we do deconstruction in the first few days
and then we build it up again, but we're coming to the fourth day
and we're still knocking down walls, still shovelling stuff out
and it makes you wonder with only five days left to go
whether we're going to have enough time to build everything again. It's a worry.
Shovels. It's an old mining village - they should have them somewhere.
-Have you got shovels?
-On the bottom.
-Oh, I see, hand shovels.
-Do you know the family we're working for?
-I do, yes.
Just from coming in the shop?
-The son used to work for us, do a paper round for us.
-I support his mum and dad. They come into the shop.
It's sad, really, what happened to them.
He's a lovely lad. Full of energy and looking forward to getting home.
It's very nice we can sort it out. I'll have these two. Cheers.
Our up-cycling guru can make use of almost anything - tables, chairs, computers.
Really beautiful things when you come to look at them.
They're very good graphics cards, so if he's interested in games, he'll know what they are.
-I think she may have lost the plot.
If this is up-cycling, I think she ought to stick to buying stuff in shops.
What's she going to do with it?
This is nice, you've got a floor now.
New windows going in on this side. Bigger as well.
-Looks bigger. That one, as well.
-They're very nice.
When you've got a house that has only got two bedrooms downstairs and you've got three kids...
they need to go somewhere, don't they? Lovely, it all looks like it's going very well.
-Where do you want to be by the end of today?
-The roof window fitted, the staircase dropped in.
It's interesting, because that's so big you couldn't bring it up through the house to fit,
-so you had to build it here. How are you going to get it into the hole?
-We'll stand up like that
-and then put it back on itself.
-And that's going to work, is it?
-We'll tell you later on today!
The loft was where our build story began,
with Darren and Alison's DIY loft conversion that had to come out.
Getting these new stairs in feels like a big step forward.
It means the loft is no longer a loft,
more like two bedrooms-in-waiting.
The stairs do have one disadvantage.
Oh, she's all right. It's what's coming next.
What's that blue one plugged in there? Where's the feed for that?
-I'm not sure what that is.
-What's this one, Mark, sweetie?
He's an man of many talents, our Bill.
I just wish one of them was electrics!
-Can I have a word with you, please? Where's your tool belt?
I'm confiscating your tool belt.
You carrying that has just reminded me...
-I'm officially withdrawing your builder status.
It came to attention, when everyone was out for a beer on Saturday,
you had indulged in a girl's night in to watch Strictly Come Dancing.
That means you're officially no longer classified as a builder,
when we're out having a pint, and you're having a towel wrapped around your head,
-toe-separators, painting your toenails, with the girls.
-I had a face pack, that's all.
-Did you have a bottle of bubbly rose to share as well?
-How did you know?
That's the kind of thing that gives all builders a bad name.
I knew he'd been spending too much time with Julia. She's a bad influence!
He needs to man-up, like Chris and boys in the kitchen.
We've only done it. Come and have a look.
Me and the boys, he three of us, we hand over the kitchen. Well done, boys.
Thank you very much. And they're coming back tomorrow to do some more.
Good, cos there's another six rooms to do.
One of the most impressive things about a DIY SOS site
is the number of people working on top of each other -
plasterers, a electricians, plumbers, chippies, all working on top of each other -
cos they'd fall out. They don't fall out here,
cos they know they're doing it for a good cause.
A real reason to do it. Another good day today.
Morning, Bill. Bill, morning, morning!
All right, don't talk to me, please yourself.
-Brilliant, flying-fast start.
My two sparks are the best sparks I've ever worked with on this job.
Everyone is flat out, like a lizard drinking.
Mike has come down from the loft to knock a door through the wall on the first floor
to create a door into Kieron's wet room.
That's Kieron's bedroom, and the lift comes up into the bedroom.
We've got wheelchair access going through into a wet room.
There's a big shower over there and a toilet, wash-hand basin.
There's a big en-suite bathroom for the bedroom. Lovely, innit?
We are now going to connect up...
I wouldn't know how to...
What would you call it?
-The poo macerator?
-It's called a macerator.
-Oh, not a poo macerator?
-No, just a macerator.
When it reaches a level, the macerator kicks in,
and it starts chewing up all the toilet paper,
and it just goes down there out to the soil.
-The poo, aye.
Well, the first room is taking shape now in here.
I've started to formulate my plans to make the best use of the space.
I think the bed's going to have to be in the lowest part of the pitch.
Er, it's a real tricky one, this one.
I'm going to try and use light and reflective surfaces to try and make the space feel as big as possible.
There's nothing I can do to actually physically increase the size, so it's all about illusion now.
I've got a question for you - how many trades can you fit into a three-bedroom terrace?
It's a bit busy in here, isn't it?
I'll tell you, 80! That's seven general builders,
eight scaffolders, ten plasterers, four ramp fitters, three plumbers,
four electricians, two window fitters, three lift fitters,
six stair fitters, two joiners, two TV aerial fitters, two kitchen
fitters, one splashback fitter, two roofers, seven floorers,
thirteen painters and decorators, two wardrobe fitters and two glaziers.
Oh, and there's all of us!
Do you think we've bitten off more than we can chew on this one?
You're on your own there. You're the gaffer, you looked at it. I just turn up.
What you need is, like, a television programme,
that you can phone up and help to help you out with your DIY problems.
Nah, you see, that'd never work.
Rubbish idea. Stick to the day job, Chris.
It's not like you haven't got enough to do.
It's all stairs and landing. The most busiest room in the house.
-And then we go back up.
It's hectic, squeezing past people and that.
The corridors aren't wide enough for two people sometimes.
But everyone's dead helpful, like, "You go first, you go first."
We just work around each other, really.
Working my way up to the top.
I'm not looking forward to it.
We get that point in the build when it gets to the plastering,
and plasterers like to have a bit of room to themselves,
and with all those blades flying around all over the place,
Chris said he wanted all surplus and bulk out of the room,
which means me, apparently. I'm surplus to requirements.
Kieron and his family are huge sports fans, football in particular.
'They're Sunderland season ticket holders, and Kieron played for his local footy and cricket teams.
'Getting him involved with a team sport is a priority for his recovery.
'The Newcastle Eagles are one of the country's leading wheelchair basketball squads.
'The team is made up of both able-bodied and disabled players.
'Adam Parry runs the sports centre where the teams train.'
What we're going to do first, we are going to run through getting him into the chair,
get a chair that kind of is the right size for you.
'I have a feeling Kieron's going to love this.'
Just remember where the wheels are.
So you bounce it slightly further out.
'After working with Liz for the last year, all Kieron's hard work is paying off.'
-You can see his sporting ambition kicking in, can't you?
He's competitive, he wants to score a basket.
Yeah, he's not going to stop until he's actually scored a basket.
-You were quite emotional watching him.
All the things we've worked towards and his goals about being able
to do things for himself by himself. And here he is doing it.
That is fantastic!
There was times when I thought I would never get better, I would always be, like, ill all the time.
So what's made you have this positive attitude, then?
You just have to, don't you?
You just have to...
It's just life, isn't it? You just have to deal with it and carry on.
So now that you've come to see this, do you think that you'll keep with it?
Yeah, definitely, yeah.
That teacher of yours, Kat, she's nice, isn't she?
Yeah. Really nice.
We're making progress. It's quite time-consuming though.
She's mad, you know!
Completely mad. Alison and Darren said Kieron likes IT.
But really, broken computer parts stuck to plywood?
Right, so having cleaned all of these old computer component pieces up,
I've got to arrange them now so that it looks like a thing of beauty.
It's at this stage that it seems like
it was a good idea at the time.
We can afford to bring it out to the edges a bit.
-Maybe that's the plan then.
-I think that might be the plan.
Or will we just abandon the whole thing?!
No-one ever said art was easy, Julia. Look at Van Gogh.
He cut his ear off, but he never gave up. He was mad too.
-What're you doing?!
Standing up here shouting at you!
Is it me, or does this house look the same as it did several days ago?
It's like an optical illusion.
In the kitchen, Billy's trying to communicate with the local trades.
It's hard enough to understand Billy at the best of times. I really wish they wouldn't encourage him.
You'll give us a hand over here.
SPEAKS IN BROAD DIALECT
Throw your hammer...
Throw your hammer over here.
Please could you pass the hammer?
Say that again!
-I've got a natural tongue, haven't I?
Now, he's a fair old lump, but he's quite sensitive.
I think they're getting a little too close.
You're very tickly, aren't you?
-I'm very tickly.
I don't want to scare anyone, but there's only three days
till we show this house to the Purvis family.
It's mission-critical today.
Otherwise, we will not have lift-off for any of the rooms at all.
I'm trying to be positive, but there is so much work to do
in such a small space, and you've got to follow the trades, and, erm, we've got the right guys on the job,
without a shadow of a doubt, but there's just so much to do.
No, look, it says, "Plasterers at work (in bad mood)."
I think we'll go downstairs.
Chris won't like this!
Can't Martin read? He's in a bad mood already!
I'm an electrician, but at the minute, I'm doing a bit of plastering.
You don't ice your mother's Christmas cake, do you?
Look at the mess you're getting in!
-That's good, that, man.
-You want to do one sweeping...move.
All these stop-starts,
yeah, it'll, um,
it'll show in your filler work.
If either of you two touch my wall, you're dead, right?
See, he might say he's grumpy, but we all know he's got a heart of gold really.
Is that a dead animal?
No, it's just to keep you, to keep you...keep you warm.
-It looks like a dead badger, or something.
-No, it's a hat.
It's a new style of hat.
Yeah, just put it on, it'll keep your head warm.
How to make ten years disappear!
I didn't laugh at you, mate!
Oh, it's good to see a smile on his face! If a wig is all it takes...
Oh, here we go. Here's smiler.
I'm hoping these are for the neighbour and not us.
Erm, hello, friendly driver!
Have you got any idea what's going on in the garden?
Because there's a large truck outside with paving slabs on it.
-I thought that wasn't happening. Did you say we were going to do the garden?
Because I know we've got enough to do in here without doing the garden.
Very nice of you to bring all these slabs up here. Have you got the right address?
I hope so.
What address have you got?
That's the order, that's the delivery.
Miss Julia Kendell has put an order in for a load of paving slabs.
She can get it unloaded and get it in the back.
Why don't you do it? Might you break a nail?
You miserable old...
Nick, we'd like you and Martin to have a chat.
He's bought a wedding ring for his girlfriend and he wants to propose to her tomorrow on camera.
-What d'you think?
-What do I think?
-Don't talk him out of it.
It's a big step. Have you thought it through?
-I mean, there's a lot of fish in the sea.
-Oh, I know. I've found me fish.
She's going to be so warmed by being described as a fish!
Have you been practising a lot?
-On Billy and Gary as well, yeah.
-Have you got all your lines ready?
-What knee are you going down on?
I haven't picked a knee yet.
You've got to pick a knee, or else you're going to go,
"Oh, what knee am I going to go on?" It's like that, isn't it?
-Apparently. I've never done it myself.
-I'll pick a knee.
-Go on, then, practise.
-Give us your hand.
Emma, will you marry me?
Of course I will, darling.
Aw! Thank you!
I thought he was going to kiss him for a minute there.
Oh, watch out.
Oh, that's fantastic!
Is there... Sorry to interrupt. Is there some way that we can get
Kieron off this into the main part of the garden?
Well, then you're looking at ramping off the existing platforms.
Yeah. Can you have a look at that for me?
Only just, I think it would be really nice to be able
to get Kieron into the garden with the rest of the family.
We can have a look and see once we get that platform in.
-That would be grand.
-We'll see what we can sort out.
It might look like she's taking advantage, but if you don't ask, you don't get.
And it's for a good cause, so you can't blame her, can you?
All stairs and landing.
It's hard to believe, though, isn't it, when you look around,
that in two days' time, they're moving back in?
It's almost frightening.
But what can you do? Got to crack on.
You have got to crack on...
and dance. Rave, anyone?
Isn't it a lovely day? Bright sunshine.
And it's a day for a big push too.
We've got loads to do. Loads of woodwork still, loads of plumbing, and loads of pretty much everything.
Will we get there? Yes, of course we will!
-Where are we at with the kitchen?
-The kitchen's nearly finished.
-The folks are coming back tonight to put the door handles on, trims.
-What about this floor?
-We're going to do that this afternoon.
-You and Matt?
-Are you all right there?
-A little bit easier day for you now all your plastering buddies have gone.
Six days of flat-out plastering.
Very special, those boys, though.
Oh, good boys. Very, very good boys. The borders and the spreads.
What amazes me is they offer you a day
and then they say, "D'you know what, I'm going to cancel the rest of the week, I'll see you tomorrow."
Because they can see what you're doing. Amazing.
Mike and his crew were only supposed to be doing the loft, then they did the wet room and the stairs,
and now they're staying on to help Julia.
Right, I finally have
my layout for the room.
What we're going to do...
Don't run away, because this is going to involve you too, Michael. Agh!
It's all getting a bit tight in here, a bit cosy.
Right, imagine the wall's brought forward, and we're going to make,
put an acrylic panel on the front,
and then the bed sits inside it.
And this is all going to be padded out inside,
a sort of reflective sheeting.
And around all of this, behind is going to be blue LED lighting,
so it will all glow.
-Wouldn't you have loved that when you were an 11 year-old?
I would love to have it now, never mind when I was 11!
'After days of proposing to Jules, Martin's moment has finally arrived.
'His girlfriend, Emma, has been lured to the house under false pretences.'
Hands up for tea.
'..and any moment now, he's going to get down on one knee!
'He's a brave man, isn't he? What if she says no?
'What if she says yes?!'
I kind of like lied to you in a way.
-This isn't an open day.
-Because I've got something to ask you.
-You know I love you to bits, more than anything in the world?
I thought it's the best place to ask you, in front of everyone,
so everyone knows I love you, so...will you marry us?
-'I just love a wedding!
'Martin and Emma have got it all to look forward to, and I know what I'm talking about. I was married once.'
Back to work, come on!
Well, at least someone's got their priorities right.
Some lovely fellas from up the road are laying Julia's surprise paving stones.
She did have the idea about keeping the same flooring
running through the ground floor, so we'll let her off.
There's a dancer in you trying to get out.
Considering this room was this big before. By taking the landing back,
we've managed to make this a bigger room.
It's starting to look like a decent-sized bedroom now.
-Even with the dark wallpaper, it still makes it a decent size. It makes it cosy.
I like it, actually. I think it's starting to look like
one of those, like what you said at the beginning of the week.
It's like a sort of, as a sort of, er...boutique-hotel feel to it.
A bit of luxury.
-Nice at the end of the day to come back to that.
Really sort of, er, lush, and generally embracing.
And besides which, I'm taking a whole positive view on design now, aren't I?
-Are you liking it?
Yes, I'm just waiting to see how long it lasts.
No, I'm determined to carry it through, no matter what I think of the place.
I think it's lovely, actually.
-Shall we go and have a look at these...
-The loft. Shall we have a look?
-Got a little capsule bed at the end there.
-Is that what is going on? Yes. A little capsule bed under there?
-Space pod bed.
-It is a great use of the space.
If you have a tight space, you might as well make it feel like you're inside a rocket.
Building the bed in has helped.
And yeah, we just had to make some reflective surfaces and make it feel like as big as possible.
Dylan and Colin are going to love it up here. Their grandma's
has been looking after them for the last year whilst Kieron
and their mum and dad have been living in Newcastle.
It would be nice to have everyone home. What is it like not having Kieron around at the moment?
It's a long time that he has been away.
Since Kieron's been in hospital, the family has been all split up.
We haven't had that bond.
With the house being done,
we will be back together and stronger than ever.
It is nice to know there's an end in sight and that they're going to get home. That will be brilliant.
What is to stop him having his hand over the side and getting it caught?
These edges, are safety edges.
Same on the bottom.
Look at that!
It moves away from the obstruction.
-I was brave, wasn't I?
-You were brave.
It is nerve-racking. That's why I asked you to do it.
'Plainly, you should not try this at home.
'Most half-tonne lumps of metal don't stop when you get in the way.
'But this one does!
'We would rather check it on us than the kids.'
-It is good, isn't it?
-Just touched me tummy.
'It's time for the big push. No, no-one is having a baby.
'All hands to the pumps, even mine.'
One of those and one of those...
The young man got asked to go downstairs to
see the slightly portly fellow for some 80ml screws and he comes down and he walks straight to Knowlesy!
You're chuffed to bits.
'He's got no future in TV, that kid.'
So, ten hours to countdown. That's it.
-Just got to keep going.
You want to start bending that way. Get a bit of a curve going.
I'm not going to school today!
I'm staying in bed. Please.
Knock, knock, we'll going to finish your house.
This is nice!
All coming together, innit?
Where's that piece of rubbish you made?
Eh, my extraordinary piece of art...
-Oh, right, that's it. Propped up against the skip!
Ha, ha, ha(!)
Look at that!
Most people throw things like that in the bin. But not Julia Kendell.
I like it.
Nine days ago we rocked up to this ordinary terraced house in Durham
with the aim of making it extraordinary for 17-year-old Kieron and his family.
To get all the family back together and him,
with his bit of independence, and work on from there. That'll make my year.
I'll never ask for anything else ever!
With the help of dozens of tradesmen who volunteered
from the local community, and worked like a toon army...
..we've transformed it into a place where Kieron can have independence and freedom.
And best of all where he can at last be together with his family.
When we bring Kieron home and the house is finished,
it's going to be wonderful...end to what's been an horrendous year.
It would be nice to close the door on it and say,
we've got him past that stage, we've got him through everything.
and we've finally got him home where he belongs.
Before we arrived, getting into the house was like an obstacle course for Kieron.
We've made it completely wheelchair friendly,
and we started with a ramp, which may not seem much to you and I, but for this family means everything.
The first of the changes you'll see straightaway.
'How much this means is written all over mum and dad's faces.'
The idea was to get you an access ramp so you'd actually get straight
off the back garden, you'd get in an out of your own accord,
'Something as simple as being able to get in and out of
'the house by himself will make a huge difference to Kieron.'
Then at the bottom you get to a flat part there.
But we haven't stopped there.
We've completely redesigned the kitchen, opening out the space,
so it's accessible to everyone.
We've moved the stairs to make way for a state-of-the-art
through-floor lift that links the kitchen
directly to Kieron's room.
The clean lines and uplifting colours have helped create a room
where the whole family will want to spend time together,
something they haven't been able to do for almost a year.
-Are you nervous about what you're going to see?
Well, we know you needed
a real space that you could have all the family in,
and it's difficult it's such a tight space, architecturally.
Shall I stop waffling and let you open your eyes?
OK, ready? Three, two, one, open your eyes!
You couldn't even imagine this space looking like this. I know.
-It's amazing how much space we've created?
That's one thing we were thinking, when his lift went in,
was keeping the table here, and that just this works perfectly.
-He can get round himself, all the units.
I like where the cooker is and the lights underneath.
Do you forgive us for taking your kitchen out?
The big thing was, of course, the lift, wasn't it?
-So how have we done?
Of course it's the upstairs that's seen the biggest redesign.
In Kieron's room we've created an open-plan space
which is both stylish and functional.
He's got a hi-tech room both in looks and content.
And that piece of artwork by Julia - stunning.
Julia's designed a wheelchair friendly space where 17-year-old
Kieron can do his own thing just like any other teenager.
We knocked through into the next bedroom to create a wet room,
which is ergonomically designed for Kieron's needs.
He's got privacy, independence and a pretty cool pad to hang out in.
All of which is accessible via his new lift.
What do you think, mate?
It's class. I think it's brilliant.
It's mint, isn't it?
Well, we aim to please.
Oh, it's massive, isn't it?
So you've got your own independent little apartment here.
Yes? With your own room, your own wet room.
It's for your own independence.
Also our friends up at Sunderland first team have all signed a shirt for you.
-We haven't got the wrong team? It's Newcastle you support, isn't it?
Will there be a fight over who's allowed in here now?
-Yeah, just me.
You've got your own shower.
-Thank you very much.
-Happy with all this?
Yeah. Brilliant, I love it.
Took a little bit of redesigning.
So, for a year you've been living at the hospital
-without a proper bedroom.
Before that you were living in an unconverted loft.
Mm-hm, more or less.
-It's a while since you've had any luxury?
So wouldn't it be nice if we'd made an extra bedroom for your mum and dad?
Yeah, it'd be brilliant, yeah. He would love it.
With a lot of effort, a sledgehammer, and some
design jiggery-pokery, we've done just that.
We turned a tiny single bedroom into a luxurious boutique-style boudoir.
All that effort moving the dividing wall has made the most of the space,
and it's a proper grown-up room where Alison and Darren can get away from it all.
God, it's beautiful!
-What do you think?
-It's wonderful, fabulous.
-I love the light.
-Big chunky bed.
The light is gorgeous.
You've done an amazing job. Absolutely brilliant.
-Whilst he's got his own independence in what's effectively an apartment next door...
..you're on only next door if he needs any help.
-If he needs us.
-This is what I was worried about.
I was worried about...
The size we were left with, but it's amazing.
We had to make a hell of a mess of this before we made it any nicer.
-Has Julia got it right, your sort of design?
-She's got it perfect.
So at the end of a very, very tough year...
is this the kind of place you were hoping you could get?
More. Could never have imagined it like this.
And for Kieron as well, who's spent the last year and a half
in hospital, on and off, but for the last year in particular,
how much has he wanted to get home?
He's been able to come home since May.
So when's he coming home?
Tonight. He's there now, he's not getting back to that hospital now.
And the only way to get the whole family back under one roof was to go up into the attic.
We maximised the available floor space to give Connor and Dylan a room each.
And what rooms.
With a galactic effort we turned an empty shell
into super-cool loft bedrooms.
Julia's put the fun back into functional.
Ah, it's amazing, that.
-I like the ropes n' that, it's like a ring.
I love it. It's amazing.
Yeah? Happy with it?
-Marks out of ten?
Dylan's room is out of this world,
and he's struck dumb.
Do you like it?
Marks out of ten?
-Out of all the things, what's the best thing?
Having my brother home.
Thought it might be. Come on,
let's go back and join the family.
And it's not just Kieron's family downstairs, it's also some of the 80
men and women who've helped make this family's dreams come true.
We couldn't do this if it wasn't for you guys all giving up your time.
What you've done here is not just do a building, is you've brought
a family back together so, we'd like to thank you for all you've done.
Kieron's been in hospital since 16th of December, and we couldn't bring him home
until the adaptations were done in the house, for him to come home.
And you've all made that possible. I...
Thank you all very much.
Thank you very much for everything you've done, getting us back home.
It's been... Can't thank you enough.
Thank you very much.
-Welcome home, fella.
-Thank you very much. Thank you.
Gerbils'll get lost.
It is going to make an enormous difference, they can all be back together again.
The boys will have Mum and Dad back.
Kieron has got his independence.
-There is a downside.
-You're back with grandad now.
Yeah, God, don't remind me!
-All right, mate?
-It's been a pleasure.
Proud to do it for you, mate.
What is the best part of the house, what did you like most?
I liked to have Kieron come home.
Ah, that's brilliant, yeah.
This village was an old mining community, and work is hard to come by.
These trades have all decided to give up time because they realise
that when people need help, you have to come together as a community.
And what they've done is not just rebuilt a house,
they've put this family back together.
What a fantastic thing to do.
And two months later, the family are celebrating a special day together.
It's really nice being back together.
If it wasn't for DIY SOS and everybody that helped,
he'd still be in hospital.
His wet room, it's working really well for him.
He's now got his independence back and he's getting on with his life.
It's given us everything being back home.
It's given us more energy,
and more willpower to go back to school, get on legs 'n that.
Couldn't wish for anything else.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Nick Knowles and the team enlist the help of the local community in Durham to reconfigure a home and reunite a family torn apart by illness. Sixteen-year-old Kieron Purvis collapsed with an undiagnosed heart condition in December 2009. Following a heart transplant and a double amputation, the Purvis family found themselves living apart because their home was not equipped for Kieron's special needs. Nick and the SOS team issue a call to arms and rally friends, family and local trades to get the Purvis' home fit for them to live under the same roof after a year apart.