Watch: Belfast architect's countryside 'supershed' to feature on Grand Designs
‘Supershed’ home built for £245k to be shown on TV
It needn't cost a fortune to live in a big house, is the message from a young Northern Ireland architect who moved his family from a small east Belfast terraced house into an impressive modern build in the countryside.
Micah Jones' 'four bedroom supershed' creation has been his dream since he was handed his first hammer and saw as an eight-year-old.
But the 29-year-old said his principal motivation in building his own house so early in his career was to create a larger home for his growing family.
"Belfast is quite expensive, especially when you are looking at a three bedroom-sized house. It was actually the same sort of cost to buy a site and build our own," he told the Belfast Telegraph.
Micah and his wife Elaine spotted the site just outside Ballygowan where they built their home on the Property News website back in 2014. They started the build in 2016. To add to the challenge, the couple's third child was born in June, just as they were moving in.
Their remarkable story of transforming a dilapidated old agricultural building is set to be featured on the Channel 4 series Grand Designs tonight.
Micah insisted the process of building your own house is less stressful than many might think - despite having to live on a caravan on site - and also possible on smaller budgets. He and his wife had initially set a budget of £210,000, and completed the build for £245,000.
"We had been living in a little terraced house in east Belfast; we wanted to move from our first house to our last house," he explained.
"I had grown up in the country, whereas my wife is a city girl. That's what started us looking. Ballygowan is also quite a handy spot in terms of getting into Belfast. For most architects it is something to aspire to (building your own house), although it was probably a bit early in my career. It was out of necessity. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process. The house is completely different to anything currently on the market."
Micah joked that one of the biggest challenges has been adapting from life in a small terrace to suddenly having space.
"It was built around the idea of a big shed, the bedrooms are on the ground floor, upstairs is a big long space. There are no real doors or walls, it is split up into a few areas, but it is one big space."
While Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud has seen impressive designs across the UK, Micah said he was very positive about his Ballygowan project.
To see the final completed property, tune into Grand Designs, Channel 4 tonight, at 9pm