GRAND DESIGNERS: Mike and Megan Fishwick in front of their modernist inspired Suffolk Park home.
GRAND DESIGNERS: Mike and Megan Fishwick in front of their modernist inspired Suffolk Park home. Christian Morrow

What it’s like building a dream home to a TV show deadline

WATCHING Grand Designs can sometimes be an exquisite torture.

The show follows in-experienced builders on their journey to build their dream homes.

Viewers watch on, waiting for those 'Grand Designs' moments as building and material problems mount up, marriages and finances get strained before almost inevitably freak weather conditions close in to slow construction.

But for Suffolk Park couple Megan and Mike Fishwick, along with their three children, the experience of being Grand Designers was overwhelmingly positive.

The couple designed and then built their own modernist inspired home on a block of land in Suffolk Park all the time watched over by the Grand Designs Australia team reporting on significant stages of the construction.

Mike, a clothing designer with local label THRILLS, did have one great big Grand Design moment when the construction of their pool was halted at the very last minute.

"We were told that the pool was 50mm outside the building envelope, I had to call it off, dump $6000 worth of concrete, buy more form work and redo the steelwork," Mike said.

"But in the end it was exciting and fun to have the film crew here, I could have taken 2-3 years to do this but knowing we had to reveal in 8 months pushed us along.

"It was a a long haul for me working on site every day, up at 4.30am and home to the family at 7pm, I had Christmas Day off and half my birthday."

The Fishwicks have lived in Byron Shire for the last 12 years and during construction they lived in local caravan parks, as well as staying with friends during peak holiday periods.

"We wanted to create a small home that was affordable and building it ourselves allowed us to stay here, where we had become close to the community," Megan said.

"The kids loved it, it was like one long camping holiday for them.

"It was fun to do the show, not stressful at all and we became became good friends with the producer.

"I had always wanted to build our own home, but in the end I wouldn't want to do it again -- its a bit like having a baby, you are never anxious to race into doing it again.

Mike and Megan are both dreading and looking forward to seeing themselves and their dream on television.

"I guess it's a story of the simple, beautiful life and that you can achieve anything if you really put your heart and mind to it," Megan said.

Mike and Megan are on Grand Designs Australia next Wednesday September 4 on Foxtel.