A family battle dense forest and thick mud as they attempt to build a spectacular kit home in ancient woods in Norfolk in Impossible Builds.
In tonight’s episode of the More4 show, Charlie Luxton and Aidan Keane meet Steve and Sharon Langstone, from Essex, who live with their daughter Sofia, seven, to discuss the bolthole they’ve always wanted.
‘I’ve just set up a new wedding business so a lot of the weekends are being taken up by weddings and wedding fairs,’ says Sharon.
IT guru Steve adds: ‘I work in the city running a technology team. Things have been getting majorly hectic with my job, and her new business.’
With such busy lives, the family want to buy a new property off the beaten track where they can relax and unwind.
Steve and Sharon Langstone, from Essex, attempt to build a spectacular kit home in ancient woods in Norfolk in Impossible Builds (pictured)
The finished lodge boasts a main living space which is partitioned into a modern kitchen, a contemporary dining area and a calming separate lounge. Pictured, the kitchen inside the lodge
The 15 by seven metre portable lodge has to be delivered to the isolated peninsula plot in two separate halves – before being fitted together
The fantasy forest getaway is built from panels in a workshop 300 miles away in Cumbria, before setting off on the 300-mile journey
The couple ruled out Palm Springs as being too far away and France because ‘we don’t speak the lingo’.
Instead, they both fell in love with somewhere closer to home, an empty plot on a isolated and wooded peninsula on the Norfolk/Suffolk border near Fritton Lake.
‘I’ve always loved the woods, you’ve loved water, it’s just the perfect balance of both,’ says Steve.
But with strict protective planning laws ruling out a permanent building and what with the woodland being protected, the couple settle on having a bespoke home fabricated in a workshop in Cumbria – and fit wheels to the base so it’s portable.
Strict protective planning laws ruled out a permanent building, so the couple fit wheels to the base to make it portable. Pictured, the lodge and wood-fired hot tub
The couple’s fantasy forest getaway (pictured) overlooks the decking and has stunning views out to the lake – and is living up to the family’s expectation
‘A big challenge facing any ambitious build is planning,’ explains presenter Charlie. ‘Local planning laws won’t allow a permanent structure to be built here so the couple have come out with an ingenious solution – by bringing in a family home which is technically movable.’
The 15 by seven metre portable lodge, which is built from panels in a workshop 300 miles away, is delivered in two separate halves to the isolated peninsula plot – before being fitted together.
Describing the design of the lodge, Charlie explains: ‘A decking will wrap around the house with a main entrance at the side.’
‘It’ll lead into the open-plan living area where a wall of glass windows and doors will let in lots of light and offer stunning views to the forest.’
He continues: ‘Sofia’s bedroom and the guestroom will be off a corridor with the couple’s master suite at the end. Their own private bathroom will lead out to a sauna on an intimate decking area overlooking the surrounding forest.’
‘Large panels will clad the exterior of the family’s dream home and allow it to blend into the idyllic woodland settings.’
Explaining the problem the family face with local planning, Charlie Luxton explains: ‘Local planning laws won’t allow a permanent structure to be built here so the couple have come out with an ingenious solution – by bringing in a family home which is technically movable’
A copper theme runs through the ancient woodland home, while the exterior blends into it’s idyllic surroundings
Speaking of their finished build, Steve explains: ‘It sounds like a cliche to say we’re so happy but we genuinely are, it’s everything we wanted’
The team assembling the build do as much as possible before the house is transported to the plot – including installing the kitchen, light fittings and even the tiles and bathroom suite.
‘I’m feeling a little bit nervous but excited at the same time,’ says Sharon. ‘I just don’t know what to expect really because we’ve been designing the lodge blind.’
But moving the 50ft-long build, which took 900 hours of work in total, through dense woodland, stretches the team to its limits.
As the first half, which took more than 10 hours to load, gets stuck, a branch has to be removed – but when the second half arrives safely shortly after, they are leveled up and assembled together.
Aidan pays the family a visit two months after their dream home was painstakingly dragged onto their woodland plot – and just six months after prefabrication began in the Cumbria workshop.
The main living space is partitioned into a modern kitchen, while there’s a contemporary dining area, a calming separate lounge and even a wood-fired hot tub.
It overlooks the decking and has stunning views out to the lake – and the luxurious packed-lodge is living up to the family’s expectation.
‘It’s what we wanted and more,’ says Sharon, before Steve adds: ‘It sounds like a cliche to say we’re so happy but we genuinely are, it’s everything we wanted. Fully furnished, as you want it, it came in at £280, 000.’
Impossible Builds, More4, tonight at 9pm