A couple on Grand Designs spent £6 million building their dream home, but the situation turned into a nightmare when costs spiralled out of their control.
Edward Short and then wife Hazel appeared on the show in 2018 in what has now become one of the ‘saddest ever episodes’, as they documented the build of their mansion, Chesil Cliff House.
The six-bedroom home took 10 years to complete, but Edward ended up losing more than just his money.
Now up for sale for a staggering £10million, the house – which sits on a clifftop between Saunton Sands and Croyde Beach in North Devon – has never been lived in by Edward and ex Hazel, 56, or their daughters Nicole, now 22, and Lauren, 21.
Currently, 57-year-old Edward – who paid £1.4million for the original property which he later developed – is around £7million in debt, and that figure keeps rising.
He’s adamant that he now ‘wants out’ after pouring blood, sweat, and tears into building what he thought would be the family’s forever home, and losing his wife due to the ‘pressure’ his dreams put on her and their kids.
‘It’s got to go because it’s beyond me now’, he told The Sun.
‘I’m quite excited about that final moment when the deal closes. I’ve worked so long to get to that point and now, hopefully, that’s around the corner.
‘It will be nice to get some sort of payback, even if it’s only a pint and packet of crisps at the very end.’
Edward – who is now engaged to Jalia Nambasa – says what he put Hazel through was ‘horrendous’ and he has ‘a lot of guilt’ about that.
However, once the self-build was underway, he insisted it needed to be finished: ‘There was no way out, once we started. If we didn’t finish we’d have been in big trouble.’
So, where did the debts come from? you might be wondering.
Well, musician Edward explains how costs quickly soared, yet he refused to budge on his original design plans, leaving , presenter Kevin McCloud stunned.
The couple originally planned to borrow £1.8million, but this soon increased to £2.5million, then £4million.
Explaining how he encountered a lot of problems due to the house’s location, Edward said: ‘I had spent a lot of money going into geology and engineering but we never tested how hard the rock was.
‘We had to bring in specialist mining equipment, which also broke, and it took six months to dig instead of a month. The numbers just started to go through the roof.’
‘Every pound that was being spent, the value was going up but at the same time, the chance of living in the house was going down,’ he added, with the Channel 4 show visiting him in 2016 and again in 2018, by which point, the project was on hold.
He said: ‘It was awful for the family because I pulled the stability rug from under them, without being able to give answers of how we were going to get out of it, other than that I had to carry on.
‘I was so stressed about leaving that stain of failure on my wife and children that I was worrying a lot, I was losing sleep, but that effectively made me unable to function.’
Eventually, work resumed, but he and Hazel had split by this point, although he assures they’re still ‘the best of friends’.
He says he’ll ‘always carry’ guilt for his actions, and now he just wants her to have ‘security’ again.
Despite his failures and debts, Edward is remaining optimistic, and will forever feel ‘proud’ of never giving up on the house, even if he never got to enjoy the infinity pool, the spa, or the sea view to the full.