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York family’s self-build home to feature on Grand Designs TV programme this week
A COUPLE who built their dream family home in York are to feature on this week’s Grand Designs prime-time television show.
Martin and Kae Walker, from Poppleton, had the cameras in to follow their building project from start to finish for the popular Channel 4 show.
The long-running programme features presenter Kevin McCloud, who follows some of Britain’s most ambitious self-build projects, as intrepid individuals attempt to design and construct the home of their dreams.
Earlier this year The Press reported how the couple’s daughter, Berlin, six, is a pupil at Poppleton Ousebank School and it was in part due to contacts made at the school gate that their dream of building their own eco-home came true.
Mrs Walker, 33, an art director, and her architect husband, 39, run Walker & Nicholas Architects in York and have designed for the Bonding Warehouse and Bettys.
She said the idea behind the build was to make a house that pays for itself in the long term, with insulation and solar power helping cut down on expensive utility bills.
Their finished home features triple-glazed windows, solar panels for electricity and water collectors for hot water as well as top grade insulation.
Mrs Walker said: “Meeting Kevin McCloud, I didn’t expect to be starstruck, but I was a bit. He really is a genius, he knows everything there is to know about building and he never uses a script which is absolutely amazing.”
Mrs Walker, who has another daughter, Minnie, aged three, said the build was not without its problems.
When the banks decided to tighten their belts and restrict new lending, especially on self-builds, the couple were forced to borrow money from family to complete their home.
Mrs Walker said: “There are a lot of people out there running their own companies in a recession and we found there is no help from the banks for a self-build mortgage if you run your own business.
“We had money from the sale of our bungalow to do the bulk of the work but we needed a mortgage for under £100,000 to complete the build, and that’s when we ran into difficulties.”
The show goes out on Wednesday at 9pm.
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