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Grand Designs Handbook: The blueprint for building your dream home Hardcover – 4 Sep 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (4 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007225946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007225941
  • Product Dimensions: 25.3 x 19.7 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kevin McCloud is best known as presenter of Channel 4's BAFTA-nominated 'Grand Designs', now in its tenth series. He writes books and articles about decoration, design, lighting and colour, and is editor-at-large of Grand Designs magazine. In addition, Kevin is a product and lighting designer and has produced ranges of furniture, lighting and tableware for high street names.

Product Description

Review

...a barrage of new projects to inspire us...tips, hints and ideas
about building, renovation and decorating. -- Wells Journal, 21st September 2006

A must-have for fans of the Channel 4 series...has masses of
glossy pictures... -- The Mail on Sunday, 17th September

Don't miss. A self-build bible. -- Grand Designs Magazine, October 2006 issue -

It's not a manual, it's more of a manifesto... -- The London Paper, September 2006

brilliant guide to designing and building your own home...highly
readable and engaging...essential and truly inspiring reading. -- In Dublin, 14 September 2006

About the Author

Kevin McCloud is best known as presenter of Channel 4's BAFTA-nominated ‘Grand Designs’, now in its seventh series. He writes books and articles about decoration, design, lighting and colour, and is editor-at-large of Grand Designs magazine. In addition, Kevin is a product and lighting designer and has produced ranges of furniture, lighting and tableware for high street names such as Debenhams, as well as a range of paint for Fired Earth. In September 2005 he launched his own homeware brand, Place.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Mark N. Bolton on 10 Jan 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think the review by D. Lundholm says almost everything that my review of this book would say.

Just a couple of additional observations:

* This is more of a how-to (think about and then build your own home) book than a book of ideas you can directly use. Not a bad thing, there are plenty of other glossy books to get ideas from.

* Related to that, there are no floor-plans for any of the designs referenced. Personally, I would have preferred to see some, but it doesn't really detract from the usefulness of the book.

* It is an engaging and thought-provoking book - certainly well worth buying at half-price!

* My only real gripe is the way the text references pictures of properties that are not adjacent to the text. i.e. reading page 100 you might be referenced to pictures of the building concerned on pages 94 and 115-117.

Overall, highly recommended for both dreamers and those seriously planning to build their own home.
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151 of 154 people found the following review helpful By D. Lundholm on 9 Sep 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an intelligent, thoughtful book by one of the most articulate commentators on modern architecture and building design. For many UK TV viewers, Kevin McCloud's regular Grand Designs programmes are compelling viewing, illustrating both the practical issues that self-builders and developers face, as well as challenging the motivations that inspire people to create their own homes. This is far from just a "book of the series". It's a guide to building your own home - equally of value for extenders, developers or those thinking about how to improve the design of the space they live in - written in three sections - thinking, dreaming and doing.

Thinking challenges lots of the traps self-builders and remodellers fall into - in a way that engages you and walks you through the process of trying to identify what we want of of our homes. I guess there's a danger post Grand Designs that we all tend to think it's easy to articulate exactly what we want, and what we need, and that programme only engages after the thinking has been done (and it probably doesn't make for great television either, seeing people try to figure this out). But (from personal experience) it's actually the most difficult bit, yet the bit that makes it more (or less) likely that you're going to end up with a house that truly delivers what you hope it will.

Once you kinda know what you want, and you've engaged with an architect (a theme that runs very strongly throughout is to seek professional advice, at every stage), the dreaming section illustrates 5 different approaches to build - from New Urban, New Suburban, New Rural, New Use (eg change of use from industrial to home) and New Life - renovation and repair.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Spitfire1300 on 14 Oct 2010
Format: Paperback
The subtitle including the word "blueprint" is probably a bit misleading - this is not a practical design book - it's a book about concepts and ways of thinking about your new "dream home". Not that that's a bad thing, necessarily - there are plenty of other good self-build titles out there that cover the practical aspects of house building.

The book is well illustrated with attractive pictures - it reminds me of Jamie Oliver cookery book in fact. But the general tone of the text is slightly condescending - there are many ways to build a house, but McCloud's way is unquestionably the best way. There is little discussion of pros and cons of various design, procurement or construction options, just Kevin's opinion of the right way to go about the project.

Which is fair enough - it's his book after all! But unless you're a massive fan of Kevin, his style and the Grand Designs programme, this is a book to borrow from the library and flick through, rather than buy and keep as a reference for your building project.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 27 Dec 2007
Format: Hardcover
I read this book because we're planning an extension, and I found it to be extremely helpful.

Kevin rationalises the emotive process of designing your own dream. He provides loads of tips and many helpful checklists.

More than anything he provides a compelling case for finding good architects for your project and working closely with them - he makes a convincing case to illustrate that their work will effectively cost you nothing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Okane on 29 Mar 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Purchased for my partner, he loved it some good ideas. Worthy buying, would recommend it as a gift for persons interested in construction and DIY.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As with the TV series, the author tries to read something aesthetic and arty into what is basically an individual's home idea.
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By Leah Oatway on 20 Dec 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived promptly and in good condition, so from that angle no complaints. Not yet to build our dream home so can't vouch for its usefulness when it counts but it's gone down a storm as a gift and it's packed full of handy hints that get you thinking about all the various elements that combine to make a great build.
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By Antonia on 15 Sep 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Slightly dated now but it's a great book full of useful advice and guidelines.

Bought it as a present and it didn't disappoint. Great as an introduction for anyone with aspirations of building their own dream home.
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