Sunday, 15 June 2014

A fully self-sustaining home for £20k

There have been some very inspiring homes on George Clarke's Channel 4 series:
Futures Forum: small spaces - Amazing Spaces

A point often being that it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to make such a home:
Futures Forum: A cob cottage for £150...

In his latest programme, he took us to a project to transform a shell of a 50's caravan into a bespoke home full of character - and with its own water and power supplies - all for £20,000:
George Clarke's Amazing Spaces - Channel 4

Channel 4’s property show isn’t exactly your usual renovation documentary. This week, George picked out some outdoor projects for us to peek inside, and as usual, there were some amazingly innovative ideas.

Where they find these people with such big ideas for small spaces, I do not know.

Kicking off with a family who wanted to build their first home and escape the dead cycle of renting, Mark and Charlotte decided to turn a 1954 American Airstream caravan into a ‘cosy’ family home.

If you don’t know what an Airstream is, imagine a long tin caravan.

Honestly, I was laughing at the idea of it to begin with. The pair were hoping to squeeze a bedroom, dining room, kitchen and living area into the £5,000 van.

And the toilet, like on all great camping trips, would be a composting toilet built outside.

But I had to eat my words.

The entire interior was fitted with up-cycled doors, old furniture and quirky storage ideas.

They used an old vintage suitcase and turned it into a fridge and handmade all the curtains and blinds to give a gyspsy caravan style to the van.

TV Review: George Clarke's Amazing Spaces

S3-Ep2: AirstreamThis video is a introS3-Ep2: AirstreamVideo duration:1:59minutes

George meets a couple who are planning to convert an old Airstream into a permanent home

George Clarke's Amazing Spaces - 4oD - Channel 4

Airstream trailer

George Clarke's Amazing Spaces Series 3: Episode 2 - Airstream Trailer
George Clarke with Mark and Charlotte's Airstreamtrailer

Name: Mark and Charlotte
Area: Somerset
Occupation: Caterers
Describe your amazing space…
It's a 1954 Airstream trailer with aluminum body double axle trailer, 27 foot long, restored from pretty scrappy condition into a family home.
What inspired you to build it?
We wanted to find an alternative to living in a boring rented house and then Charlotte had a dream about a silver trailer. We looked at one on ebay and found ourselves buying it!
What kind of planning permissions did you need?
We didn't need any. We just have to have permission wherever we park it.
How long did the whole project take?
Six months.
What was your budget – did you go over it?
£15,000 but we ended up spending £20,000.
  • The design process; working out the layout and the bespoke furniture like our swing stool and the fridge inside a vintage suitcase.
  • Getting it all done in time for the deadline. There's nothing like pulling off a big mission with a good group of people.
  • About half way through when it still looked like we'd hardly started.
  • There were a few days when nothing went right and nothing got done.
  • Getting overwhelmed by the to-do list.
  • The week after we moved in, there was chaos in a small space with loads of little things not quite finished, in the doldrums of 'normal life' after the big deadline passes.
Would you have changed anything you did?
I would have set the bed platform six inches lower so that we had a better view out of our stained glass window.
Things you wished you had known before you started?
Plumbing and electrics are an alien science that amateurs should know better than to try to understand.
Top tips for other people embarking on a similar journey?
  • Buy a trailer from an honest, established dealer.
  • Work out your budget then double it.
  • Do a detailed schedule of works. List out all the jobs there are to do to finish your project, then work out how long roughly each one might take. Add it up. Then double it.
George Clarke's Amazing Spaces - Articles - Airstream trailer - Channel 4

No comments: