It has always been my dream to take on a renovation project

It has always been my dream to take on a renovation project and turn a house into my ideal family home – but until recently, it was only a vague plan.

It has always been my dream to take on a renovation project and turn a house into my ideal family home – but until recently, it was only a vague plan. After years of working on interiors magazines, reading and writing about other people’s inspiring projects I wanted to try it myself. And after learning from other people’s mistakes, I wondered how hard it could be. I was soon to find out!

Our new home

When my husband and I decided to relocate to the Midlands we scoured websites looking for potential homes, but nothing ticked all the boxes. A final search on the internet one day, however, brought up an opportunity: a lovely semi-detached 1930s house with a south-facing garden, two reception rooms and three good-sized double bedrooms.

Although the interior décor was firmly stuck in the 1970s and 1980s (with thick embossed wallpaper, dated gas fires and polystyrene ceiling tiles), it had been extended in the 1980s and offered us all the space we needed. Luckily, my parents came with us to offer an impartial opinion, so the dated wiring, old boiler, potential damp problems and other issues didn’t escape our attention.

It’s a few months later now, we finally have the keys, and the realisation of what we’ve taken on is beginning to dawn on us. Faced with an increasing list of work needed to modernise the house, alarm bells are starting to ring as I’m questioning whether our bank balance will be able to survive the battering it is going to take. Will our dream turn into a nightmare?

Next: My search for a builder begins. You can also read more about our renovation project and follow our progress in Real Homes magazine each month.

Share your advice and experiences of finding a builder by using the comments box below…