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When teacher Gretta moved to Malaysia 17 years ago with her husband Ray and two sons, she thought she’d made a home for life. But a couple of years ago tragedy struck when Ray died unexpectedly. Gretta found it too painful to stay, so she returned to the UK. With no house to call home, her sister Mary and brother-in-law Fernando took Gretta under their wing and invited her to come and live with them in rural Cambridgeshire, in a caravan. However they were also selling part of their garden as a building plot, so Gretta snapped it up. She then employed her young nephew Carlos (Mary and Fernando’s son) to design her a Malaysian-inspired single-storey, burnt wood and glass pavilion. Keeping it firmly in the family, brother-in-law Fernando also stepped into the role of project manager, despite zero building experience.


With an initial budget of £300k and a schedule of just 7 months, Fernando is right up against it for such an ambitious build. As site clearance begins, so does the pandemic. Patriarch Fernando finds he has to bite his tongue now his designer son has effectively become his boss. And family harmony is tested when his beloved apple tree is condemned for removal by Gretta. The ambition was to rebuild a new life for Gretta in the embrace of loved ones, but it’s clear the stress of building a house together presents real dangers for on-going family harmony.

Suppliers List

Suppliers List

The following list of suppliers is for information purposes only and no representation or endorsement is made by us in respect of these suppliers.

Company Name
Architectural design
Architectural detailing support
Artificial fire
Block and beam
Carpentry & cladding
Drains and septic
Feature light over kitchen island
Fitted kitchen and utility room
Furniture (sofa, dining table and beds)
Glazing and sliding doors
Ground clearance
Interior Doors
Pocket door to en-suite
Project management
Fernando Gris
Shou sugi ban cladding
Steel frame & external staircase
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