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Grand Designs contestant had two heart attacks and lost his wife over house gone wrong

Grand Designs contestant had two heart attacks and lost his wife over house gone wrong

Some Grand Designs go horribly wrong for those pursuing their dream

A contestant on Grand Designs suffered serious personal difficulties on the road to converting a disused church into his dream home.

It's a bit of a stereotype among fans of the show that trying to undertake such a massive project can ruin your life while Kevin McCloud nods along as though he knew you were bound for disaster but did nothing to stop it.

Over the years many builds on the show haven't gone as planned, though none are likely to top the tale of a man who tried to renovate a coastal property in 18 months and ended up taking over a decade to get it done.

Grand Designs only shows us a snapshot of what's going on with the build, though the show often revisits the people trying to make their dream home a reality to catch up with them and see how things went.

Back in 2007 the show followed builder Dean Marks, who planned to convert a disused church in the town of Tipton.

Dean bought St Martin's Church, Tipton, and successfully converted it into a spacious home.
Channel 4

Dean bought St Martin's Church for £12,750 as he saw the chance to build the dream home he'd never have been able to afford by himself.

However, by the end of the process he'd suffered two heart attacks, got divorced and been told he had cancer.

He'd first bought the church in 1999 and it took several years before he persuaded the council to grant him permission for the renovation, with building work starting in 2005.

Financially it was one of the Grand Designs success stories as renovations cost him £110,000 in total and he got an amazing house out of it, but the toll it took on his personal life was staggering.

The converted church had five bedrooms, four bathrooms, an indoor swimming pool, gym and a library but Dean's wife Hilary never moved in as the couple separated just before the house appeared on Grand Designs.

Dean Marks successfully completed his Grand Design, but suffered two heart attacks and the end of his marriage because of it.
Channel 4

He also suffered two heart attacks which he said had been brought on by the 'exhaustion' and 'pressure' of building the home.

Dean also had to go in for operations to repair damage done to his shoulder while building the house and was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Sadly he was also forced to install a set of CCTV cameras as vandals kept trying to attack his home.

Despite the personal hardships Dean was proud of the house he built and his home came second in Grand Designs' national awards for renovation.

Featured Image Credit: Channel 4

Topics: Channel 4, Home, TV and Film, Grand Designs