We built a £2million ‘Hobbit House’ underground on Grand Designs – it cost so much we had to sack the workmen | The Sun

ONE couple who built their dream home on Grand Designs were forced to sack their builders after it became too expensive.

The underground home in Kent, dubbed a 'Hobbit House', was built by Dorran and Vereuschka but problems quickly ensured at the unique home.

It wasn't the couple's choice to bury the home underground too – it was a requirement of having a property there in order to preserve the profile of a protected Iron Age hill fort.

Architect Richard Hawkes helped the pair to design the "stylish and discreet" home which was built four meters under ground.

The only lookout to the surrounding Kent countryside is one giant set of floor-to-ceiling windows that provides a lookout point at one end of the family's living space.

Dorran was instantly left concerned by the build after it took a whopping six weeks to find a crew to pour the foundations for the walls, sending costs spiralling.

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However, the biggest disaster was yet to strike.

Nine months on from the start of the build, Channel 4 host Kevin McCloud made the trip to visit the couple where he expected to see a preened to perfection home – but was instead met with the exact opposite.

After costs for builders rose to a staggering £400,000, the couple admitted to sacking the builders and chose to continue with the build themselves despite both having full-time jobs elsewhere.

Chatting to Kevin, Dorran said: “We’ve finished with the builders.

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“They’ve had their time, shall we say. And they haven’t delivered what we were expecting.

"We were not particularly impressed with what we were seeing.

"The extra costs we sort of swallowed as we moved along, but then we got to the point where we couldn’t just carry on like that. So we had to pull the plug.”

Ten months quickly turned into three years and by the time the pandemic hit in early 2020, the house was still not complete.

However, Dorran, who worked away for five weeks at a time at sea, finally had an extended period of time to dedicate to the house.

By the time Kevin returned it was clear that the couple had lost faith in ever trusting builders or professionals on the home again.

Whilst they had moved in, there was feeling that the home might not have reached its full potential.

Kevin remarked of the home: “It’s like a concrete submarine.

“The grass is taller than the building.

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“There’s no clue as to what lies beneath, until you are standing on the precipice and looking down into the abyss.” 

Grand Designs is available to stream on All4.

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