Series following some of the UK's 20,000 self-builders. William Guthrie's dream to build his own home near Middlesbrough is proving to be a nightmare for his reluctant wife Velia.
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We all dream of owning the perfect home,
but finding a property that suits your wallet and your way of life isn't easy. I have a solution.
Stop searching for something to buy and consider somewhere to build.
'Every year in Britain, 20,000 people build their own home.
'And we'll be following some of them as they go from foundations to finishing touches.'
It's certainly relentless. I'm getting time off for good behaviour.
'Along the way, our brave self-builders will experience amazing highs...'
It's been a dream. And it's starting to come together now.
'..and some frustrating lows.'
How many more things could go pear-shaped?
'But if they can overcome the trials and tribulations,
'they'll end up with the home they've always desired.'
So if you're looking for your perfect pad, the question is simple.
To build or not to build?
'Coming up, a one-man self-build dream is proving to be a nightmare
'for his reluctant wife.'
At no point did he ask me if I wanted to move.
It was time for me to make the only decision I've ever made.
'The cutting-edge home in Wales that really has the wow factor.'
I wanted to build something completely different
and I think that's what we achieved.
'And I get into a bit of a tangle
'learning to fit underfloor heating at building college.'
It's like wrestling with a boa. And I don't mean a feather boa.
One of the Tees Valley Giants, an art installation which cost
in the region of £2.7 million
and has certainly divided opinion amongst the residents of Middlesbrough.
But those big steel rings aren't the only construction in town
which has caused some controversy, as I'm about to discover.
'For many families, the decision to build a new home is the culmination of a shared vision,
'the chance to finally get the home of their dreams.
'But for the Guthrie family, it's a decision that's dividing rather than uniting them.'
-Where am I sitting, Mam?
'William and Velia live with their teenage sons, William Henry and Charles, in Middlesbrough.
'And together, they run a children's nursery in the town centre.'
Absolutely. So it should be all right.
'But convincing his wife that moving from their bungalow they've lived in for the past 18 years
'to a brand new self-built home hasn't been child's play.'
It's a blunt question but a valid question. Whose idea was this?
-It was not my idea, it was his.
-Who is telling the truth?
-It was his silly idea. SIMON LAUGHS
The way she said silly idea, I'm starting to think, William, it was your idea.
It won't be the first time we've disagreed, but it's not a silly idea.
I found a piece of land and pursued a gentleman farmer to sell it to me
-and eventually he did.
-So this plot of land wasn't even up for sale?
Every eight or nine weeks, I knocked on his door, until eventually he gave up and decided to sell it.
-He wore to poor man down.
-Were you involved?
-I discussed it with her.
At no point did he ask me if I wanted to move.
Four years he was courting this farmer and I wasn't involved.
She's made every other decision in our marriage.
It was time for me to make the only decision I've ever made.
'You can't beat a bit of loving banter, can you?
'When William spotted a plot of land two miles away
'in semi-rural Hilton, he couldn't resist making an offer.
'His £175,000 bid was accepted
'and despite Velia's reluctance, he pressed on with his dream to build an eco-home with a difference.'
In 1990, I looked at a house which was made out of polystyrene
and it had the wow factor and it was THE way to build,
it's very energy efficient, which is very politically talked about these days.
This is not a common build method, certainly in this country.
Not in this country, no, but it's very, very common on the continent.
But for some reason, modern methods of construction haven't really got much foundation in this country.
Oh, very good!
'William and Velia have budgeted around £175,000
'to build the sizeable three-storey, four-bed detached house.
'From the exterior, the house will look like a traditional red-brick home,
'but that's just a planning stipulation.
'The bricks will effectively be wallpaper.
'It's the polystyrene blocks filled with concrete
'that form the solid supporting structure of the house.'
-So you're pioneering. Have you got a pioneering spirit?
-It's only pioneering for Britain.
It's pioneering as far as my wife's concerned, cos she's very worried.
'For Velia, it's not the building system that's the real concern.
'The reason she doesn't want to sell their current home and move is simple. The family.'
-Come on then, Velia, who built this street?
-It was actually my brother, Ernie.
-He bought a piece of land and had ten plots.
-And there's three bungalows along here.
-You live in the end one.
-The little one in the corner.
-Who lives here?
-This is my brother, Ralph, the head of the family.
-This is my sister, Carmelina, who lives there with her husband Peter
-and she has four children.
-So let's just recap.
You're on the end, brother, sister.
-And we get to the end of the cul-de-sac. Is that where the family connection finishes?
If we get to the end of the drive here, you bear right, and then my sister Maria is just at the end.
-This is like Little Italy.
-That's what we wanted to call it cos we were going to put some gates on here
and call it Little Italy. So lots of memories, really. Why on earth would I want to move?
Does it worry you then, that, OK, I can see why you don't want to move,
-but it's kind of going to happen.
From what I've seen in the past from this kind of project, you really do need to support each other.
-Are you on board?
-Not quite. SHE LAUGHS
-I know why.
-I'm sure I will be.
-Shall we go and see your sister?
'Much as I understand the family ties, the move is only a couple of miles down the road.
'Work started on site four months ago
'and despite some horrendous weather, today being no exception,
'project manager William has overseen the construction of the foundations.
'The decision to invest £350,000 in self-building a new home here
'could make serious financial sense for the Guthries.'
So 350 grand for the whole build and looking at the house next door,
it's going to be a very substantial detached property. Any idea,
looking at the properties around here, what the equivalent would be?
I think the money, paper value, and we're never going to get the benefit of it cos we intend to live here,
but I would say approximately 7, perhaps 725.
'With similar-sized houses in the area commanding around £550,000,
'if William can keep the project on budget,
'they'll save a staggering 200 grand compared to buying.
'But it's not the only way this build will save them money.
'Polystyrene is so energy efficient
'that they'll save around £1,000 a year on heating bills.'
We wouldn't expect any year, if heating bills didn't rise,
to be above £170 per annum.
On a house of this size,
you would expect to be paying, let's face it,
-£250 a quarter.
But what you're also getting, other than cheap heating, is a stronger home,
a more durable home. I think it's a winner.
'William's hoping to finish in another eight months,
'bringing the total build schedule to 12 months.
'Homes constructed using this method are often finished quicker,
'but planning conditions require William to use traditional bricks to clad the house, adding more time.'
It does seem really bizarre to build a house out of polystyrene and concrete
with a concrete core so it has that strength
and then to put a brick building round it that you don't really need,
like a pseudo-building.
Well, I'm sure on the continent, they'd be just as puzzled,
but we have to comply with the local authority's permissions
and it is a requirement to comply with the neighbourhood,
which necessitates bricks,
and I'm sure the neighbours will be horrified when it goes up like an igloo.
They're going to look out... "That wasn't in the planning permission!"
-It'll look very white.
-It'll look bizarre.
'So the blocks might leave the neighbours dazzled,
'but it's not the first shock they've had courtesy of William's build.
'A workman managed to cut off the street's electricity supply on the very first day of construction.'
The tipper wagon drove off with his tail up and took the cable down.
-Well, you got to know the neighbours.
Make friends quickly. And they had oil-fired central heating, as well,
-and unfortunately, you need electricity to make that work.
So I was very, very unpopular, I'm sure, but they put a brave face on.
-They were very good about it.
-It's a learning curve.
'As project manager, William will definitely be learning on the job.
'It's build month five and it's a big day.
'The polystyrene blocks have arrived from German
'and work building the house up from the foundations is underway.'
It literally was a 40-foot container wagon
that was jam-packed full of the house requirements.
But it was quite novel, having a house delivered in the back of a lorry.
What you see here is about a tenth of the whole product that was delivered.
'The rest of the blocks are being stored nearby and will be brought onto site when required.
'They quickly and easily fasten together. In a few hours, the layout of the ground floor is visible.
It's exciting times and dearly looking forward to moving in.
'That may well be the case, William, but there'll be challenges ahead.
'The biggest, convincing Velia to live in this polystyrene pad.'
Many people choose to build their own house
because they get something that is perfectly suited to their lifestyle.
For some, that means using a tried and tested design.
But for others, it means doing something slightly more unusual.
'There are some buildings that are so radical in design, you have to be told what they really are.
'This, for example. Is it a James Bond set?
'Or a top-secret spy station?
'Or could it simply be a home?
'Self-builders Andrew and Chrissy Sandbrook like to keep people guessing.'
I just wanted to build something that's completely different and I think that's what we achieved.
Something that's different, contemporary and enjoyable.
We love the fact that there's no light pollution here.
Everything's very quiet and we just wanted to be out in the country.
'The house sits in the heart of Britain's first ever area of outstanding natural beauty,
'the Gower Peninsula in Wales,
'and the couple wanted a home that would be equally stunning.'
We knew exactly what we wanted and it was just a case of persuading the planners
to buy into the dream more than anything.
'From the clean lines of the interior to the clear views from the glass, this house oozes class.
'There are three distinct wings, one especially for guests.
'And the theme which links them all is light and space.'
We wanted to create a space where we could entertain
and thoroughly enjoy ourselves and be very private and secluded,
but just to enjoy the elements of nature.
'The plot cost £330,000
'and they spent another £630,000 on the build.
'At first, they wanted a two-storey house on the site,
'but after repeatedly being turned down by the planners, their breakthrough came
'when they lowered their roof line and their contemporary design was given the go-ahead.
'It took 19 months to build and Andy saved money by project-managing from start to finish.
'And when it came to designing the master bedroom, they definitely thought outside of the box.'
As you can see, we put a window above the bed
where during the night, if there's a clear sky, you can look up at the stars.
-Absolutely wonderful feeling.
-'And if you're tired of the stars,
'there's always the retractable TV at the foot of the bed.
'But there's certainly more compulsive viewing from the bedroom's balcony.
'Moving on to the visitors' wing, the three guest bedrooms have individual themes
'based on pewter, silver and gold,
'and two of them are linked by a central bathroom.'
This is a Jack and Jill bathroom.
So it can be shared with the second bedroom.
It has everything here, Jacuzzi bath, shower,
and then we go straight through to the second bedroom.
All the rooms have these high glass panels which create privacy but allow extra light.
'This unique house has now been valued at around £1.5 million,
'which means they've saved themselves a massive £540,000
'by opting to self-build.'
It's not about the money, it's about creating your own dream home to suit your own lifestyle.
And it's creating something unique
and something that hopefully will leave a legacy to the Gower Peninsula.
When you're involved in your own home build,
you need that passion to see the end product finished.
But I've enjoyed it and I would recommend it.
'In Middlesbrough, William Guthrie is a man on a mission.
'He's building his family a new house out of polystyrene blocks that will be filled with concrete.
'But William's wife Velia isn't as enthusiastic about the build.
'She doesn't want to leave the cul-de-sac where she's lived for the last 18 years
'and where the neighbours are all close family.
'William's hoping he'll win her round with a spacious three-storey, four-bed detached house
'two miles from their current home.
'Work's in full flow, assembling the polystyrene block walls.'
Then you're going to cut it and put the shutter in?
'And although the sun isn't shining, the dazzling white blocks means it's a dark glasses day for William.'
Well, it's not just to look cool like Tom Cruise,
it's to stop the glare of this white polystyrene.
'But when his leading lady makes a rare appearance on site,
'she's thinking this is mission impossible.'
'Or maybe something for a younger audience.'
You know the story about the three little pigs? I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow the house down!
'And it's not just the polystyrene that Velia's picking holes in.'
You're standing in the kitchen, I believe. It still doesn't look as big as the kitchen I have.
Well, that's quite extraordinary. This kitchen must be 15 metres long
and five metres wide and it's a small kitchen? It's not a small kitchen.
It doesn't look as big as the one we've got.
If it gets any windier today, I'll be surprised if this is still standing by tomorrow.
'Undeterred, William and his team continue to pile on the polystyrene.
'And to definitely ensure the big, bad wolf can't blow this house down, it's filled with concrete.
'Two weeks into the block building and the ground floor of the house is in place
'and William's delighted with the progress.'
We've managed to get up to first-floor height,
so in eight or nine working days, we've built half a house.
But the Germans, you know,
when we sent them the drawings for the product order,
they were telling us confidently we should be ready for the roof in eight days.
But we're on a learning curve.
But we have created half a house in eight days, so we're half as quick, which is pretty good.
'William's two sons, Charles and William Henry, are on site, too.'
Look as if you're enjoying yourself.
'He's hoping they'll come round, even if their mum doesn't.'
From the very beginning, you've both been very, very doubting as to the strength of this building.
Now we've got polystyrene on both sides and filled with concrete,
-haven't we, Charles?
And do you not feel it's strong now?
Er, sort of.
'Hardly a resounding thumbs up, but there's nothing like bedroom boundaries to spark enthusiasm.'
Is my bedroom going to be halfway in between there,
that end and there and then onwards?
It'll be exactly half, yes. You'll have exactly the same space as your brother.
It'll be really cool, you know? Absolutely really cool.
'Into build month six and William's up to the first floor
'and busy with his blocks.'
We're forming windows now. That's in. Just got to put two here.
'He's now doing much of the work himself to save money
'and with the house nearly up to roof level, William's feeling rather presidential.'
I think the neighbours are starting to wonder if Barack Obama's moving into the white house.
I'm sure I've had every joke thrown at me over the past two or three months,
but the biggest one is it hasn't blown away, has it?
Then finally you've got a five just to finish there.
'And into the seventh month of the build.
'The roof timbers are on and so is the midsummer heat.'
It's like a sauna up here, boys, isn't it?
'But William could be in hot water with his wife Velia over plans for the home's main staircase.'
Velia did want this Hollywood staircase with a sweeping stair to it,
but we've had to rein in her demands a little bit.
She'll finish up with a super staircase, but it's going to have a turn in it as opposed to a curve.
The curve didn't really fit the shape we were working with.
Curved staircases are rather expensive, as well.
Almost double the price.
'So swerving the curving staircase will save William a massive £10,000,
'but not a load of ear ache from his wife.
'Ironically, concerns over money
'are shaping Velia's attitude towards the new family home William's building.'
I think it's been a battle of the wits, really.
She is a constant worrier about finances.
As a consequence, she hasn't had the fun and the involvement that perhaps she might have done.
I've had that fun and involvement because I've been physically involved in the build of the house
from the foundations to now.
'So a lot of the decisions that I've made, I've made solo
'because it's been very, very difficult to get an answer out of her
'and I've realised I've had to take the bull by the horns and just do it myself
'in the hope that she likes the end product. And I'm sure she will.'
I want you to cut two sections off because we're creating a ladder.
It's just a pity that we couldn't have had a lottery win at the beginning of the project
to allay any financial fears she's still got.
William will push the boat out,
tie the noose around his neck as tight as he possibly can
and he's done that since the day we were married, probably before.
I'm the other way. I'm a lot more reserved and a lot more cautious.
We probably wouldn't be living here if it hadn't been for William.
We'd be still stuck in a little two to three-bedroom semi somewhere.
So he's got his good points.
'William will just have to keep chipping away. However, he's got another more immediate problem.
'The site has been burgled.
'The thieves broke into a secured storeroom and snatched valuable tools.'
We've lost a fair bit.
Some tools of my own, the joiner's tools.
'The break-in cost William £1,600
'but it's not just the financial loss that's left him frustrated.'
This house has been built on part of a farm.
I knew the farm had rats. I didn't realise the rats were of the human kind,
but we know they're out there. Not good news.
'With more than £1 million lost to theft each week on UK building sites,
'sadly it seems William's not alone when it comes to being a victim of crime.
'It's build month eight and I'm back in Middlesbrough
'for a butcher's at William and Velia's big white house.'
How's it gone? Come on.
Erm, it's gone good. We're on budget. We're not on time, but we are on budget.
-The system, happy with it?
-Very happy with the system.
Bit disappointed now with the progress because I'm in the hands of everybody else.
It would be nice to speed it along, but things will take as long as they take.
'So things are moving slower than expected,
'but has all William's hard work over the past few months managed to win Velia over?'
He's been slaving over this place morning, noon and night, this beautiful big home.
Don't you try and tell me you're not excited.
You're frustrated, she's still not happy. Oh, blimey, I don't...
-Divorce is in the air.
-Recipe for disaster.
I know. I don't know where you go from here.
I think there's only one way to go from here. Let's have a look round.
Come on, young lady. Don't walk... She's trying to walk away now! Get in!
'Inside, the large rooms are shaping up nicely, from the downstairs living areas
'to the cavernous bedrooms in the loft.
'But amazingly, one of Velia's grumbles is that there's a lack of space.'
Right, Velia, come on. This is a big living room.
-Do you think it's bigger than the one we've already got?
-Yeah. You know it is.
I think I would've had a much larger window over there.
Never mind that! You're determined not to say something positive. They are a lovely feature.
'The two windows on the far wall that Velia says are too small will eventually flank a fireplace.'
If you'd opened up those windows any bigger and then put a fireplace in the middle,
the windows would've been disproportionate.
In this wonderful, very warm house, we don't need a fireplace, do we?
-But it's still nice to have the focal point. You know that.
'Upstairs, and when it comes to the master bedroom,
'it appears you can have too much of a good thing for Velia.'
Right, the master bedroom.
Now this is the make or break of the property surely for you, Velia.
I think it might be a little too big. This isn't just the bedroom. Through there, there's a dressing room.
Oh, you haven't given her a dres...
William! What woman wants a dressing room and walking through to an en suite?
You're a disgrace!
Listen up, ladies. This lady here has been provided with a fabulous, massive bedroom,
views across the countryside, never-ending,
own dressing room, walking through into her own en suite.
-Is that correct? That's how it's been designed?
-Fantastic selling point, Simon.
'She's a hard woman to please, but I sense that Velia might eventually come round to liking this new home.'
-Is it going to happen?
-I don't know.
-That's better than when I started.
-That wasn't a no, it was a don't know.
-I think we've made progress.
He keeps asking me. He's wearing me down!
That's what I'm doing.
Listen, mate, on that note, I've got you going there,
I'll leave you. See you later.
Lovely master bedroom. Smashing, that.
Ciao for now, eh?
'If you're building your own home or just want to improve the one you're currently in,
'trying your hand at DIY is a good way to save some cash.
'But it helps if you know what you're doing, so I've been taking a crash course a building college.
'Today I'm back in the plumbing department to get to grips with underfloor heating
'with tutor Mark Cawood.
'Now I've always thought underfloor heating is something you find in a football stadium,
'but it's becoming more and more popular in family homes.'
Today, underfloor heating. Now, me being the old-fashioned guy I am, I've never used this system before.
Does it actually make the room warmer?
I think it's the comfort level in the room.
The heat starts at lower level
-and the heat level in the room is at a comfortable level.
-And heat rises,
so it's heating all the air above your head, whereas underfloor heating heats the room up to you.
-It always looks like it could turn out to be a mess, though.
Once installed properly, it is a fantastic thing.
-Right. You've just said it there, though. If installed properly.
'And while it might look scary, it's actually quite a simple system.'
One pipe disappears into the floor, zigzags around the floor,
then comes back and goes back into our return and then goes back to the boiler to be reheated.
-Basically, they're your radiator ends.
-So you've got an in valve and an out valve
and your underfloor heating coil, your loop,
-is just that, really.
-It is, yes.
OK, you've sold this to me. I'm quite keen to learn this system. What do we do?
We're going to zigzag around our little demonstration rig.
Normally that would be laid on the floor.
'So just to keep this nice and confusing,
'I'm installing underfloor heating on the wall.'
-Right, here we are. This is another thing you'll need, a bit of pipe.
On the bench, we've got our tools laid out, so help yourself.
'To make things harder, Mark's making me go it alone.'
How long are you going to give me?
-Don't be tormenting me. Realistically?
-You should be able to do that in ten minutes.
-On your marks, get set, go.
'With only ten minutes, I'll cut some corners and skip measuring and cutting the pipe to length
'and get stuck straight in.'
Blimey, Mark! I'm not even going to get the... What's that called again?
I'm not even going to get one of them in!
'Fitting the connector which attaches the pipe to the hot water supply valve isn't easy.
'But I'm still feeling confident.'
It's actually a simple thing. It's not as scary as you think.
I thought, "Underfloor heating? Ohh, that modern, fancy stuff, I don't know whether I could do that."
But it's fiddly but doable, I suppose.
'I really need to learn to keep my mouth shut.'
I'm off and running.
-No, I'm not!
Oops. You didn't see that then. Don't be giggling!
As if this isn't hard enough, I've got half the college standing over there sniggering.
Haven't you got things to do, you lot?
-How am I doing, Mark?
-Five minutes gone.
It's hard work, this!
It's like wrestling with a boa.
And I don't mean a feather boa.
A minute to go.
Are things like this designed with little bits to catch your fingers on purpose
just so you give up and get a proper plumber in to do it?
'The heat is on but there's not going to be any coming from my system.'
Can we just get my lad in? That's hard work, that.
'If I'd cut the pipe to the correct length first,
'it might have been easier to cut it as a plumber.'
I just went for unrolling it like that.
-Would you normally have measured out your length?
-You would, yes.
Yeah. You know how far you're going and what turns you've got, you would measure out your length.
OK, guv, I didn't get it finished, but come on, a mark out of ten.
-I'll give you a five.
-A five? A five?
Look at it! They're lovely lines.
-OK, it's not connected so it doesn't work, but come on!
-No, I'm afraid a five's a five.
Thanks, Mark. It's lovely to break into a sweat. I see you didn't.
You don't need underfloor heating if you're putting underfloor heating in, if that makes sense.
'In Middlesbrough, it's build month ten and now it's clad in red brick,
'William and Velia's polystyrene palace looks like any ordinary house.'
We've now got a traditional-looking house
that I think is as good as I thought it was going to be and more.
I think it's lovely. Absolutely lovely.
I don't know how you can get passionate about bricks, but I have.
'But William had hoped they'd already be moved in by now.'
What I was in control of, which was the build of the polystyrene,
went up very, very quickly.
The minute you start making phone calls
and having deliveries of this and that,
one thing compounds another and before you know where you are, it's easy to slip behind.
'The build is several months behind schedule. But William is determined to keep control of the budget.
'And a bit of forward thinking meant spending a penny saved him a few pounds.'
We were paying £21.50 loo hire and we saved that sum many months ago
because I did the soil and surface water drains at the very outset of the build.
'By fitting a permanent loo early,
'William has saved around £100.
'But every penny counts on a project like this, so why flush money away?'
Here we are. It's rather lovely.
'William's big concern is that wife Velia, who's keeping out of the way running the nursery,
'isn't too keen to move from their current home.'
Velia has visited the house, most definitely, but I think she visits it secretly
cos this is one of her running routes.
I must confess, I did have a sneaky little drive up there the other day
I think she's hopefully slowly warming to it.
'Despite her reluctance to self-build,
'it seems Velia's secretly proud of her husband's achievements.'
Well, I would never tell him to his face,
but I suppose by the time he gets round to watching this,
he's done well.
I don't compliment him very much or give him any praise,
but he does push the boat out all of the time
and will drive it and is driving it
and he will realise his dream,
which is to build this house in Hilton.
'So does this mean she's coming round to the idea of moving house?'
William wanted to do it, wants to do it, it's his project.
I might have to move in with him.
'By build month 15,
'the interior fixtures and fittings are being installed.
'For William, today could be make or break.
'While Velia's involvement with the new house has been minimal, one of her few requests
'was for a grand sweeping staircase. Space and money constraints
'means William's come up with an alternative he hopes she'll love.'
Velia's about to see it for the first time in about five minutes. I love it. I really do like it.
'But will this be a stairway to heaven for Velia?'
-You've been waiting for this, haven't you?
It's not quite what...I had in mind.
'However, after a few tentative steps...'
Do you think the bottom step could be bigger?
'..Velia appears to be coming round.'
When they're all finished, I'm sure the finished product will be lovely. I'm sure it will.
'So maybe there's some hope, William. But it's still very much an uphill battle.
'It's now build month 20
'and I've heard the house should be just about finished
'so I'm back in Middlesbrough for the final time to see how the Guthries have got on.'
Even though this is a really imposing house-shaped kind of house,
the handmade bricks give it a soft look.
I like it. But it's not me that needs convincing, it's Velia.
'The family, including Velia, are planning to move lock, stock and barrel in the next couple of weeks.
'But for now, it's easy to see the grand proportions of the rooms
'from the vast kitchen-diner through to the main living room.'
It's really close, the finish is just around the corner.
The quality of the finish looks great. Happy with that?
I'm really happy with it. We've had to work within the confines
-of what we've had to spend, but I think generally we've created a lot.
'And while some of the rooms have been partially furnished,
'this house will certainly feel more like home when Velia can put her stamp on it.
'However, she's still not convinced about the entrance hallway.'
The staircase. Simple but very effective.
-We happy with that?
Well, I... No, I wanted a grander entrance, you know?
-A bigger bottom step and...
-I should've done better.
-Have you had that feeling all the way through, William?
Do you like the look of the place from the outside?
-It'll be better when it's finished.
-Yeah, of course. The ground works need finishing off.
-But do you like the choice of brick?
-Mm. See? William, she loves the place.
-Absolutely, yeah. She's very positive.
She is. On that positive note, let's have a look around.
'Downstairs, the snug is anything but,
'while the lounge is even more spacious with light flooding in from the large bay window.
'There's also a separate dining room that leads on to a high gloss and granite kitchen.'
Now, very important.
-The heart of the house, I guess, the kitchen.
-Are we happy with this?
Yes, I do like the kitchen.
I very much like the granite.
-You do, don't you?
-William! Velia likes the kitchen!
-It was still a hesitant yes.
-Hey, it doesn't matter. I think it's great.
-A yes is a yes.
We didn't know whether to have an island, and I'm pleased we chose not to
-because I prefer spacious areas.
-So I think this...
-That breaks up the space, anyway.
-And that's the breakfast bar at the far side.
-Really, really nice space. It flows very nicely into the dining room.
'Upstairs in the attic, sons Charles and William Henry made sure
'the important things have been moved in already.
'So far, Velia's been relatively upbeat about the home. But will it be ding-dong rather than ping-pong
'when it comes to the master bedroom?'
And the master bedroom. Now, Velia, last time I was here,
I'm sure you weren't happy with this room for one reason or another.
I thought it was probably too big.
-The master bedroom was too big?
-It's not, is it?
Well... Yes, you're right, it doesn't look as big as it did feel
this time last year when you were last here.
You've got views over countryside, your own walk-in wardrobe
-and en suite. You must be pleased with this.
-Yes, it is nice.
We just need a lot of furniture to go in it, I think.
'The sizeable interior space has meant there's had to be a compromise when it comes to the back garden.
'But the patio's still a great spot for soaking up the sun.'
How has the experience been? Quite a long build.
Yeah. We've been at the project about 20 months
and former to that, you could argue,
was wasted with two bad winters of build opportunity.
So in reality, maybe 16, 17 months.
-But a positive experience for you?
Do you regret that at all, the fact that you did take such a back seat
because you were so attached to the old place?
Not regret it, but I do wish I'd had more input in the beginning
-for the layout and the way it was designed.
-That sounds like a regret.
All right, then, OK. No, not regret. THEY LAUGH
It will be nice moving into something completely brand new
-because it's a long time since we've done anything at home, really.
-People would die for this house!
-Yeah, it'll be nice.
'Time to do the sums. The plot cost £175,000
'while the final build cost has come in at around £205,000.
'That's 30 grand over budget.
'But what will William and Velia's impressive finished house be worth?'
We've had a valuer nosing round the place.
They think, because it's a very sought-after location
in a very nice part of the area, Velia...
Yeah, all right.
If this was to go to market right now,
you'd be looking somewhere between
675 and 695.
That's what you've said all along.
'William might be cool about it, but opting to self-build
'has saved them a massive £300,000.'
I think the key is location.
I think you're always protected, if you are building,
to build in a location that can reward, if you're looking at resale.
-We're not, as it happens, but...
-No, we could move in for six months
-and then sell it.
-Don't you start!
Ah, now that's got you thinking, hasn't it?
I think you're going to be very happy here. I think you've done a fantastic job
and I've got a present for you. Stay there.
-Oh, it's a...
-It's our first plant.
Listen, because we knew there was a certain amount of strife with this build,
slight disagreements about whether you should move in at all,
-we were going to give you an olive branch...
..but in the end, we thought we'd give you the whole thing.
There you go. There's your olive tree.
-Put it where you will.
-Thank you very much.
-Congratulations. I think you've done a fantastic job.
-Thank you. It's been worth all the trouble.
-It has, hasn't it?
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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William Guthrie's dream to build his own home near Middlesbrough is proving to be a nightmare for his reluctant wife Velia. Plus the cutting-edge home in Wales that really has the wow factor and presenter Simon O'Brien gets hot under the collar learning how to fit under-floor heating at building college.