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Justin and Mary

Architectural journalist and senior curator at the V&A Kieran Long and award-winning architect Piers Taylor follow self-builders taking on the biggest gamble of their lives. All have less than £100k to spend, little or no experience and life savings on the line.

Newly-engaged couple Mary and Justin are desperate to build a life together in rural Devon where they and generations of both of their families are from. But with house prices soaring, the market for first-time buyers is desperately grim. They are left with one option - if they want to stay where they know and love, they need to build their own house.

They embark on building a £95,0000 house but, as Kieran discovers on his first visit to their plot of land, they only have £60,000 to their names. He is desperately worried that this young pair have taken on far too much.

In their efforts to keep the build low-cost, they have ended up with low aspirations. Kieran explores some of the UK's greatest examples of low-cost housing to prove it is possible to have a beautiful home on a budget. Meanwhile, Piers encourages them to be more adventurous with their vision and incorporate architectural features that are unique.

But as the couple juggles the pressures of organising their wedding and full-time jobs, the schedule for building the house falls behind and severe rain threatens to ruin their exposed timber frame. While the schedule slips, money is fast running out and Justin's job on the farm ends at the worst possible time. Will this young couple have risked too much to get the first home that they dreamed of?

1 hour

Last on

Mon 30 Dec 2013 07:30


Role Contributor
PresenterKieran Long
PresenterPiers Taylor
Executive ProducerAnnette Clarke
Series EditorJoff Wilson

We’d like to hear your story

We’d like to hear your story

Are you planning to build or are you partway through building the home of your dreams?

The challenge of the new

The challenge of the new

"Diverging from what you know and think you already like can be pretty scary”

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