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We had a visit from Listed Buildings this week. We made the appointment to see the Conservation Officer from the Historic Environment Team at Shropshire Council to discuss the renovation and get some guidance on what would be acceptable. The visit went very well, she was delightful and very helpful indeed. We were delighted to learn that our proposals are in the main acceptable. Even better, she sent us a list of approved craftsmen.

The list could not have arrived at a better time. We’ve had a procession of craftsmen in the week – my golden rule of not touching gas, electricity or water has been extended to window restoration – I quite fancy the job, but the reality of having to do six is a little daunting. And the prospect of being without windows while I learn on the job has not impressed Viv!

So we’ve had a few people in to quote for the job. One turned out to be basically a double glazing salesman masquerading as a sympathetic restoration specialist. All of the windows needed replacing at a cost of over £1000 a window. What absolute tosh!

We have learned a few short lessons about economics – we’ve had a number of companies in to quote for a new gas boiler. One supplier that spends a fortune advertising their very affordable deals quoted a staggering £4.5k to supply and fit a boiler that retails at £2k. When my jaw had bounced back off the floor at the prospect of paying somebody £2.5k for a day’s work I resolved that was the last corporate that is going to set foot in the building.

Finally this week, we heard a great story about the plaque that decorates the front of the house. In the 1850’s if you were well to do, you’d pay a tithe to the Fire Service. The plaque signifies that our house was fully paid up. Then if the house caught fire, they’d come and put out the blaze. Very reassuring!