Building for DIY SOS

DIY SOS is the BBC’s flagship home renovation programme and has been running for over 16 years. The BAFTA-nominated show has attracts up to 9 million viewers it its primetime slot on BBC One.

In October 2016, we were contacted by BBC’s DIY SOS production team about helping on an upcoming edition of the programme. The episode aired on 8th June 2017.

The Isle of Sheppey in Kent is home to The Ratcliffes, an amazing and unique family made up of parents Garry and Kyle, and four adopted children, each with very complex and life limiting medical conditions. Crammed into a house unfit for the demands of their family, the Ratcliffes had asked for help in building an extension to expand their home. But without the correct foundations to allow the additional rooms, DIY SOS had only one option to help the Ratcliffes: to start from scratch.

With a timeframe of just nine days, the Purple Shirts of the DIY SOS team gave themselves the challenge of building an entire five bed home and garden, suitable for the complex needs of its owners. The DIY SOS team required a lot of help to achieve their goal, and reached out to suppliers, contractors and the local community to assist.

They reached out to Bright Bricks to produce a bespoke LEGO model of the building, to help demonstrate to the DIY SOS team and the family what the finished home would look like. It was a great way to visualise the line-of-sight that Garry and Kyle would have over every room, thanks to the internal courtyard.

Equipped with the architectural plans and a 3D render of the house, Bright Bricks went about producing a LEGO model that could live up to the grand ambition of the build.

The LEGO house is built to scale (as close as possible given the increments of LEGO studs) based upon architect drawings that were provided by the DIY SOS team. With tight deadlines, we didn’t have time to process the build through our design team, so it was up to our LEGO builders to create something from the base up.

Bright Bricks’ LEGO Artist, Kirsty House, built the model in 32 man hours, including the interior design. As our LEGO model was built early on in the construction of the house, we didn’t have access to Sophie Robinson’s interior design plans, so Kirsty designed the furnishings based upon the children’s favourite colours.

Bright Bricks are incredibly proud to have played a small part in the programme, and our entire team send their best wishes to the Ratcliffes; they are a truly inspiring family.

Words by Bright Bricks. Thanks to BBC. You can catch-up on DIY SOS on iPlayer.