‘Well, hush my mouth’, I found myself saying, as I read the e mail estimate from the builder. After what I said previously about self-doubt, here it was manifesting itself before my very eyes.

Although the sale hasn’t gone through yet, the current owners have very kindly allowed us to borrow the keys on 3 occasions to take a builder around the property so we could get a feel of what needed doing and what was possible.

He promised us an estimate and detailed plans and just a few days after our offer had been accepted and our solicitor instructed that is exactly what we got.

Don’t get me wrong, the plans were beautiful, but the estimate was eye-watering, and it didn’t even include a central heating system or new garage. Our first, somewhat knee-jerk reaction was just to walk away. Cut our losses and run.

However, after a pretty uncomfortable night trying to ‘sleep on it’ our second reaction was that we were being taken for a ride, well that’s the polite version anyway.

Over the next few days we poured over the plans and picked at the estimate. With a few ‘tweaks’ here and there we would be very happy with the new lay-out. As regards the price we felt we could do it cheaper.

The idea had been to employ one firm to undertake and project manage the whole job. Building, plumbing, electrics etc. Perhaps with the benefit of hindsight this was a mistake.