In the UK we seem to be obsessed by property. If you’re in any doubt, just look at the TV listings for any night of the week, and you’re bound to find at least one property programme.

Whether you’re just looking to buy; building from scratch; renovating a derelict barn, church or windmill; or just modernising a 1940’s semi, there is a property programme for you.

Some of these projects can take months to complete, years in some cases, yet it’s all boiled down into an easily digestible, one hour slot (minus adverts of course!)

Even though the participants talk of hardships, sleepless nights, falling out with the builder or crossing swords with the planning authorities, they are nearly always presented on screen as clean, tidy, happy people espousing a lifestyle choice and job well done.

In most cases I suspect, a highly sanitised version of the truth. And where do they get the extra money from when they run out of funds half way through the project, as most of them do? (or is that just built-in jeopardy for the viewing public?!)

Our proposed project is small in comparison to a lot of these, and even before the legal niceties are completed, we’ve had our first sleepless night. Not least because, if we go ‘over budget’ there simply isn’t any more money to be had.

We had received the first builders estimate, which was eye-watering and didn’t even include such luxuries as a central heating system.

And so in the best tradition of property programmes everywhere, we’ll be getting a couple more estimates. So look out builders number 2 and 3, here we come.