The Bayfields plan to build a house for their family on the highest point on their 1000-acre property - but not a traditional country homestead; they are chasing something agricultural.
Chris and Belinda bought the land next door to their existing house, just 3.9m wide: a tiny gap in a long row of heritage listed cottages in Sydney's Forest Lodge.
Darren and Ruth have found a large patch of land near the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Hidden down a laneway with no street frontage, this secret garden will be transformed into a contemporary, three-storey family mansion.
Barry and Robyn Henwood love the environment in different ways; his is a passion for green technology, while she loves turning native flora into textiles and teaching yoga. They're building a stylish beach shack to retire in, one that floats on a pair of untouched sand dunes in Aldinga on Adelaide's southern coast. Solar powered, and aesthetically pleasing, it should be the perfect fit, but Robyn is yet to be convinced. Her life is entrenched in the city so she needs some cajoling. The contemporary modest design features a pair of steel clad pods joined by a timber walkway, and surrounded by native bush. But as soon as building gets under way, the excavation impacts on the environment. Despite their best efforts replanting and shoring up the dunes, the beach scrub soon dwindles and Robyn and Barry are left pondering their next course of action. As the dunes progressively erode, the more Robyn and Barry persevere. But when their self-rusting steel cladding is battered by harsh coastal conditions, staining their deck and turning the exterior into something resembling dribbled fat, Robyn's doubts really set in. Can they restore their precious landscape and will Robyn eventually sever her ties with the city and make her project in the dunes home?
Ardent collectors Kerry and Judy have a passion for Santa Fe-style, mud houses even though they live on a sloping bush block on Sydney's north shore. Inspired by an unconventional builder who changes his mind (and their design) on a regular basis, they set out to create a home out of recycled timber and corrugated iron, rendered in clay dug up from the side of the road. It may be straight out of the American Midwest but this hybrid home will have a distinctly Australian flavour and provide an earthy backdrop for their many artistic objects, artefacts and collectables.
Richard and Denise own 14 hotels. It is no surprise that when it came to designing their new house in a prime location high up in the Adelaide hills, their inspiration would come from buildings that they love.
Greg, a former bricklayer is passionate about two things - his family (partner Emma & their 4 yr old son Archie), and...bricks. As a testament to his love for both, he's building (literally with his own hands) a tri-level, solid brick contemporary terrace house with a cantilevered pool on the top floor. He's creating it from the rubble of their well loved old house located on a narrow corner block in Sth Melbourne - all that will remain of the original building is its classic Victorian facade. Greg has dreamt of building this home for years and is certain the time is right, even though it means sharing the place with the inlaws.
After eight years of planning, Melbourne couple Glenn and Kate Morris are finally making a start on their striking, sustainable 'sand dune' house near Inverloch on Victoria's Gippsland coastline. For them, this crescent shaped, spaceship-like design is the ultimate response to a wind swept location. Once building gets underway, the couple need even more patience as attention to detail is paramount in this curvaceous new building. Let's hope it lives up to their high expectations.
There's nothing flimsy about Brunella and Carlo's contemporary home in Qld's Ocean View. It's 'semi-brutalist' architecture is designed to last and driven by Brunella's passion for concrete.
James and Helen Knight's new house design isn't the norm. Set high on a ridge overlooking the undulating hills of Adelaide's Barossa Valley, the success of this design relies on perfection in the detail.
Brett and Rees are the proud parents of three young boys and desperately need more space. They love their inner west community in Sydney's Annandale, so the plan is to build on the small empty allotment behind their apartment. The first sod has barely been turned when one of the heritage buildings on their boundary is in danger of collapsing. Exhausted by ongoing battles and a build that's months behind schedule - will Brett & Rees have enough grit and determination to see their project through to completion?
Max and Mariella have been planning to relocate to Bryon Bay since the birth of their daughter Ruby. As successful property developers, an ambitious build shouldn't be a problem - but handing over control to a local building team is harder than they thought. From the outset they make fundamental changes to the design, making it a headache for the builder and for Max. Something has to give - especially when the bank learns the house they're loaning money on isn't quite the house being built.
Tyrone and Hailey follow the advice of a feng shui expert, or 'energy ecologist', throughout construction of their new house. An owner-built labour of love, their passive solar building has a curved living roof planted with native grasses.
Eco conscious entertainers Claire and Lisa adore their hobby farming lifestyle on Victoria's Mornington peninsula, but the cute 1930s beach shack they've long shared with two pugs has lost its once savoured charm. They're upgrading and building a sustainable, modernist, entertainers' home that blends sophisticated design elements with rammed earth, recycled materials and raw finishes. It all sounds glamorous and straightforward, but with a zero contingency budget, what happens when a wet winter meets an insidious clay soil?
After living in the same home in Melbourne's Hampton for 20 years, Brett and Jenny are set to embark on a journey of blind faith, giving Brett's architect cousin Tim free rein to build a replacement for their time-honoured Californian bungalow. His exciting design will be a clear stand-out in the street. Tim is breaking new ground, the builders are thinking out of the box, and the family is about to leap from a conventional lifestyle to an uber-contemporary one.
Partners Art and Troy are restoring an existing 1800s granite cottage and incorporating it into a multi-level contemporary home featuring a cantilevered kitchen and a glass outdoor bathroom set in the sky.
Edd and Amanda lost everything when bushfires swept through Steels Creek. Determined to stay with the land they love, they're building a concrete bunker embedded in the landscape with one side facing the outside world.
Greg and Trish plan to subdivide, sell the heritage cottage at the front of their block and build a new house the back. After setbacks and a re-think, they find themselves embarking on an epic upsizing adventure.
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