The House That £100k Built

For the last year or so, I’ve been working as a presenter on the BBC 2 series £100k House with Kieran Long and Endemol. It’s been a fascinating journey, and fantastic to see how design can affect the lives of ordinary people. There are six episodes, each an hour long, all focusing on a different self build for less than £100k. The contributors are people with no self build experience and are not, typically, people who have historically prioritised design.

However, what has been extraordinary has been to see how design has the power to affect the lives of ordinary people. We’ve shown the contributors some exceptional buildings, and talked about how they might make their own buildings better through lessons learned from these exemplars.

Overwhelmingly, each contributor has, during the process of their build, become empowered to rise to the challenge of not just building cheaply, but building well – two things that we haven’t been very good at in the UK in recent years. They haven’t made design masterpieces in the conventional sense – this show isn’t property porn, and making one off design masterpieces isn’t the point – the point has been to prise architecture and design from the hands of the converted, and bring it into the realm of the mainstream and the affordable, and show how it can change the lives of ordinary people for the better.

It’s already been dubbed Modest Designs  – before it’s even aired. It’s invigorating to see what a chord the issues have struck with people bored with the same programmes, where design is presented as a luxury add-on for the lucky few. The buildings in this series have a quiet and straightforward  dignity. As Kieran said – there’s potentially a world where architects could act more like general practitioners serving the general public with straightforward and sound advice, rather than the rarified and exclusive world in which many of us architects tend to operate.

Piers Taylor and Kieran Long discussing the House that £100k Built on BBC Breakfast HERE

The first series begins on BBC2 on 18th September at 8.00pm.

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  1. Posted September 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink


    I heard you talking on the radio the other day when I was looking at a plot of land for a self build. Inspirational talk and you have got my brain working overtime and I have been seduced by the prospect (100k house didn’t help!) of using alternative materials. I have done a self build / renovation and we spent literally thousands on the ‘convention’ approach. e.g. skirtings, plasterboard, plaster (thousands here), render outside. Rest assured – this will NOT be repeated in my new build – whenever that starts. Thanks.

  2. Posted November 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    ‘House that 100k built’- What a fantastic series! So many inspirational ideas that’s made us think afresh about the house we’d like to build in the next 5 years. ‘Modest, stylish, different’ would sum up the houses featured in the series and this is also what we’re looking to achieve. (Getting the right piece of land at the right price is a big sticking point though!’)

    Other ‘lifestyle/ building’ TV programmes seem increasingly focus on people with a budget of 1M plus!

    This might seem a bit old school, but why no book for reference/ ideas/ inspiration? I for one would be keen for more ‘pearls’ from Kieron and Piers.

    Hope there’ll be a second series!

  3. Posted December 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Hi ,
    Totally agree with comments above, a real breath of fresh air regarding design, thinking outside the box, using alternative materials and achieving inspirational results on a sensible budget, unlike many/most other TV build shows. Looking to build our own next year and would love to have more resources connected to Piers Taylor’s way of thinking and design drive.
    Keep up the good work, dare to be different! Steve.

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