Grand Designs families rent out their homes ‘for TREBLE the price’

Revealed: Grand Designs families are cashing in on the show by renting out their homes ‘for TREBLE the price of similar properties’ on Airbnb

  • Grand Designs homes are being rented out on Air BnB to make cash for owners who spend thousands on them
  • Homes rent for three or four times the price of other properties being let by the night in the same area  
  • The show has 2million viewers, many of whom are happy to pay premiums to stay in the renovated homes

Homes which wowed the nation on Grand Designs are being rented out on holiday lettings sites to make extra cash for their owners.

The incredibly popular Channel 4 show has been following the architectural triumphs of self-builders with extraordinary properties for 20 years.

The show boasts two million viewers and has helped families make fortunes renting out their homes. The show also documents the hardships of creating your dream home with many couples overstretched and over budget.

Now, research by the Telegraph has found that at least 10 percent of homes featured on the show are being rented out on holiday lettings sites.

The ‘as seen on Grand Designs’ homes are being seen on sites including Air BnB where they rent for a nightly price ‘three times higher’ than most in the same area.

In Worcester, a converted cave is rented for £245 per night which is around four times higher than the average rental for two people – while a night in a private room in a water tower in London costs £140 – quadruple the usual cost.

Some have been unlucky with disaster striking and them being unable to finish off or sell their homes. But thanks to the popularity of home stay sites they are at least able to make some money while they wait. 

The Water Tower failed to sell after being on Grand Designs – but rents well on Air BnB

Kennington Water Tower

Owners Leigh Osborne, 46 and Graham Voce bought the Grade II listed building for £380,000 – and spent almost £2million converting it from a crumbling ruin into a family home

It now features the largest sliding doors in the UK, nine floors, and a water tank which once held 38,000 gallons of water.

The 100ft tower which underwent a £2million transformation also boasts 360 degree views across the capital.

It featured on the popular Channel 4 TV series Grand Designs, hosted by Kevin McCloud, in the 100th episode of the show.

The home was on the market for £6million but didn’t sell so was slashed to £2million and then later listed for £3.5million before being taken off the market. 

Now, a stay in the water tower costs £140 per night on Air BnB while the other floors rent for £100.

Mr Osborne said: ‘I took it off the market and I’m going to wait until Elephant and Castle is developed. If you come out of the tube now, you think ‘where are we?’. 

The 100ft tower, which boasts 360 degree views across the capital, featured on the Grand Designs programme

Presenter Kevin McCloud in the Water Tower which wowed viewers but was not sold 

The Peckham House 

In South London, Monty Ravenscroft’s The Peckham House proved fascinating to viewers watching the show in 2005.

When it opens its doors for the Open House event there are as many as 100 people per hour arriving at the door to have a snoop inside. 

An ambitious Ravenscroft and his wife Claire squashed an eco-friendly home into the smallest of urban spaces in 2005 for £170,000. 

Costing just £40,000 for the thin slice of urban land, the couple proved triumphant when they unveiled their ultra-modern home to viewers.

Fast-forward to today and anyone who admired the three-bedroom, three-bathroom property back then can actually now stay in the house with a sliding glass roof. 

Available on Airbnb for £255 a night, the three-bedroom property sleeps seven people, making it £33-a-night each.

The Peckham House attracts visitors via Air BnB. Many come just to marvel at the opening glass roof which was installed while on the Grand Designs show

Grand Designs presenter McCloud marvelled at how Monty and his wife Claire had managed such a feat – a three-bedroom home – in such a slender spot

Dairy Cottage

Alex and Cheryl Reay were featured on the show in 2007 after disaster struck and the thatched roof of their home caught in fire.

The £300,000 rebuild gave them the opportunity to revamp and ad an annexe which they rent out for between £1,295 and £1,495 a week.

Mrs Reay, 50, told The Daily Telegraph: ‘I would say the majority of people who come to stay have seen the story on the television programme.

‘But, we made that £300,000 investment back over three years renting the annex out as a luxury rental for families.

‘We used to have a DVD of the programme, but because we gave it to those guests who hadn’t seen the programme to watch it ended up getting a bit scratched from over usage.’

Alex and Cheryl Reay were featured on the show in 2007 and spent £300,000 rebuilding their home, pictured, after a fire

The Rockhouse Retreat

The Rockhouse Retreat, a cave house carved into an 800-year-old rock in the Wyre Forest in Worcestershire was dubbed as one of the most exciting properties to ever appear on Grand Designs, when it was featured in 2015.

While Angelo Mastropietro, 41, thrilled viewers, he didn’t thrill planning officials, who told him that he couldn’t build a house in a cave after all.

It’s not all bleak for Mr Mastropietro though, he now rents out the property as a ‘one-off cave-house experience’ – aka a holiday rental – for people who want to escape from it all.  It costs £245 for one night for a couple.

‘The Rockhouse is a very special place and I wanted others to have the opportunity to experience it,’ he said. 

The Rockhouse Retreat in Worcestershire costs £245 per night to stay in for two guests

Former businessman Angelo Mastropietro spent eight months single-handedly remodelling the ancient hobbit hole

The stunning 800-year-old British cave house that underwent a stunning transformation on Channel 4’s Grand Designs

 The Dome

The Dome in the Lake District was called ‘awe inspiring’ when it was on the show in 2010 – but the ecolodge has seen better days. 

The Dome House Boutique was built for the Grand Designs cameras with a swimming pool, sauna, four-poster beds and glorious views of Cumbria.

And these photos taken while the property in Bowness-on-Windermere was still being rented show the stunning interiors that families could once enjoy.

It was being rented out for £1490 per week until recently. 

However the once hyper-modern luxury holiday let, which cost £1million to complete over two years, is now dilapidated and apparently abandoned.

The Dome was on Grand Designs in 2010 and was impressive with an indoor pool and huge windows to enjoy the views

Anyone lucky enough to rent The Dome had unspoiled views of the greenery in Bowness-on-Windemere but it is no longer on the Air BnB site

St Martin’s Church

Others have been less lucky with the so called ‘curse of Grand Designs’ striking.

Dean Marks spent 22 months converting St Martin’s Church in Tipton.

The 48-year-old whose dream home build was documented by Grand Designs in 2007 had a run of bad luck immediately afterwards.

He had two heart attacks which he puts down to build stress and his wife and he divorced. 

He said: ‘That’s life, I’m getting on with things.

‘I know what I wanted it to look like and I knew what I could achieve, so I did it on my own. When you start bringing teams of people in, that brings on massive costs and I didn’t have the money to pay that. ‘

‘I paid £12,750 for it and it’s valued at £1.3 million now.’

Dean Marks spent 22 months converting St Martin’s Church in Tipton. He paid ‘£12,750 for it and it’s valued at £1.3 m now’

Medway Eco-Barge

Medway Eco-Barge, a houseboat in Kent designed by Chris Miller and his wife Sze Liu Lai, seemed like the perfect way to live by the ocean on a budget.

The barge was featured on Grand Designs back in 2007, which showed the couple spending £80,000 on the project.

However, the couple hit a funding crisis and it ended up being squatted in and vandalised on a beach in Westcliff-on-Sea Essex in 2011.

Chris Miller and his wife Sze Liu Laine during the filming of Grand Designs. They wanted to convert the barge into a home where they could live with their two children

The eco-barge (pictured when it was featured on Grand Designs in 2007) had seemed like the perfect way to live by the ocean on a budget

The inside of the barge was livable and luxurious before it was vandalised and abandoned 

The Apprentice Store

The four-bedroom Apprentice Store was lovingly restored over five years by London couple Ian and Sophie Cooper.

The episode of Grand Designs was aired in 2009 and the home has been listed as one of Kevin McCloud’s favourite top five homes.

Located one mile from Bath, in Somerset, the open plan space has beautiful views overlooking green rolling hills.  

The home is currently listed on Airbnb for £495 a night. 

The open plan home in Somerset is filled with light from the long windows downstairs and overlooks green rolling hills

Exposed wooden beams fill the home which was restored over five years by London couple Ian and Sophie Cooper

Hellifield Peel Castle 

Hellifield Peel Castle, near Skipton, was restored from a ruin to a stunning seven-bedroom house in 2004, appearing on Grand Designs in 2007.

Its owners Francis and Karen Shaw later turned the property into a bed and breakfast, before putting it on the market for £1.65million in 2016.

Despite the interest in the building – which dates back to the Saxon period – it remains unsold, the Telegraph reported.

The couple retired from the B&B in July 2016 thanking guests who had visited from all over the world because of the show on Facebook.

Rooms at the castle ranged from £170–£230 per night, with a two nights minimum at weekends.  

Hellifield Peel Castle, near Skipton, Yorkshire, was restored from a ruin to a stunning seven-bedroom house in 2004

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