Is our luck finally turning?

We’ve known for quite a while now that – very depressingly – we were not insured for the wall collapse as we initially thought. We were covered for vandalism, tree damage caused by lightning, and not a lot else. Certainly no acts of nature like storm Doris, or accidents of man like large vibrating machinery.

The lowest point was when realisation dawned on us that if planning permission is withdrawn and we have to cut our losses, we don’t actually own an awful lot. Basically a piece of unusable waste ground, a few wooden beams and lots of bricks.

But, in the final throes of waiting for our decision from Planning I finally relented and watched an episode of Grand Designs or “Bastarding Grand Designs” as it has become known chez nous. It was the one where the house burned down and their insurance had lapsed. So that was OK, I felt a tiny bit better seeing that there were people in a worse state than us who finally made it to the finish.
For the last few months, and particularly since the wall collapse, I haven’t been able to stomach the BGD episodes that come in 50 grand under budget in only 6 months. Probably after secretly finding a pot of Roman gold buried in the garden, and having 50 builder/joiner/plumber friends who are all working for free because they owe you huge but unspecified favours.

Just before the first ad break in our own imaginary episode Kevin would be pretending to stay positive, whilst repeatedly saying in his head “What the f@{k have you done? This is a load of shit. You’re a pair of idiots!!”

Now, I’m a bit scared to say this, but…. our luck may have changed. At last.
We’ve now employed Mark as main contractor. Builder number 1 came highly recommended but had never run a project as big as ours.

Meet Mark.
Mark is wonderful, Mark can do anything. Mark is even going to project manage the whole build for a reasonable cost that falls just within our massive mortgaged-up-to-the-neck limit.

Mark has shown us round a stunning barn conversion he’s just finished, whilst uttering that magical phrase “on time and under budget”, and Mark is available to start ours as soon as we get the nod.

And (just right now best of all) Mark thinks getting planning permission will be no problem.


Beautiful* old wooden beam exposed by the collapsed wall. Next time you see this it will be above my fireplace. *NB some imagination required


2 thoughts on “Is our luck finally turning?

  1. Fingers crossed for you Annette. While looking at houses for sale I saw a fab barn conversion and fell in love but its too far out of the area I’m looking for. There’s another one, a barn with PP for conversion but I think that’s too much for me…I’d have to rent for a while, plan, organise and find good builders and maybe if I still had two legs and a few less years I’d have gone for it…I love, love barn conversions, nice and new inside but still keeping a bit of history alive outside.
    I have seen a bungalow with large garden though that’s needs finishing. the extension is still just breeze block walls outside but beautiful inside, kitchen is gorgeous but no flooring etc. might have a go, could live there while its being done and see how it goes. I *should* have some money left from this when its sold. Sensible me says invest and enjoy the extra income instead of balancing bank etc each month and planning for overspends – which seem to happen an awful lot! whereas risky me says why not look for something I can do up and flip….It won’t be a barn though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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