After nearly a year we finally get to revisit Sarah Beeny’s house featured in Channel 4’s New Life in the Country, which returns to our screens on Tuesday night.
In series one of the hit TV programme we followed broadcaster and presenter Sarah and husband Graham Swift as they renovated a run-down former dairy farm in Somerset, surrounded by 220 acres of rolling views.
A key part of the work they embarked on included knocking down the existing farmhouse and building a carbon-neutral stately home on a different area of the farm. This presented a number of challenges.
Firstly, there was the cost. The couple’s original plans would have set them back £2m, so they had to dramatically scale back the design of their new home, with a new budget of £500,000.
Then Sarah’s travails obtaining planning permission for her countryside home, and the consequent set-backs this caused, meant the earliest they could start building foundations was in mid-winter — when the ground was water-logged.
Once they finally began construction, they did so using an on-site building method called Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF), but then the coronavirus pandemic led to the site shutting shortly after.
What Next For Sarah Beeny’s House?
We left Sarah and her family just as the scaffolding was removed from the building’s exterior, and the trailer for series 2 suggests that there will be some “stunning reveals” inside their new home.
The interior of the house will be decked out as Sarah and Graham begin “turning an empty shell into the home of their dreams”. But with the pandemic worsening as the couple finally began building, it remains to be seen how the subsequent lockdowns after March 2020 will affect the development of the home.
Sarah Beeny's New Life in the Country is on Tuesday nights on Channel 4 and available to watch on channel4.com
Jack has worked in journalism for 11 years and is the News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, a role he has had since 2019. He strives to break the most relevant and beneficial stories for self builders, extenders and renovators, including the latest news on the construction materials shortage and hydrogen heating. In 2021 he appeared on BBC's The World at One to discuss the government's planning reforms.
He enjoys testing new tools and gadgets, and having bought his first home in 2013, he has renovated every room and recently finished a garden renovation.
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