Watch Grand Designs season 17 episode 1 online. A new run of shows starts with an overgrown, neglected half-acre site in the heart of a Gloucestershire town. It could be the perfect plot to build a house – if you were allowed to cut down its 27 protected trees and clear the site. But local plumber Jon Martin and ceramicist Noreen Jaafar have a much better solution. They love trees and they love their home town, so they’re going to build a big modern tree house. The house will be way up in the trees, with stilts screwed into the earth and featuring balconies that see for miles. The only problem is building it, especially on a tight budget. It takes almost two years to crack the engineering as the project becomes an epic self-build, 40 feet up, as an exhausted Jon and Noreen battle towards the finish.