It is completely mind boggling, how pilot Jon and his wife, Gill Flewers took almost an unprecedented decision for the former to quit his job as a Pilot to manage his extravagant building project, because several contractors refused to work on the daring design.
What is equally striking is the fact that the plot of land on which the ambitious house has been built was bought on the internet.
The couple arrived at the decision after spending four years in New Zealand and wanted to settle back in the UK. However, instead of exploring in person for locations they chose to spend an outrageous £145,000 on a site they bought on the internet and had never even seen.
The former RAF pilot Jon and local GP Gill Flewers then went ahead to invest another £420,000 of their life savings in building a three-storey 'upside-down' structure anchored in the side of the Mulvern Hills, in Worcestershire.
Jon was apparently left with no alternative, but to take the radical step of giving up his career to take on the task of project manager when several contractors refused to work on the daring design.
However, due to lack of experience in building and construction, Jon failed to do sufficient due diligent, leading to an extra cost when he failed to spend £24 on checking a map to see if the site had access to the utility mains. He incurred an extra £40,000 bill to excavate 65 metres worth of road.
The total cost for the striking five-bedroom abode, with an enormous living space on the top floor and a terrace garden tucked into the trees, amounted to £600,000. It was all completed within 18 months.
The Jon Gill Flewers family had expected to move into the building in time for Christmas 2016, but had to delay for three weeks until the property was properly connected to the mains.
Jon is now indebted after completing the building, as he had to borrow the funds from their family after going over their budget.
He said “I will be paying that off for the rest of my life and then some. I am aware the failing isn’t down to someone else it is all on me.”
The former pilot expressed shock at how much he incurred after building just a house, saying “I never anticipated it being this hard. People have said to me Jon don’t be down it’s only a house”.
He is however confident that the venture was a worthy one.
“To me it’s all the other things, the money, the career that has been put on hold for so many years, the move from the other side of the world all those things that we gave up. I so hope the house is worth it.”
Jon and Gill have to make up for the costly error, especially after adding a further £15,000 to the bill for a curved wall that the architect recommends, and choose to do all the interior decor themselves.
They face more negativity when they clash with presenter Kevin McCloud over the architect's decision not to take advantage of the sprawling views.
He takes the couple to task for agreeing to the placement of a large section of windows to face in towards the hill and not looking out at the landscape.
Kevin complains of the 'strange decision' and questions architect Nick Caroll who explains it is so the building is angled towards the sun to take advantage of the solar gain and create a cosy atmosphere.
“I can absolutely see where Nick is coming from and I champion energy efficient buildings. But these guys moved here from New Zealand for the views,” Kevin adds.
“The old English word for window is "eagbyrl". Which literally means an eye hole, out of something you can see. And here look what you can see across these great plains, it is exciting, it is epic but it is a view that the eye holes on this building don’t exactly grab.”
According to the Dailymail.com, it took the couple a slow two years until their project is completed.
With pieces of the 600 million-year-old granite sewn into the exterior walls, an extravagant £5,000 staircase that takes the visitor spiralling up and a terrace that fits snugly inside the hill surrounded by trees the unique house is something to behold.
And despite the hard work and £600,000 pound total, Jon who gave up his career as a pilot to rely on his wife's income so they could achieve their dream home, is not satisfied.
Jon tiredly admits to Kevin that he regretted the choice of elevated plot and says if he did it all over again he would choose something flat.
He reflects on the journey: 'It’s been a really hard journey, mentally, emotionally and physically.
“It’s still fresh, it’s beautiful I have no doubt about that. But I’m not sure it’s worth the sacrifices that we have made up to this point…”