Grand Designs Handbook: The Blueprint for Building Your Dream Home Paperback – Illustrated, 5 Mar. 2009
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- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0007307425
- Dimensions : 19.05 x 2.03 x 24.13 cm
- ISBN-10 : 000730742X
- Publisher : Collins; Illustrated edition (5 Mar. 2009)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 270,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
About the Author
Kevin McCloud is best known as presenter of Channel 4's BAFTA-nominated ‘Grand Designs’, now in its 9th 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 in Spring 2009 he launches his own range for John Lewis.
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Top reviews from United Kingdom
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I have been enjoying the Grand Designs TV show for many years and although Kevin McCloud is not an architect and his show can therefore not be compared with similar TV programmes such as our Irish 'Room to Improve', I have found information given by him over the years, with regards to design etc absolutely invaluable when it came to designing and building our own house extension three years ago. Yes, I know, Kevin says in this book that one should not try one's hand at designing one's own building without the necessary professional training, but still... Our extension turned out 110% as we had wished, and I must honestly say that much of the credit has to go to Grand Designs and particularly the way that Kevin is able to impart knowledge to us, his viewers.
Anyway, back to this book. I bought it used, on Amazon Marketplace, because I was curious about Kevin McCloud's writing style (genuine and refreshing) and his opinions off the TV screen (interesting, firm, outspoken). I really, really enjoyed this book, in particular the chapter entitled 'New Life', on the preservation of historic buildings. I loved Kevin's attitude on the subject. Generally speaking, I guess that I had purchased this book with the intention of using it more like a coffee table book, to look at photos of projects many of which I was familiar with from watching the TV show. I was surprised that I devoured all of the book's text, too, simply because it was so well written and relevant. I've now gone and ordered one of Kevin's other Grand Design books and I'm already looking forward to its delivery.
Bought because we are at that point of building a new "grand design" for ourselves, it has lived up to its promise. Interesting that the other book I bought at the same time ("The Passivhaus Handbook") mentioned this title as useful for thinking through choosing an architect.
Having many designs I recognise from past "Grand Designs" being referenced is useful. At least most of us are well acquainted with the struggles and development of many of these projects.
With the lion's share of the book devoted to the "Dreaming" part of building a new house, with the initial part devoted to general thoughts on housing, and the final part to the doing of it, it could seems a little unbalanced. But as Kevin mentions this is the part we do not get to see on "Grand Designs". By the time his team are involved in filming people are at the doing stage. And the dreaming to ensure we really get the house we not only want, but also will love and that will serve us well and enhance our lives for years to come seems super important for any project. It certainly brought home to me the value of seeking out the essence of what I really want for my new house rather than just specific elements that I would have in a "Must Have" list. In other words more the way I want it to make me feel and interact with us in the future. It has lead to some re-evaluations of the size of what we really will need for the future.
By covering urban, suburban, rural and redevelopment-type projects in this section Kevin has offered suggestions and obviously opinions on what he considers important and relevant in each of these areas. It is not prescriptive really. Just thought provoking.
Reinforcing his ideas about having a really well developed team from all aspects from design to costings to construction, Kevin is really just re-iterating what he shares in "Grand Designs". But anyone who has watched these programmes will be well aware of the challenges any number of the aspiring home builders have encountered by not employing any number of such essential professionals.
A book to cover fully and then delve back into for the specifics we need and will be needing at different points in our new development.