South West London
Not many of us would even think about building their new home within a cemetery, but that’s precisely the madcap mission former army captain Justin sets out on. He’s spent a whopping £1.8 million pounds on an abandoned Neo-Gothic cemetery keepers lodge and adjoining ex-council toilet block in South West London. Justin’s vision is to restore the lodge but demolish the ugly toilet blocks and replace them with an enormous luxury ground floor extension, with added moat and giant basement with a swimming pool – all just metres from the nearest grave. He’ll build the house, for himself and his five year old son, in just one year and for no more than £1.6 million. At least that’s the plan.
With some builder’s quotes coming in at a crazy £4 million, the project hits delays right from the off. When tortuous demolition and excavation finally start, incredibly Justin decides his basement needs to be even bigger so extends the excavation directly underneath the heavy stone-built Gothic lodge, adding hugely to the engineering costs and schedule. With challenges coming thick and fast, including a global pandemic, remarkably Justin refuses to compromise even as the budget spirals out of control.
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