Homebuilding and Renovation
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Butleigh Cottage




PROJECT: The renovation and extension of a cottage

WHERE: Butleigh, near Glastonbury, Somerset


Stella contacted Somerset Property Solutions after deciding that employing a project manager could be the way forward with the major refurbishment of her 18th century cottage.


Q: Tell us about your property before work began?

A: The cottage had been empty for almost a year when I bought it and required considerable updating. The front part dates back to the 18th century and the rear is a 1970s’ two-storey extension, which had a further home-made, flat-roofed, single-storey extension tacked on.


Q: How did you hope to change it?

A: I wanted to demolish the back extension and build a larger one to become the kitchen; I hoped to reconfigure part of the ground floor and completely refurbish the house from top to bottom. I hope to create an up-to-date, energy-efficient and characterful long-term home for myself and my family who visit regularly.


Q: Why did you decide to work with Somerset Property Solutions?

A: I had already planned in some detail what I wanted and had commissioned a local firm in Wells to draw up plans and submit a planning application. I was actually looking for builders when I came across the Somerset Property Solutions website. That was when I realised a project manager could be the perfect solution. I was worried that the project was too big for me to manage alone, and previous bad experiences with builders was a major concern.


Q: What is Somerset Property Solutions bringing to the project?

A: I met Steve at the cottage on the day I completed, and I felt we were on the same

wavelength in terms of the style and finish I was looking for. He was enthusiastic and was a brilliant sounding board for my ideas, also providing some of his own. He was extremely proactive and started to contact prospective tradespeople that he had worked with before to get my project on their radar.

Over the months we have developed an excellent and rewarding partnership that is making the whole process enjoyable.


Q: Is everything running smoothly?

A: It has not been without its stressful moments, but Steve’s easy-going style has been much appreciated. It is so good to have someone on my side and I rely heavily on him to manage all the trades and liaise between us. He is brilliant at communicating and keeping me up to date with developments and consulting with me over particular issues. It has been a relatively pain-free process so far. Naturally it has not been without the odd bump in the road but Steve has gathered a team of first rate people and I am very pleased with the quality of workmanship so far.


Q: Have there been any challenges with the project?

A: The main challenge is the lack of parking on the narrow access lane. Steve has made

contact with all the affected neighbours and left his details. He has dealt with a number of issues including calming the situation with upset neighbours and monitoring vehicles causing an obstruction. It was particularly difficult during the initial phase of demolition and excavation of foundations. Steve has undoubtedly shielded me from the embarrassment of inconveniencing my future neighbours.


Q: What are you enjoying about the project?

A: We are only two months into the build and hope it will be completed by early April. I am enjoying seeing my ideas coming together as the project is developing. I am happy to recommend Somerset Property Solutions. I put a huge amount of time and research into the vision I have for my future home and Steve is a great partner in helping me to achieve that. He has taken away the huge burden of stress that I would otherwise have had to carry on my own. I could not have done this without him.