With house prices out of the reach of many people and banks refusing to lend, buying a home in the UK is becoming an impossible dream. So a few brave but ordinary souls are trailblazing what could be the solution for all of us - trying to build their own house from scratch.
Architectural journalist and critic Kieran Long and award-winning architect Piers Taylor are following self-builders as they take on the biggest gamble of their lives. Kieran and Piers will try to help them create the house they've longed for. But all have less than £100k to spend, little or no experience and life savings on the line - it won't be easy.
Martin Whyment is desperate to get on the property ladder. A young man running his own pizza van business, he has saved enough money to buy a backland site in the centre of Leeds to build himself his first home. But when the bank refuses him a mortgage, Martin is left with only one option - to ask his retired parents to lend him their own hard-earned savings. And for an ex woodwork teacher and school administrator that represents a huge gamble...
Kieran and Piers are keen to help Martin achieve his dream but with his parents' cash at stake, they have an extra responsibility to navigate him away from making costly mistakes. Martin has an incredibly ambitious plan to build a four-bedroom house, but hemmed in by an awkward plot and overlooked by other homes, Piers proposes some radical cost-saving ideas to open up the house and let more light in. Martin remains dubious of the architect's ambitions for his home, but Piers hopes a trip to an award-winning property in Wales will make him change his mind.
To have any hope of persuading the bank to give him a mortgage, Martin has to get the house finished and habitable. If he fails, his parents face never seeing the return of their lifetime savings. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, Martin's pizza van suffers from poor passing trade and with even less income than he anticipated, he struggles to keep his business and the build afloat. Will he be able to finish the house and pay his parents back?