‘Your heart is in ev­ery sin­gle thing. When it’s fin­ished, it’s more re­ward­ing’

Real Homes - - The Big Date -

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.’

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