Inside Grand Designs disasters that resulted in divorce, two heart attacks, serious injuries and vandal attacks | The Sun
GRAND Designs has been the catalyst for divorce, two heart attacks, serious injuries and vandal attacks in its 23-year run.
Multiple marriages were broken by ambitious building projects that took up years of free time and millions of pounds.
And the stress of plans going awry has seriously impacted the health of those on the Channel 4 show.
Here the Sun Online looks into what happened to those who suffered the worst Grand Designs disasters.
SADDEST EPISODE EVER
It took Edward Short, 53, a decade to build his lighthouse-inspired home in Croyde, Devon.
It cost him £6million and his marriage to ex-wife Hazel.
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Featuring on the show in October 2019, the episode was described as the "saddest ever" after recession, building issues and the divorce sent Edward scrambling.
But it's not all lost.
The dad-of-two finally put his house on the market for £10million last year – and revealed he'd found new love with mum-of-two Jalia Nambasa after the pair met online.
The house was still without a kitchen, bathroom, flooring or light fixtures when it was put on the market in October.
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Yet days ago the property listing was removed from Knight Frank amid discussions with a buyer, according to The Express.
Chris Miller and his wife Sze Liu Lai's 2007 episode followed their renovation of a two-storey houseboat using only recycled materials.
The couple dreamed of escaping their small London flat.
But the project cost £80,000 before it failed and the 100ft barge was left unfinished in the Thames estuary near Southend, Essex.
Chris didn't have a design in mind for the barge and one of four builders to give up on the project told Grand Designs: "It is bizarre, but then they are a fairly bizarre couple."
The couple struggled to find anywhere to moor the vessel.
One boatyard owner said: "People here like the boats to look like… boats, really."
It became a target for vandals before the abandoned vessel washed up on an Essex beach in 2011.
It is now thought to have been overtaken by squatters and party-throwing teenagers.
A design nicknamed "Britain's Cheapest Home" went up in flames in Pembrokeshire on New Year's Day in 2018.
An electrical fire reduced the £27,000-build to ashes as fire crews battled for six hours.
A JustGiving page set up to help owners Simon and Jasmine Dale rebuild the home raised £35,000.
It read: "Simon, Jasmine and their two children have been residents at Lammas eco village, Pembrokeshire, since the start of the project. They have been working on their family home for the last six years.
"This beautiful building was featured on Grand Designs last year. Sadly a fire started on New Year's Day and their beloved home was burned to the ground."
Simon, who now runs a consultancy business helping others create their dream ecological home, said: "On January 1, 2018, the house, very near completion, burnt to the ground.
"Whilst we have been in shock and hibernation, our dear friends cleared the burnt debris and cut down the charred timber frame.
"The foundations of the house are still largely intact, a blank canvas once again. For us, time to do something completely different."
Architect and owner Robert Gaukroger ploughed £1million and two years of his life into his seven-bedroom "Dome House" above Bowness-in-Windermere.
But he and his wife Milla reportedly fell into a vicious £55,000 battle with a neighbour after the couple was accused of encroaching on their land.
The house was slammed for looking worn, as the gardens were allowed to grow wild and the wooden exterior left unvarnished.
He moved back south and tried to sell the luxury home for £2.3million in 2015.
Months later the price was dropped to £1.45million.
A once-anonymous donor to the project, Yvonne Malley, eventually bought it and it's now run as a successful holiday let.
It's currently on the market for a huge £3.5million.
It comes with a swimming pool and a picture-perfect outdoor picnic area with a fireplace.
It even includes even self-contained private apartments, meaning that this is not only a home for its prospective buyer, but a business.
The property in total has a whopping seven bedrooms, six bathrooms, two massive kitchens, and a huge family room.
CONVERSION GONE WRONG
Dean Marks suffered two heart attacks and lost his wife Hilary over an 18th century church conversion gone-wrong.
Dean, who then shared the home with his daughter Abbie, said the heart attacks were brought on by exhaustion and pressure from the project.
He was also diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Dean, who paid £12,750 for the dilapidated building, previously claimed he wouldn't have done anything differently.
He said: "If people chose to move away from what I was doing that was their choice. I don’t know if I’m obsessed.
"When you’re trying to build a family home and have to concentrate on it then, yes, to an extent I probably was."
Dean and his ex-wife Hilary, a teaching assistant, had lived together in a three-bed semi-detached home in Halesowen, West Midlands, when he bought the church in 1999.
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It took four-and-a-half years to get planning permission.
The renovation then cost £110,000 and Dean said the building is now worth £1.26million.
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