‘Your heart is in every single thing. When it’s finished, it’s more rewarding’
Katie Thomasson is extending and renovating two cottages on the Rutland/leicestershire border with husband Andy
‘When we started renovating properties about 10 years ago, we couldn’t afford a project manager. We did it because we wanted to get a step on the ladder. We didn’t know anything about renovating but we’ve learnt as we’ve gone along.
‘You are never really in it 100 per cent on your own. We’ve got experienced people working with us, like builders, and they can offer advice. My husband is very practically minded as well, as he was an engineer. We’d watch the tradespeople, ask them questions and get them to show us things.
‘The big benefit to project managing yourself is you can save money. I think hiring one costs between 10 and 20 per cent of the overall budget. And I don’t think a project manager would have the time and inclination to source the best-value materials every time, so I’d say you can save another 20 per cent on top because you do have the incentive to go out and really search for them.
‘Also, your heart is in every single thing. You’re more emotionally involved and, when it’s finished, it’s more rewarding. Sometimes having to make every single decision can get you down a bit, but it is nice that, at the end of the day,
100 per cent of it is your choice and your taste.
‘You do have to be organised, working out what has to be done week by week and, towards the end, day by day, but there’s more satisfaction in seeing the transformation every single day.’