Thinking of Renovating a Cottage?

Whitewashed walls, neat golden thatch, glossy red doors and dancing fireplaces are all images brought to mind when contemplating cottages and modern media such as magazines and books help to perpetuate this fantasy. What you don’t see is all the work that goes into bringing a derelict cottage back to life and maintaining it. Although cottage enthusiasts love their homes and wouldn’t change a thing, most do agree that renovating a cottage is once in a lifetime experience, best left behind them. The process requires endless reserves of patience, adaptability and creativity, not to mention a substantial budget.   Before you consider buying a cottage, take the following points into consideration: Costs It is immeasurably easier to build from scratch than it is to retrofit modern conveniences to an old property. Costs you may have to take into account, outside of the regular build costs include –  Reinforcing or creating foundations  Installation of services on difficult sites Damp proofing and insulating existing stone walls  Higher electrical & plumbing costs  Hiring craft trades people eg: thatchers, stonemasons etc… Bespoke windows & doors to fit non-conventional openings Higher insurance costs Even after the cottage has been completed there are the maintenance costs which may be considerably higher then a new build for example:  reapplying lime washes to the exterior maintaining thatched roofs repairing damp spots excluding draughts & coping with unwanted guests such as mice which are dealt with below. Locating good trades people and professional advice. One of the main difficulties faced when renovating and living in cottages is access to competent, reliable, like-minded trades people. Cottages are not a passion everyone...