York family’s dream house on TV

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September 18th, 2013
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Martin and Kae Walker from Poppleton have made their dream of building an eco-friendly house come true. She being an art director, he an architect, both in their 30s, run Walker & Nicholas Architects in York and have already designed for Bettys and Bonding Warehouse.

Over the time of the build, they were filmed to record the ups and downs of the self-building project for the TV programme Grand Designs on Channel 4. The popular show features presenter Kevin McCloud who gives professional advice to those pursuing the dream of building a new home from start to finish. Mrs Walker described Kevin McCloud as being “a genius, (who) knows everything there is to know about building and never uses a script which is absolutely amazing.”

The Walkers wanted their new home to become a house that pays for itself in the long term. A top grade insulation, effective solar power through solar panels, triple-glazed windows and water collectors for hot water are their response to cutting down expensive utility bills in the future.

The majority of the build was paid by using the money the Walkers had earned from selling their bungalow but when the banks decided to restrict new lending on self-builds, the Walkers were faced with problems. As they needed a mortgage for under £100,000 to complete the build, they were finally forced to borrow money from their families. Mrs Walker criticised the bank in this context: “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.”

The house will be featured on tonight’s episode of Grand Designs at 9pm.

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