Three pairs of builders compete to win jobs. The teams tackle alcove storage in south London and a driveway in a sorry state in Manchester.
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We're all obsessed with having lovely houses.
-Do you like?
-What a difference.
-It looks great, doesn't it?
-It does. It's so impressive.
But the road to perfection isn't an easy ride.
Whoa, what have you done?!
I've had enough. Literally...
How do you choose the right builder for the job?
That's another seven years' bad luck, as if I need it.
We've scoured Britain for pairs of builders...
I really hope we get this job, because we're nearly out of fuel.
..who think they've got what it takes...
We will go in full guns blazing, I think.
..to pitch against each other...
The job's in the bag.
..and win work.
Can you come round and pull me out?
That's what happens when you get to 40, mate.
Only one pair will win each job.
Woohoo! Told you.
Got one in the bag, brother.
..they're going to be put through the ultimate wringer.
The losing pairs will be scrutinising their work.
Can anyone else hear the sucking of builders' teeth?
First building job up for grabs today
is on the edge of a major city,
bordering an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,
where the average detached family home will set you back more than
three quarters of a million quid.
We're down south in Purley, a suburb of south London.
It's home to the Dalglish family,
who bought this four-bed semi nearly three years ago.
But Caroline and James have spent the last 12 months transforming it
into their dream home.
We've just recently had this big extension done in the back,
so it's been very, very chaotic.
I was actually pregnant during the build, so, bit difficult.
Yeah, ultimately, we're pleased with the result, so...
They created a spacious living area with a big,
open-plan family kitchen-diner and lounge.
It's hard to fault, so what's left to do?
So, what we'd like done is to have some bespoke shelving put into the
alcoves in our living room, similar to what we have in the dining room.
-The decor we've gone for is very neutral, white.
It's a small job, but one that will make a big difference.
And then we'll have a place we can go,
a little sanctuary to have moments of calm
-when the children have gone to bed.
-So, in order to reclaim some precious adult space,
just how much cash have Caroline and James got to splash on the job?
I had in my mind for a budget 2,000,
including cost of the materials and ideally also the cost
of painting the shelves white.
There's a few things to keep in mind when preparing for builders coming
to quote for any job.
If you need help with the design, tell your builder,
they'll tell you how to achieve the right look and keep the cost down.
Before a builder comes out to quote, make sure you think about
what you want the finished product to look like,
and make sure you can get that across.
You're bound to have questions through the process,
so make sure that you jot them all down
so you ask the builder for everything you need.
Well, today's trio of builders are raring to go...
Right, Mick, let's nail this.
..and are full of ideas.
Got the legs out, which I like to see.
They all know they've got to knock up some bespoke shelving.
-Are you ready?
-I'm ready, babe.
And it's their individual designs that will set them apart.
-Cold today, mate, isn't it?
First up, it's burly bears Simon and John.
-How are you? I'm John.
Hi, Caroline, nice to meet you.
They'll need to wow Caroline and James
with their idea to beat the other builders.
It's very modern, I think, in here, isn't it?
-So I think, got to keep it clean.
-Clean and sharp.
-A bit like yourself.
-A bit like myself!
Just in time for lunch, John. I thought that'd be the case.
Better late than never!
These best of buddies are masters at multi-skilling.
I started out life as a bricklayer many years ago.
Ever since then, I've just done extensions and refurbs,
sort of multi-trade.
Are you messing about, Si?
If you've got to get a job done...
I don't even have to think, he'll just be there.
You love it!
Simon and John will need a killer shelving idea
to win over Caroline and James.
So I think it needs to obviously complement the room
rather than stand out.
Yeah, because everything we've seen in the house so far
-is all one colour.
-Yep. Does it blend into the walls?
Yeah, I think blend it into the wall.
Simon and John's plan to use plaster to blend the shelves in
sounds smooth, but what will Caroline and James think?
-We thought about making some really big shelves...
And they're big, chunky shelves, so it looks a lot different
to having a very thin shelf.
-And just doors along the bottom, oak top.
Maybe some LEDs hidden in the shelves?
-Or some little spotlights in the shelves.
They obviously like very neutral.
And then you paint the walls, obviously white is the main colour.
-And we'll put some LEDs underneath here to highlight that.
They'll shine off the back.
And we just thought it was a bit of a different,
contemporary take on your general idea.
-More in keeping with...
-What you've got.
-..what you've got.
John and Simon's modern white design majors on chunky shelving up top
and built-in cupboards underneath, with an oak work surface.
But what's it all going to cost?
-The price of that was 1,850.
That's £150 under budget, but Caroline and James
are giving nothing away.
This'll be different to what anyone else will have.
Simon and John seem confident, but there's still two pitches to go.
Next up is upcycling pair Charis and Chris.
Right, let's have a look here, then.
It's a two-hour round trip for them to get here,
so they won't want to lose this job.
I'm not blown away by white wood on a white wall.
My kind of style is to make a cabinet
out of a tea crate, or something that looks like something, you know,
that's reclaimed, that's kind of washed off a shore, kind of thing.
What have you got for me to do today?
Well, I need to get tidied first.
-Charis and Chris...
-Oh, that's hot.
..have been great buddies since they first met over 20 years ago.
At the time, we worked in a bank together, and it was well boring.
So we both went off on our own little angles.
He went and did plumbing, which was actually my idea.
You can thank me later. Stand aside, please.
And I love playing with wood and metal and stuff,
so it works quite well.
So, you'll be banking on a winning idea, then, chaps?
My vision is lovely, beautiful, characterful wood.
I mean, if we go with scaffold boards,
the old kind of reclaimed ones,
something that's got some character, you know?
Can they convince Caroline and James to ditch the neutral colours
in favour of recycled wood?
What I think would look really, really nice
would be to have some kind of rustic wood shelves,
either scaffold board shelves or maybe waney edge oak,
and you can either have it quite rustic-looking,
or you can bring it up to a kind of gleaming shine,
and you've just got that beautiful detailing of the wood.
Will it all be one unit or will they be separate?
The cabinets would be units.
-If we emptied the van out...
-And the shelves would be lengths,
wouldn't they? But it's not that long, is it?
So, yeah, what I was thinking was more of making you some cabinets
-out of reclaimed wood.
And then having the shelves as separate shelves going up the wall.
Maybe with metal...
Some kind of metal brackets, and doorknobs the same as well.
We could even make them out of wrought iron.
-All right, that's one to mull over.
-Go and have a lie down!
Charis and Chris want to take Caroline and James
out of their cream comfort zone by using reclaimed materials.
As well as scaffolding plank shelves,
Charis wants to use pallet wood to line the alcoves
and make the base cabinets.
But what does using recycled materials mean for the price?
It would be around the £2,000 mark.
Around 1,400 for the labour, and then materials, give or take,
should bring us up to about the 2,000 mark.
That's bang on budget, but it's not decision time yet,
as there's still one more pitch to go.
Finally, bidding against the other two teams...
-..are smooth operators Martin and Mick.
I know for a fact Charis and that are going to go in there
and try and upcycle something, because that's what they love doing.
-We've got to go radical, mate.
-We've got to think outside the box.
This odd couple always look on the bright side of life.
What am I thinking? Disaster.
I like Mick's positivity that he brings.
Michael, I have a sink for you.
-Officially, I'm in charge, yeah.
He's in charge, but once he's gone, I don't take no notice anyway, so...
I think I better go home now.
But seriously, chaps, it's time to get your thinking caps on.
I think we could change it up a little bit.
A 45-degree diagonal shelving system.
-Yeah, the lattice.
-It's something different.
Better explain yourselves, boys.
There's something called, like, a lattice effect, a diagonal,
which would be this section.
So, just to give you a bit more of an image
-of what that would look like...
-It's quite a cool effect.
What about using something like this on that top?
White doors underneath.
I mean, what I really want to do, as well, if you were going all out,
would be to put some sort of feature wallpaper behind it
-and have it open-backed.
We're thinking of some of the furniture you've got in there -
of solid wood. We're not talking about veneers,
we're talking about doing a solid wood.
I mean, I actually wanted to go all out...
-He wanted to do a featured wallpaper wall.
-Wallpaper behind it.
-Oh, right, yes.
-So it was soft, with swirls and some flowers.
Martin and Mick are pushing the brief with patterned wallpaper
and a crisscross lattice shelving design.
It's a radical move, so what's the price?
-So we're at 2,150, all in.
That's the highest of all three pitches, but Caroline and James
don't have to go with any of them.
-So how did it go for you guys, then?
-How did it go?
I think it went all right.
Well, we know there's a little designer on the firm, so we, like...
-We just went for it, we did.
-We went it 2,150.
-That's all right.
-We put in 18...
-We went for two, but using a lot of reclaimed wood,
making cabinets that would go underneath,
but the shelves would be...
You didn't nick the pallets, did you, on the way here?
The builders can't do any more.
Now they have to wait.
-I think we are both in agreement.
-There's a clear winner.
-Let's give them a call.
-Yeah, let's give them a call.
Will it be Charis and Chris's on-budget upcycling idea,
Simon and John's cut-price modern clean look,
or Martin and Mick's top-dollar lattice shelves?
Only the winners' phone will ring.
-Hi, we're just calling to say we really loved your idea
-and we're going to go with you guys.
-We'd like to go with you guys.
Really? Oh! Brilliant. How exciting.
-Oh, thank you. I didn't know what you were going to say then
because there was quite a little pause. Oh, brilliant.
-I'm really excited about this. I think it's going to look fantastic.
-So are we.
-All right, then, I'll see you soon.
I like the idea of upcycling.
We've had so much waste throughout the build.
So, yeah, I'm just excited. Something different.
-Get out of our comfort zone.
-One step at a time!
The brief, obviously, was just white on white and it wasn't...
Do you know what I mean?
I basically went in there and turned it on its head, and winning!
The job's in the bag for Charis and Chris,
but it's sour grapes for the losers.
-Congratulations, chaps, we hate you!
-Yeah, well done.
I'll be watching with a very fine eye, Charis and Chris.
There's a few things to consider if you're thinking about upcycling.
Make sure you agree the design before you start,
because making adjustments can cost more, because of more materials,
and it can also delay the job.
Sourcing reclaim materials can be quite time-consuming.
Make sure you know what you want and that it's available.
Charis and Chris are building the shelves in two stages.
They'll do all the cutting and cabinet-making at Charis's workshop,
then head to Caroline and James's house for a day of installing.
Let's hope it all fits, because the losing builders are watching on.
Well, I can't wait for this job. This'll be good.
-Yeah, let's have a little look.
-I'm looking forward to this.
-Oh, mind your fingers in the old Workmate!
With plumber Chris busy elsewhere, it's down to craftswoman Charis
to start work without him.
Right, so I've got my plans over here.
So I always work out everything to scale.
-God, she's an architect.
-Look at that.
-Look at that!
-She's got plans as well.
Pallet boards along the back here and that's where the little unit's
going to go and I've marked out things like skirting as well.
The thing is, though, by the time she drew all that...
-She could've made it.
-..she could've made it.
So I'm going to build...
And she also has an ingenious way of creating a template
to make sure the bits of wood will be exactly the right size.
What I've drawn out is basically the length of their wall.
Nice. I've used pieces of wood on the floor,
which I'm going to screw down,
so that my planks that I'm laying down to make the panel
cannot move and go off elsewhere.
Good idea, Charis.
So we go with these for now.
Now she's marked out the floor,
Charis moves on to the soundproofing for the alcoves by fixing together
strips of wood from old pallets, at a cost of £1.50 per metre.
As reclaimed wood, it's already had a life somewhere else.
-It used to be a tree.
They are slightly warped and defected.
But, for me, I really like that and I like the character.
I just cannot get my head around all this scaffold planks and stuff.
It's just not what we're used to, that's all.
It's debatable whether it will fit or not.
No, it should do. There you go.
Charis has cut the boards to fit the width of the alcoves.
Now she's got to fix them together using three plywood slats.
There is actually an old carpenter's saying - measure twice, cut once.
Not easy when you're working alone.
This is why I need Chris. Chris!
Where's your mate?
So what's that going to be, like, maybe the back of the shelving bit?
Yeah, it must be.
Caroline and James wanted it painted white...
Yeah, I think it's nice.
..but Charis has decided to put her own spin on it.
To get this beautiful rustic effect, I leave it unsanded and paint it
and then I'm going to sand it afterwards.
Because then... You see all these bits that are sticking out?
Those bits will come off with the paint
and give us that nice rustic effect where it's all kind of, you know,
looks like it's washed up on a beach or something.
Distressed look, I think she's looking for.
-I'm distressed stood here watching it.
The next day, things have moved on.
Charis has started to knock up a couple of cabinets,
the paint's dried on the panels,
and look who's finally turned up - Chris.
And she's got big plans for him.
Chris, today, is going to sand every bit of wood that I give him,
and I've got a lot of wood in here.
Eight shelves to do and then I'm going to give him the pieces of wood
for the cabinet to sand as well. Then...
Bearing in mind I'm here for half a day.
-Oh, my word!
-He's a typical plumber, isn't he?
-Half a day plumber!
-Half a day, hour...
You've got to be here for as long as it takes, Christopher.
I'd get on with it, if I was you, there's still a lot to do.
Too much work and not enough hours in the day.
Something's wrong with that.
Right, you're going to have to learn how to do this, now.
-She's even got to change the sandpaper for him.
She's got to do it, look!
We've got a cabinet over there that doesn't have any feet on,
doesn't have any doors on because the doors still need sanding.
The other cabinet, at the moment, is just several pieces of two parts
of scaffold board glued together.
Very time-consuming, isn't it?
A lot of work in that, mate, isn't there?
I think it's going to look brilliant when we get it there and I'm sure
that they're going to be really happy,
and that's the main thing at the end of the day.
Charis is confident the cabinets will be finished in time.
Good job someone is.
For our next job, we're just outside a major city in the north -
a trendy area full of independent bars,
restaurants, and plenty of green spaces.
The average semi here will set you back just over 340 grand.
We're in Chorlton, on the south-west edge of Manchester.
It's home to Salma, who bought this three-bedroom 1930s semi
eight years ago.
I live here in this house with my two dogs, Benji and Bella.
The house is perfectly tailored now to my needs.
It's been very customised and I love living here,
and I do feel that there's a few frustrations in my life
and one of them has to be the driveway.
It was OK when I moved in, but we had to fix the drainage,
so we had to pull up all the flagstones.
Once the drainage was fixed, the driveway got left.
As if that wasn't bad enough, three months ago,
Salma had a fall and shattered her kneecap,
making day-to-day life even more difficult.
Just trying to get the bins in and out over broken flagstones
is just absolutely chaotic.
It looks unattractive.
I feel like I'm letting down the neighbourhood a little bit.
Extensive driveway or garden work gets costly very quickly,
so just how much has Salma got to spend?
The budget for doing the driveway is £5,000.
For me, that is a large chunk of my savings, so it's a big job.
It's something that's going to cost me a lot of money,
but enough is enough, I need to get this sorted.
If you need a driveway makeover,
here are a few things worth keeping in mind.
Think about the time of year.
Bad weather can really delay a driveway,
so best get it done in the summer.
Once the driveway's completed,
make sure you check with your builder to see if it needs
time for it to settle before you can use it to park your car.
Decide on the finish you're going to want,
because the paving might need to be ordered.
This is a big job to pitch for,
as it involves digging out tonnes of earth before rebuilding
Get me pad and pen.
..and they've all got their own ideas on how to approach it.
-It's a nice day, today.
-Nice day to win a job.
And they're determined to beat each other.
Yeah, I think it is the second one along, Daz.
First to quote are family firm Tracy and Daz.
-Hi, are you all right?
-I've come to have a look at the drive. I'm Daryll.
-Hello, I'm Tracy, Daz's mum.
-Yeah, help yourselves.
They've spent hours coming up with
what they hope will be a winning design.
-This is a mess.
-Do you want to do some measures?
All right, Mother.
This mother-and-son team like to keep it in the family.
I am proud. Without Daz, he's my right-hand man, I couldn't...
I couldn't run this business.
We rely on each other.
Admittedly, not the greatest morning person. I like my quiet.
Because they're moving in soon, so we need to get it sorted.
I'm doing it!
Mum knows best, eh?
And she's not short of ideas for this job, either.
It's quite a decent-sized space, really,
it's just you don't realise it, do you,
because of all this stuff that's in the way.
The driveway doesn't need to be the main thing
that gives you the wow factor.
If we put in the extras, like the bamboos and some nice gravel
and we marry it up and match it with the nice well-established plants
that are at the side of the property,
that would give it a nice, modern feel.
But will Salma go for their bamboo bonanza?
I'm suggesting maybe a bamboo,
because bamboo will give you privacy,
easy to maintain, it looks very modern, it looks very fresh.
-There's drains everywhere.
-I know, that's what I was going to say.
Obviously, there's going to be quite a bit of work in terms of
sorting out any issues we might need to do with the drains.
Obviously, levelling it, hard-coring it,
getting it ready for a driveable surface.
We would remove all the existing driveway that's here,
sort the drains out, because the levels of the drains need dropping.
But then I'm suggesting laying a buff 600-by-600 flag
all the way down the front, and the gravel's down,
laid on top of a membrane,
so you'll not have any weeding or anything like that,
so it's very low-maintenance.
Daz and Tracy want to create a modern look
with bamboo foliage and uniform square-slab paving,
both in front of the house and along the side.
So, what's all this going to cost?
We're struggling with your budget slightly,
so we're coming in at £6,100.
That's more than a grand over budget.
But their rivals are still to pitch.
Next up against Tracy and Daz are young guns Faiz and Tom.
Make a nice rapport, see what she wants, good price,
-and the job's in the bag, mate.
Just the first thing, we need to get an idea of it, whip it all out.
When you say whip it all out, what do you mean, like...?
-I get the spade out, you go to the shop, get the butties.
I'll make the brews, you get the spade out.
I wonder how many times you're going to bang your head
-on this today, Tom.
-Over the last few years,
these two have built up a great working relationship.
Tom, to work with on site, he's calm.
That's going to be a bit of an issue!
We bring ideas that are different and outside the box.
HE HUMS A TUNE
Plan of action, Tom, go on, what are we doing?
Hopefully we can talk her into having the lights down
-the edging, I think. It'll look nice, won't it?
Put a few downlighters on the side of the door.
Now they've got to convince Salma that their idea
is better than Daz and Tracy's.
The big thing that we think will make your driveway
stand out from the rest is the addition of driveway lighting -
at certain intervals along the driveway, as well.
We pull this out, get that sorted, move towards the front.
Get rid of all this shrubbery, the trees down the side.
-We know what the customer wants.
-It's in the bag.
-We'll have it, no problem.
-It's in the bag, innit?
Well, we were thinking of surfacing the whole thing
-with block paving...
Whatever you like, it's all going to be the same right the way around.
-The same the whole way round?
-All the way round.
OK, that's clear.
Faiz and Tom have opted to keep things simple and streamlined
by removing the shrubbery and laying flagstones throughout,
using clever lighting to show it all off.
So what's it going to cost?
Well, we've got a couple of quotes for you.
On the lower range of the block paving at £4,500,
and the flagstones at £5,400.
One quote comes in 500 under budget and the other 400 over budget.
It looks like Faiz and Tom are hedging their bets.
But it's not over yet.
Bidding against the other two teams are grafters Alex and Chris.
You must be freezing without a hat on!
-My shiny head?
These two buddies have been working together for three years
and they think they're the perfect team.
We complement each other very well.
Chris tends to be a lot more artistic than I am.
I suppose I'm a little bit more the practical side.
I think with me, as well, because I'm older, not that you can tell...
-A lot. A lot older.
-No, not that you could tell, or anything, but...
Four and a half inch drain there.
Just make a note that we are going to have to lift
-some of these drains.
-Oh, yeah, I know.
Nothing that we can't get round.
Having sized up the job, they've now got to win Salma over.
We'll move the gate two metres further up,
a bit more room for the car.
So all this is all block paving.
We take it up to your new position on the gate.
It's a concrete grey block.
-From there, we'll do it in a slate pebble.
We could build a timber frame for her.
So we could hide the bins behind.
It's an eyesore, isn't it? Get a nice new drive and you've got...
You've got four bins on it.
When we initially looked at it...
We think obviously the wheelie bins are extremely unsightly.
-What we can actually do is make you a nice platform
to store the bins.
We'll have a fence up at the side so you won't see them from the road.
So Chris and Alex will hide Salma's unsightly bins,
but their piece de resistance is a plan to shift
the gate and iron fencing further back,
to make more room for Salma's car.
Big ideas, but how much will it cost?
-So that's coming out £4,950.
That's 50 quid under Salma's budget.
-You said an estimated five days?
-And what happens if that slips?
-Our price is our price.
So that's it. So if we go over by a week, then that's fine.
You know, that's just a week off our life.
-So you'll be all right.
They've all pitched.
But Salma doesn't have to go with any of them.
-Who's having it?
-We're having it.
I think you're in the middle, aren't you?
I think the good looks and the bald head's probably swung it.
Not like... Hey!
I think the only thing that goes against us is the Scouse accent.
Got a difficult decision to make.
I need to pick one of the three quotes
and for sure I'm going to pick one of them,
because I can't wait another six years with the driveway just
being dug up and a building site.
All three teams have done all they can.
Now only the winners' phone will ring.
Will it be Daz and Tracy's bamboo-inspired design,
top price at £6,100,
Faiz and Tom's lighting design at £4,500-£5,400,
or Chris and Alex's block drive with bin storage,
below budget at £4,950?
Oh, here we go.
Good afternoon, Chris speaking.
Hi, Chris, it's Salma here.
-I've decided to go with you for the job.
-Oh, that's great.
-That's fantastic. Thank you very much.
Thanks, Salma. We really appreciate that.
-Happy day, mate.
In the end, I decided to go with Chris and Alex
because they'd thought about all the considerations
that I had and I liked that they came in on budget.
The job's a good 'un for Chris and Alex,
leaving the losers spitting feathers.
I got the feeling that she was quite confident with us,
but maybe it was down to cost.
It'll be interesting to see what she ends up with.
-Yeah, it will be, yeah.
-We've all put our prices in.
She's gone for the old boys, so no hard feelings, eh?
Yeah. It doesn't add up to me, but...
Whatever floats your boat.
-I'm coming, love!
It's day one on the building of Salma's drive
and the losing builders are watching Alex and Chris's every move...
-Come on, then, what've they done?
..and they've turned up on the job with their secret weapon.
It's Billy... Billy the star. He makes up for two of us.
Everybody needs a Billy.
First, they need to completely dig out the old driveway
and make the ground level. They've opted to do this entirely by hand
to avoid damaging any unseen water or gas pipes.
-Look at that. That's brave of them.
And it's a tough job.
-I think I'd have had to get a digger in there.
A messy day, really. At the end of the day,
it's just ripping out and exposing everything that's underneath.
We don't do problems, we only do solutions.
We get round whatever... Whatever we come up against.
It's not long before they come up against problem number one.
-What, going all the way across?
The gate they have to move is set in a concrete kerbstone
that goes right across the drive...
Oh, we've dodged a bullet there.
Yeah, I'm telling you, mate, I'm telling you.
..and the whole lot has to be dug out.
It's a shame we can't leave that in.
Do you think we can renegotiate?
There's a lot of concrete in it.
I mean, it's not even budging.
They need some young blood.
There's only one thing for it.
Time to bring in the Billy.
OK, try that.
Give him a hand, then!
-There you go.
-Just needed a pensioner to get it out.
-Is that it!
Got there in the end, lads.
With the whole drive finally cleared,
all the lads have to do next is build a new one.
-What are they going home for? It's still daylight!
We'll be back to see them finish the driveway later.
Back down south in Purley,
Caroline and James have spent 12 months doing up their home,
but it's missing some little finishing touches.
Right, this is the one for the smaller side.
Upcycling buddies Charis and Chris have been building bespoke shelves
for the lounge.
So I presume that's going to be the backdrop for the shelves, is it?
-Do you think?
-Yeah, must be.
Now they've just got to make sure it all fits.
I'd be disappointed if someone turned up at my house with that.
Lucky it's not your house, then, Mick.
First, Chris puts up plywood slats, so the back panels can be secured
to the wall, and Charis is lining the back of the panels
with cork sheeting to help with soundproofing.
So do you think that this thin bit of cork
-is going to make it any quieter?
That's the whole point of it.
Everyone knows that cork does soundproofing.
Chris is the brains, obviously, in that pair. Not!
-It's because there's tiny little molecules in it
and they bounce the sound off all into different directions.
It's very thin, though, isn't it?
I tell you what, I should wrap your head in that,
then I wouldn't have to listen to you.
Oh, they've got that funny relationship.
There's a little bit of, you know,
a little bit of atmosphere there, John.
With the soundproof backplate up,
all they need to do now is fit the shelves.
I'm going to trim a little bit off to make sure they're all flush,
but because they're reclaimed, they're all different.
They're all different depths, obviously,
because I like to make things difficult.
I thought the whole idea of doing it in the workshop was so they weren't
doing a load of work on site.
Come on, Mick, it's only a few tweaks...
The shelving is twisted because we've reclaimed the scaffold boards,
so as soon as you bang that side down, this side comes up.
But I think that's just the feature, isn't it?
Part of the appeal is that you don't use these shelves,
because you can't put anything on them.
-Did she just say they've done shelves
you can't put anything on?
-I think she was being...
-Did she say...?
-I think she was being sarcastic.
With night drawing in, it's now a mad dash to the finish.
-Give me strength.
-Where have the screws gone?
SHE HUMS A TUNE
I'm starving hungry, I'm extremely tired,
I've been working late every night, now I'm here late,
I hate hinges, I hate doors, I hate life.
I've had enough. Literally.
I'm like that. I want to go home.
Oh, she doesn't sound like a happy bunny, mate, does she?
-The screws are the worst screws
in the whole entire world ever created.
And the last piece of the jigsaw - some super-silent doors.
Sorry, I had beans for lunch.
I think that might be a bit tight, Charis.
Well, we're all done, it looks brilliant,
-were absolutely knackered, we want to go home.
Really tough, a very long week, in fact, getting it all ready.
And I think we should have charged more, probably.
Caroline and James had spent a year doing up their house,
but the lounge was let down by bare walls and no storage.
-An empty space, wasn't it?
-Like a bare lounge...
A little chest of drawers.
They had a little chest of drawers in there, didn't they?
What will the losing builders make of Charis and Chris's hard work?
-I tell you what, John, I'm...
-I'm quite excited about watching this.
-I am as well.
It should be good, this.
-It looks nice, though.
-It looks nice, it does look nice.
Charis and Chris's upcycled bespoke unit
has completely transformed the space.
-That... That looks good.
-That does look good.
A very good job.
The rustic shelves and cabinets contrast well
with the light and airy extension.
It's given a lot of character to the room, innit?
They've ruined it, though, they've put things on the shelves!
The builders like it, but now Charis and Chris are
about to find out for themselves what Caroline and James think.
I'm really excited and kind of nervous about what they're going
-to say about the job.
-Oh, I think they're going to love it.
They're smiling, they're smiling.
-It looks really different.
-That is super.
-Oh, they do like it.
Oh, they like it!
Just a bit more rustic.
I love the worn look to it.
Yeah, yeah. I think it makes this room feel more cosy.
-Yes, then! Cosy, that's what we're going for.
Yeah, it's a great addition to the room.
-Are you having an explore?
It did look good, though, didn't it? We done well there, babe.
Back up north in Chorlton, Salma's got the builders in
to transform her neglected driveway into
something much prettier and safer.
Alex and Chris have cleared the old drive entirely by hand.
And with losers Faiz and Tom and Tracy and Daz watching like hawks,
they now need to start building the new one.
-To be fair, they got stuck in there.
-They have got stuck in there.
But there's a problem.
Alex and Chris knew that the drains needed moving.
What they didn't know is that they were encased in concrete.
Well, we need to drop this drain
because it's going to be higher than the drive,
but it's all been concreted in.
-You just would not have known, would you...?
..that those were there?
That was what was so difficult about this job.
The plan is to try and get it out in one piece, slowly,
so it doesn't smash everything up.
I would've got a digger in there.
A mini-digger, honestly, and done all the drains at the end.
With the problem drain safely removed in one piece,
ready to be positioned lower later, they can crack on.
Next, the boys need to lay down a 17cm sub-base of stone and sand.
Ten tonnes worth, in fact.
So, after taking a couple of tonnes of dirt out of here this morning,
we're now filling it back up with more dirt, basically, and rubble.
But it feels good. It actually feels like something's getting done now.
-A lot to move, that.
-A lot of earth, isn't it, that?
Just holding the wall up.
One man's pain is another man's pleasure.
With the sub-base flying down and Alex making a new step
up to the doorway, things are moving on.
But then Mother Nature throws a spanner in the works...
I think it might pass...
In about two hours, yeah!
..just as approximately 1,000 paving blocks for the drive turn up.
There's got to be an easier way of making a living, surely.
You've got to be prepared to get wet, haven't you, lads?
You don't want to stop, because then you don't want to get back on.
-Crack on, your skin's waterproof.
It doesn't earn you bags sat in that shed, does it, lads?
With rain stopping play, the boys are behind schedule.
-It was a horrible job, that.
-Yeah, it was.
-A horrible job.
They still need to move the gate,
lay the block driveway and build the bin store.
Let's hope the weather improves tomorrow.
Next day, the boys are keen as mustard.
At least it's not raining.
Hmm, the weather's not so good today.
The impact on the job now, obviously it's setting us back even further.
Come on, lads, get your waterproofs on.
Time to go home, get a bit dry. Bye!
Get on with it.
With the sun finally out, the boys can get going again.
Today we're going to crack it, try and catch up,
and we're all raring to go.
A bit of luck, at last.
The ground is now level and Alex starts laying the dark grey stones
that will border the entire drive.
I'm just getting them roughly in place
and then we can adjust them after.
We'll backfill it with a bit of cement as well.
Having already removed the gate,
it's time to put it in its new position.
But there's a problem.
It was narrower at that end.
It's wider at this end,
so we've got to accommodate both sides
and get the distance between the gate...
-Yeah, make sure...
-..and the catch.
Otherwise it might be a bit embarrassing.
-The new position is wider than where it was,
leaving a gap of four inches.
They should have probably measured that gate before they moved it,
-But then, Alex has a brainwave.
I tell you what, what about we put a...
-A four-inch post in.
-A four-inch post, yeah, at that end.
A four-inch post that will also be part of the bin-store structure!
Almost as if they planned it like that from the beginning.
And the path leading to Salma's front door is starting to go down
and take some shape.
So he's got a lot of finishing touches to do.
It needs cleaning off and then we need to...
It needs kiln-dried sand in between it all.
A well-earned cup of coffee.
Day ten, and the build has taken almost twice the budgeted time.
On a clear run, it was going to be about five or six days.
It's all about the end product.
We're not going to cut corners just to get the job done,
get it in on time.
That's something we have to swallow.
It comes out of our pocket, at the end of the day.
Your quote's your quote, isn't it?
You can't add more because it rains.
Yeah, that is it. You either crack on with it, or not.
It feels good, it feels good.
The end is in sight.
All being well, we'll all be done pretty much by the end of tomorrow.
-At least he's still smiling.
-I'm not sure I would be.
The blocks on the driveway are almost down.
I can see why they thought it was going to take them
-five days to do that.
It's like a big jigsaw!
And it's time to see if that gate actually fits.
It'll be a miracle.
It will be, you've done it!
-Ey-up, moment of truth.
-Get in there.
Suits you, sir.
-Made for it, that, wasn't it?
-It grew there, that.
Just the other side of the gate to do, then.
Time to tackle that bin store.
Going to put four down cos they've got four bins,
and then this just hides it enough to...
You know, I just hate bins out on display,
so just a little idea we came up with.
And before the slate pebbles go down,
there's one important thing to do.
It's pretty essential to put a membrane down.
It just stops the weeds coming through.
Although you will get the same amount of weeds,
they'll just seed in the stone anyway.
But at least you'll be able to pick them up.
And it allows the rain to drain through as well.
So, you know, that's the main point of it.
You don't just go putting a sheet of plastic on it
and hoping for the best.
After 11 days' hard graft through rain, sleet and snow,
Chris and Alex have finally finished.
Typical, innit? Last day of the job, all done,
-and the sun comes out.
-The sun comes out. I know.
But I can take my hat off now.
-Anyway, well done, mate.
For the best part of six years,
Salma's driveway was in a shocking state.
So much concrete down there.
Odd, them drains, weren't they?
-All sticking out everywhere.
So what will the losing builders think of Alex and Chris's hard work?
Let's see what the craic is.
-Bit of a difference, that, innit?
-Oh, it's a massive difference.
There you go, from what it was to what it is now.
Well done, fellas. Looks nice.
The entire length of it has been levelled out
and the old slabs and weeds have been replaced by paving block.
Look. Oh, my goodness.
Good. Decent, that.
A better pathway leading to the front door has been created.
That looks so nice.
The bins that were an eyesore are now well hidden,
and the gate has been moved back
to give Salma much more space for her car.
-That looks nice. Well in.
The builders like it, but now Alex and Chris
are about to find out for themselves what Salma thinks.
When you look at it from how it was, and what she's got now, it's...
-That looks good.
-Yeah. Let's hope her reaction's good, then.
Well, fingers crossed, mate.
I love it. I think, yeah, they've done an ace job.
The driveway just seems bigger, I've got more space to park on it.
Before, the bin situation that I had
was a complete nightmare to get them out onto the road,
and it was quite a challenge, especially with the broken leg.
Whereas now it's an absolute dream.
-Pleased with that, mate.
Really pleased with that.
The difference is just night and day.
Got a tear there, mate. Got a tear.
It's almost like it's not the same house.
To me, they've completely transformed it.
Another satisfied customer.
Last word from the boys?
In south London, Caroline and James are offered three very different designs for their alcove storage needs. Builders Martin and Mick come up with a criss-cross lattice shelving idea, Charis and Chris plan to use reclaimed materials, including old scaffold planks, and John and Simon think chunky shelves plastered into the walls should win them the job. Caroline and James have £2,000 to spend, but which builders will get to bring their design dreams to life?
In Manchester, Salma wants to get the builders in to sort out the sorry state of her driveway. It is a big job and she has got £5,000 to spend on it. The builders have three very different ideas for what should be done, but of course only one pair can win the job.