A tie-in to the hugely successful Channel 4 TV series, Grand Designs, this is the ultimate guide to renovating or creating that dream home in the sun. How many of us dream of the perfect home, beautifully tailored to our own living requirements and style? And how many more of us dream of creating that home in some spectacular spot overseas? Grand Designs has been one of Channel 4's most successful series for over 4 years - and is about to attract even more viewers as for the first time, it moves overseas to combine home-building dreams with the desire to forge a new life abroad. The book covers all the requirements for locating, buying and securing building permission in the countries targeted by most British buyers - Spain, France, Italy and Ireland. Packed full of invaluable pointers - for example; the 5 most common pitfalls for buyers in France: and how planning permission in Italy is generally a case of retrospective application - it moves through all the practicalities, with contact details for key organisations and a blow by blow account of the timing, budget and stages you should expect in the buying process. Information is given for both complete self-builds and for renovations with advice on all aspects of building abroad as well as what to do when things - as they inevitably will - go wrong. As one would expect from Kevin McCloud, the book is strong on design advice - looking at issues such as working with the landscape, using local building materials in both traditional and unusual ways and when breaking the design mould really can pay off. And of course the book is illustrated with glorious examples - and salutary tales - from the series. An ultra-modern hillside house in Malaga, a restored castle in Tuscany and a converted church on Ireland's wild west coast are just some of the properties featured, all with their own powerful stories of individual dreams, disasters and triumphs. An intelligent, inspirational and informative book that answers the two most compelling obsessions of book-buyers today - property and the possibility of a life overseas - Grand Designs Abroad has it all.