A FAMILY from Hereford have built an innovative house made almost entirely of wood, which was featured on the TV show Grand Designs. The Hereford Times spoke to mother and daughter Lucinda and Rosie Leech about their experience on the show and their progress on the house.

The episode aired on November 1, and followed the family as they built the structure of a sustainable woodland house in Herefordshire. The home remains unfinished, with the interior yet to complete.

Lucinda and Rosie revealed that the Grand Designs film crew had visited the site of their build, which is near Hereford, around 20 times over the course of three years to follow the family's progress. Kevin McLeod, the presenter, had been there himself around five times to speak to the family and film at the property.

Lucinda, a furniture-maker, said: "It was a really nice experience building the house, and was made even better by Grand Designs. It was very positive and lovely, and we're pleased with how the episode came out."

Hereford Times: Rosie (left) and Lucinda (right) have done much of the work on the house themselves, with the help of a professional teamRosie (left) and Lucinda (right) have done much of the work on the house themselves, with the help of a professional team (Image: Rob Davies)

She said the family had always enjoyed watching Grand Designs, and her son Dan, who also featured in the episode, used to love it when he was a child.

Her daughter Rosie, a freelance artist, said that the family were originally from Oxford but had lived in Herefordshire for over 20 years, and that she couldn't remember living anywhere else.

Although the episode's focus was on the family themselves, Lucinda and Rosie explained that they had a large team of professionals helping out behind the scenes including architects and builders. A large amount of the work was completed by Rob Collier of Heritage Oak Frames, a Herefordshire-based business.

The episode received some criticism on social media after it aired, with viewers questioning how the family could justify "cutting down trees" to build the house. 


Lucinda said that despite these online comments, the house does have a low carbon footprint. She explained that the home was made from shingle oak that was local to Hereford, and beech trees. 

"Trees absorb carbon as they grow, but if you use the tree, you actually lock away the carbon," she said. "Then, if you plant more, you're contributing to more carbon absorption - so wood as a construction material is very sustainable."

Although their initial budget was £150,000, Lucinda has already gone over this. She said it cost around £200,000 to build the structure, and that she was hoping it would come in at under £300,000 altogether.

Hereford Times: Rosie and Lucinda inside their house, which is yet to be completedRosie and Lucinda inside their house, which is yet to be completed (Image: Rob Davies)

Although she spent more than she anticipated at first, she emphasised that "it is possible to build a nice house on a budget, but £150,000 was obviously not enough for this".

Since the Grand Designs episode finished filming around a month ago, the family have started looking at how they can sort out the house's drainage, power and water. They also have yet to start work on the interior.

When it is complete, Lucinda's plan is to sell her current property and move into the new home.