"It's amazing how quickly they go up," says Amanda Lamb about the houses in her series My Flat-Pack Home, which returns to Home this month. "We've turned up to film a build before, gone inside for a minute and when we come back out the house is already taking shape. We've had to say, 'hold on, we haven't had a chance to film it!'" The speed at which houses can be built is what makes this show so enjoyable.
"It's also the variety. They're all so unique," she says. "In the first series we saw a lot of home offices in the garden, but now we're seeing oak-framed barns, a six-bed mock Tudor mansion. Every one is different."
Amanda believes that the increased need for space, due to the slow housing market and the baby boom, will see more and more people turning to flat-pack solutions to get more living space. "The flat-pack teen den and granny annex are on the rise," she says. And she should know. With another baby due in August, Amanda has space issues of her own. "We adore our house and we'd hate to move, but there is no way of extending it," she says. "We've talked about building a family room/office/guest room in the garden. I like the very modern, cedar clad, glass fronted types of designs. I can picture it!"
Now on its third series, we asked Amanda if she had any advice to pass on from all the projects she'd seen. She gave us her do's and don'ts of managing a flat-pack project:
"Research. Don't go with the first company you see on the internet. When you think you've found one you like go and visit their previous projects. Look closely at the finish and the workmanship.
Create a moodboard. There are so many options that you can get befuddled. A moodboard will help you decide what sort of property you want and the style of it before you start planning in earnest.
Set aside a contingency. There are two types of flat pack home. The first is a 'turn key', where everything is installed for you. The other type is where the company design and build the kit, but you do the internal fit yourself. On this type you can guarantee that you will go over budget. So if your budget is £170k anticipate that it could end up nearer £200k.
Be patient. The house goes up very quickly but the fitting will take the same time as any other build. Have funds in place to rent somewhere while it's going on, and think about whether you are actually prepared to live in rented accommodation or a caravan while this part of the work is done."