Kevin McCloud, the host of Grand Designs, was caught away after viewing the drastic renovations to a home he previously lambasted.
Leigh and Richard from Derbyshire featured on the long-running show in 2021, describing their goal of converting a 17th century Cornish flour mill into a contemporary three-bed house.
The structure had been vacant for about 60 years at that point.
As complete building novices, the couple had to hire traditional artisans to rebuild the outside, which exposed the actual extent of the structure’s destruction and prompted them to embark on further work themselves.
However, as with most construction projects, the prices suddenly ballooned, and Kevin’s advise to take their time and focus on preserving the original structure fell on deaf ears.
He returned to check in on the project two years later and was astounded by what he saw.
Kevin catches up with the pair on tonight’s episode and gets the lowdown on what they’ve been up to since they last saw one other.
In an exclusive clip, Kevin has explained how he was ‘always impressed with the love and attention lavished on the faithful repair of the exterior stonework’ and how the owners had ‘risked everything’ to try and save the ‘wonderful old workhorse of a building’.
But, he said: ‘When I last visited, it was adrift in a sea of building materials, brambles and collapsed outbuildings.’
‘But now…all the smelly garages have gone, and low, there’s a landscape!’
He continued: ‘Well, this is all as it should be. Surrounded by beauty and gardens.’
The presenter lauded the mill for being “firmly rooted in its surroundings” and “flourishing amongst a backdrop of abundance.”
When Kevin last visited, the rooms were still incomplete, the landscaping was unfinished, and the couple was still living in their trailer on the property.
The property was full with rotting timbers, structural fissures, and rusting gear and millstone in 2021.
The pair took a major leap of faith, putting their company on hold and selling their house to relocate 250 miles to live in the caravan on site, with a £250,000 budget and just 12 months to finish the project.
However, as time passed and their budget became more limited, they began to cut corners and replaced rather than restore much of the woodwork, much to Kevin’s chagrin.
Their choice had been influenced by the discovery that most of the wood was decaying, forcing them to alter their initial plans in order to conserve as much as possible.
During a debate, Richard stated that ‘purists won’t be happy with me,’ before Kevin questioned his decision for cheaper and ‘characterless’ wood that had replaced hundreds of years old timbers.
At one point, the host placed a chunk of wood onto a log stove while silently murmuring farewell.
The facility was used to mill wheat and livestock feed for almost 400 years before being abandoned.
Grand Designs airs on Wednesdays at 9pm on Channel 4.