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  • Writer's picturePeter

Your Ideal Life and Grand Design

Updated: Jun 4

Grand Designs
If you can see it, you can be it.

Creating our Ideal Life is a lot like embarking on our very own Grand Designs Adventure.

Time, Money, Laws, Planning, Relationships and more like building you home are just part of the journey on our path to achieving financial independence and living our ideal life, worry free. 


Imagine after watching a binge session of the Block, Flip or Flop, Location Location, Fixer Upper, House Rules, and Grand Design you decided you're going to build your dream home.

Your Grand Design.  Your final destination. Your home, Bonnie Doon (The Castle). 

Even architects, builders and developers build their dream homes they'll never sell. 

How shall we get from this inspirational feeling gushing up inside us, to fully experiencing our life, fully authentic and "living our dream"? 

I'm a simple guy and at the same time I've got a real passion burning inside me for this "ideal life"

So far I've discovered the three well trodden paths we will follow.

And who's best to help me better explain these paths? It's none other than Kevin McCloud presenter of Grand Designs. 

The crowd applause's, the spot light shines down on the stage and I sit nervously facing towards Kevin A.K.A. "Mr Grand Design" himself with my questions in hand.***

Path One- D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself)

Me: So Kevin thanks for joining us today. Can you tell the audience your experiences of the grand design process.

Kevin: Well, I'm glad you ask Peter. You can like many I follow in my award winning and global franchise renovations program and build your dream home yourself. As such you become the electrician, draftsman, plumber, carpenter, brick layer, tiler, council planner/approve, and the client. You learn to do and do everything yourself. 

Me: Wow! How can you do all that and still hold down your, job, health, relationships, friends, have a life etc?

Kevin: Oh, that's the thing. You can't, because building your own grand design takes all your time and always a lot longer than you think. However along the way however you get to learn new skills and maybe save some money (or not). But in every single case everything else in life, is put on hold. The benefit is you get to say you've built your very own dream home. You can live the dream and brag about how you did it all yourself to your friends and no one can take this away from you....unless that is the bank takes it back off you because you over borrowed to build your dream home. Doh! 

Me: OK. Thanks Kevin. I've read that there are generally three different ways you can get to live our ideal lives (Kevin raises one eyebrow looking back at me)...Sorry. I mean Grand Design. What are some of these other ways we could grand design? 

Kevin: We'll of course there are.

Path Two. Project Manager

Kevin: continuing...You could decide to become the project manager of your very own Grand Design. But first you'll need to have a have very good idea and specific details of what you want your grand design to look like and how it will be built. Then you'll need to project manage the speciality jobs out and then manage the process. For example with your plans you would then put to tender and hire your electrician, plumber, carpenter, draftsman, council/ approve at the same time put the hat of yourself as the client. 

Me: Interesting.... please go on.

Kevin: Again this is another approach however this time because you have hired specialists, your roll is more one of organising and orchestrating the build so that it rolls out efficiently, on time, under budget etc. The challenge is and any project manager will tell you, is how to efficiently project manages ones Grand Design build and all the emotions and stress that come with it while also staying on top of everything everything else in our life. I have seen people do this very successfully but they often are already in the "construction" industry and already know what to do and expect of their specialists. 

Me: What if I'm not in the "construction" industry?

Path Three. Trusted Professional

Kevin: Then you should hire an architect/project manager/ adviser you can trust.

MeHow do I do that?

Kevin: After a little running around, some free cups off coffee and free meetings it's pretty easy to find your trusted professional and adviser. Of course you'll need to interview them and get a feel for yourself and see if you're both on the same page. Discuss with them your visions, aspirations, costs, time frames, expectations. If they have the experience and historical proof, then keep the momentum going, agree to hiring them for your your grand design build and hand the job over to them. Once you've done this, your trusted professional will then start working for you and engage their team of experts to begin building your dream home.They should manage the entire process for you and provide you with regular updates, site visits, any potential issues for your authorisation and keep the team on time and under or two budget for you.

At the end you'll have you're grand design home ready to move in and along the way you've probably maintained your health, finances, family and energy to enjoy it.

Me: So why don't more people do this? It sounds ideal.

Kevin: My guess is that we all have trust issues especially in today's world where trust is a rare commodity also because your trusted professional is going tell you of all the costs upfront. Knowing the cost upfront my guess, is nine time out of ten it's more than we expect, so we try to take shortcuts and do things ourselves. Which is wrong by the way... but if they didn't.... well then my show wouldn't have been such a success as it is then, would it? (Kevin looking at me with a wry smirk on his face)However if we were to factor in our own time, loss of earnings (due to distractions), relationship issues etc… that are symptoms when creating our grand design, it has been well documented and proven, hiring a professional and their team more often than not saves money rather than adding to ones expense.

MeThank you Kevin it's been an honour talking with you and good luck with your shows continued success.

Kevin: Thanks Peter, It's been a treat and all the best with your Grand Design.*** (This has been a fictional conversation with Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs)Summary Over the last twenty years I've have helped and chosen not to help many people live their ideal life. Those I declined to help; to put it politely, "had financial delusions of grandeur", or they  couldn't trust anyone; least of all themselves.

I've also seen people try to do everything and others who attempt to project manage others while trying to manage everything else in their lives; but their specialists move on or change jobs, leaving them to pick up the slack or burn time retelling their story over and over again to their new banking relationship manager. Sigh!. Those who I have helped and gone onto experience the greatest value and freedom A.K.A. Ideal Life Grand Design, simply trusted the advice recommended, did the work, kept us accountable and got on with their lives doing the things that they have direct control over and benefit from doing i.e. health, new experiences, career growth, health, investing time in relationships etc.. 

We each will draw our own conclusion and path to be the most value for us when creating our grand design, ideal life. So in this regard every path leads to the same destination. The difference is, as a wise and successful person once told me is "it's how you get there that matters more than the destination" . 

This post was written by Me, as such they are my personal views and not financial or general advice.

You should always seek independent financial advice when it comes to choices about your personal finances. This is one area of your life where it’s worth paying for it to be done right.

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