Property television programme review by

Independent Surveyors


Build a new life in the country


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As Independent Surveyors we note that there are many television programmes covering the property market aired on terrestrial and satellite television stations which we review in this section of our website. Our television review is our light hearted opinion of the television programme and may get you talking and thinking about what you see. In no way are we advertising the television programme or receiving remuneration for promoting it on our website we hope you find it of interest.

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Build a new life in the country

Build a new life in the country is a property television show highlighting a move from city life to a new country lifestyle. Each episode of production company Shine's Build a new life in the country follows a different scenario whereby a move to a country is the aim, how this is achieved and whether the outcome is one that is a better country lifestyle.


Renovating a farmhouse

The Build a new life in the country episode we are reviewing features an architect and his wife who are renovating a Welsh farmhouse in Cardigan Bay after leaving their Surrey home. The couple are also creating holiday lets from old farm buildings so the project is an enormous challenge with much to do to create their dream of building a new life in the country.

As Independent Surveyors we carry out residential and commercial structural building surveys the length and breadth of the UK and can help with your property issues.

The couple have lived in many properties during their married life but this move they wish to be where they will stay. The plan is not only to move and create a home but also to establish a livelihood to enable them to be self sufficient with some holiday lets. The venture is over sixteen acres of land which includes three barns, rundown outbuildings and a rather dull looking farmhouse. The plan is to transform the farmhouse with a timber frame extension making it into a stunning home in the country using sustainable materials.

There is every colour of paintwork inside the farmhouse you can imagine as previously the building was owned by Hindu's who used the house as an Ashram visiting the property at weekends.

At present the couple and their daughter who has come to help for a few months are living in the farmhouse but they have a caravan to live in whilst the building work is being carried out.

The outbuildings conversion into holiday lets is part of the plan with an old cow shed with no roof being converted into an area for recreation for visitors and as a venue for the couples elder daughter's forthcoming wedding only six months away!

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Building budgets

Build a new life in the country explains the financial side of the venture whereby the couple plan to be mortgage free with a reasonable budget to carry out works that are on their plan.


Renovation work begins

Build a new life in the country shows the couple hard at work at the beginning of their project with their son, his girlfriend and both daughters giving them a helping hand. Two skilled builders are also on hand to help with the long barn with the addition of new roof trusses the first of many jobs to be completed.

The farmhouse extension begins but life living in a caravan has its difficulties with the extreme drop in temperature as the winter takes hold.

Although retired the husband takes on an architectural job in China for a couple of weeks leaving his wife in charge whilst he is away. On his return there is much to be done with an area made flat for the wedding marquee incorrectly measured it needs to be extended to be big enough for the structure.

The drains for the farmhouse and new extension are being laid, bunting is being made for the wedding celebrations and the tin roofing is being delivered. The tin corrugated roofing material is flexible, hard wearing and in keeping with farming structures in the area.

Whilst conducting structural building surveys for our clients as Independent Surveyors we can give help and advice from roofs to foundations and are always happy to discuss property matters.


Renovation and extension work goes on

Build a new life in the country's Charlie Luxton revisits the couple six months into the project to find that the farmhouse floor has been lowered in preparation for a membrane and insulation and upper stairs three rooms have been knocked into one to create a large bedroom although the windows are rather small they do however give a cottage feel to the room. Work in the barns is also taking shape however Charlie Luxton wonders whether work on the barns is taking priority over work on the farmhouse.

The long barn has insulation being installed and the roof lights are completed allowing a flow of natural light to brighten the barn. As keen environmentalists the insulation is recycled newspaper and this is pumped into the roof cavity to give the property extra warmth and protection.


Wedding day approaches

As the couple's eldest daughter's wedding day approaches much is to be completed and all hands are on deck to help. The wedding takes place and celebrations go on into the night with all enjoying the long barn and its timely renovation.


Work on the renovation continues

Build a new life in the country sees work continuing with the concrete floor being laid in the farmhouse and new timbers arriving for the extension. A gift of a chicken coup when the architect left is now in place with his wife taking delivery of four nine week chicks including a cockerel and three hens.

The timber frame is substantial and at the end of summer in place but there is a setback as Planning Permission has not been granted regarding the roof being tin rather than slate which the Local Authority wish to be used. The plan is to appeal as the architect firmly believes that the corrugated tin roof will be in keeping with the farming buildings in the locality and a more sustainable material. The long barn roof which is in place and also corrugated tin may have to be replaced with slate which is not what the couple envisaged with this project.

As Independent Surveyors we often come across issues whereby Planning Permission and Building Regulations have not been granted for loft extensions for example which effects the value of a property as without Local Authority Approval they are not deemed as habitable areas.

A day off and a day out at Newquay where the couple take a boat trip to see the dolphins and a day which will help with their holiday let venture as they will be able to recommend local places of interest to their guests.

The Planners respond to the couple's appeal with the decision to remove the metal roof to the barn and for this and the farmhouse to have slate roofs. The battle is not off and the fight goes on to the highest level as they are determined to build in the materials they have planned.


A year on

There are still delays on the progression of the work as no decision has been made regarding the roofs however the extension is watertight but unfinished. The couple's bedroom and en suite is complete and is full of light with the roof lights and has great views over the stunning countryside. The long barn which once was a derelict wreck has been transformed into a living space for the couple whilst work continues in the farm house.

The project goes on and although the budget needs to be adjusted and a decision on the roofing material is still to be decided the couple have risen to the challenge of a new life in the country.

A taster for the next episode ends the edition of Build a new life in the country.


Build a new life in the country in summary

Build a new life in the country gives a step by step guide as to how the participants of the property television programme follow their dreams of a new life in the country. Whether it is converting a 19 th century ex- schoolhouse into a family home with tea room and antiques centre or restoration to an old farmhouse Build a new life in the country is a gripping property television programme following the trials and tribulations of the shows participants in their quest to Build a new life in the country.

Charlie Luxton has a background in designing buildings with an environmental and sustainable emphasis and is an ideal host for Build a new life in the country.

Please see our property television reviews

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Independent Surveyors

If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from an Independent Surveyor with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, dilapidations or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 for an Independent Surveyor to give you a call back.


Commercial property surveyors

If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site .


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