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I had mum-guilt leaving our kids to build our dream home – I moved them into the building site & they helped us decorate

A MUM-OF-TWO has revealed how she and her husband suffered from so much guilt when building their dream home, as it took over their entire lives and left them unable to spend time with their kids.

So, in a bid to unite their family again, the couple decided to move themselves and their two children into the building site so that they could finish working on it together. 

The couple struggled with guilt as the build took them away from their family
Channel 4

In tonight’s instalment of Channel 4’s Grand Designs, viewers were introduced to Zimbabwean-born Davi and Matt from Australia, as well as their two young kids.

Financial Strategist Davi and Digital Product Designer Matt had invested in a home in the suburbs of Chess Valley in Hertfordshire. 

The couple shared their ambitious plans to convert a space where a bungalow once stood into their dream family home – a “modern black box” that fused together their heritage and backgrounds.  

With a budget of £550k and a nine-month schedule, they knew they would be up against it – especially as they were also project managing the whole process with no prior experience.

However, as is often the case in Grand Designs, nothing could prepare Davi and Matt for what was to come, despite their meticulous planning and detailed spreadsheets.

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Bouts of terrible weather, missed deadlines, financial pressures and their respective demanding careers took their toll, and soon the pair were spending every spare minute they had at the building site. 

Of course, this meant that time they would usually spend with their kids dwindled – something that all four members of the family picked up on. 

As the children joined their mum at the site of the build, Davi admitted to her kids: “This is the most time you’ve spent with me this week, isn’t it?”

When they replied that it was the most they’d seen her all month, Davi replied: “This month? I’m here, aren’t I? We’re doing this together.

“But when you look at this, do you kind of understand why?”

To which they replied: “Not really”.

It feels like s**t, actually. It sucks


Later, emotions ran high as mum Davi admitted to host Kevin McCloud: “My biggest regret is not being able to spend as much time as I would like with the kids.”

She added: “It feels like s**t, actually. It sucks.”

Eventually, with what their children had said weighing heavily on their mind, Davi and Matt decided to move into the unfinished property.

But with the project running both over time and budget, it was a case of all hands on deck as they became determined to make it an adventure for all of the family.

Davi explained that they were going to paint the whole of the upstairs together.

She said: “We’re doing it to do something with the kids and, to be fair, the idea does tickle them.”

Viewers watched as the four worked together to get things finished – and bonded again in the process.

One of the children confessed: “I have missed them because they’re always working so hard so this is the time for us to bond.”

And their daughter added: “I’m happy because my dad usually goes on more phone calls than my mum. I kind of want to see him a bit more.”

Seventeen months on and around £210k over what they wanted to spend, the family finally had the home of their dreams – a one-of-a-kind multicultural property that represented where they came from, as well as where they were now. 

And Davi, Matt and their kids were thrilled that their gruelling mission to get it done and dusted was over, meaning they could finally enjoy the fruits of their labour.

This is the legacy of our kids as well


Davi revealed: “This is the legacy of our kids as well. It probably didn’t make sense to them at the beginning. 

“They were like, ‘mum it’s a pile of mud.’ Now it’s done, they’re absolutely loving it.”

After Davi and Matt said they thought their children had finally forgiven them for how much time and effort the project had taken up, the kids echoed their sentiments. 

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One smiled: “I look at my house and I say, ‘Wow!’ I never thought it would change into this spectacular building.”

While the older sibling added: “Now that the house is finished, they just feel a lot happier in general. We get to spend more time with our parents.”

Grand Designs is available to watch on All4

Channel 4
Grand Design viewers heard all about their ambitious plans[/caption]
Channel 4
Together, they put the finishing touches to their home[/caption]

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