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Grand Designs Australia

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The Graceville Container

Series 5 · Episode 1

What do you do when your riverside home and its entire contents are washed away in a devastating flood, leaving you in near financial ruin?

In Todd and Di Miller’s case, you hold on tight and embark on the boldest and cheapest build with your own hands, in the quickest possible time.

This feisty and resourceful couple decide to trial a whole new way of building, starting with 10, then 20, then 31 steel shipping containers that carpenter Todd, plans to crane into their suburban block, then somehow weld  into a flood proof family home  - all for just $400,000.

The ever enthusiastic Todd reckons it can be done in a mere 16 weeks…after all, he’s built many times before. But even with his skills and meticulous planning, this ambitious project is completely untried…as Todd wrestles with engineering and then slicing open these massive metal boxes in an effort to create something habitable.

Juggling up to 6 massive trucks at once, each loaded with shipping containers, brings the neighbourhood to a standstill as Todd directs each into its final resting place. Most would never consider taking on such a mammoth job, but Todd’s resilience and dogged determination is something to behold. He’s a man on a mission to get this thing built as the first 10 containers, the entire first level, arrive onsite and are placed in just four hours.

Ironically it’s the one thing that drove him to take on the container house concept in the first place, that’s his biggest adversary. Fierce weather threatens progress, not just once but several times. A string of downpours each more destructive than the last, turns the site to sludge, destroys all the materials on site rendering them useless and drenching all their belongings stored at a neighbour’s home nearby.

But the biggest hit comes in the form of a storm that almost brings Todd undone…along with the entire build.

But with no permanent home, two young children, a business on hold and a bank balance that is all ebb and no flow, Todd is in way over his head…as he struggles to make this project float.

  • Reminders Record
    1 July: 7:30pm on Lifestyle Channel
  • Reminders Record
    30 July: 11:35am on Lifestyle Channel
 
 

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