We are having an all glass conservatory built on the back of the house, in direct contradiction to those who claim we should be downsizing at our age. The existing wooden structure, which was there when we bought the house twenty or more years ago, had reached the end of its useful life and was not worth repairing. The new one will be about twice the size, extending along the rear of both the lounge and dining room, and hopefully will look quite nice.
The builder has arrived and demolition is in progress; he says that it will all be gone by this evening and that the foundation diggers will arrive tomorrow or Wednesday. This particular builder constructed a conservatory for a friend, I liked what he did and it seems that, weather permitting, he keeps his promises on time-scales. He also quoted a price for the overall job and detailed what would NOT be included - the flooring and light fittings, which we will get and he will install. All the other quotes were for a very basic conservatory, and whatever you mentioned seemed to be some undefined extra amount. Our friend had no problems with the deal, so I hopeful that this project won't double in cost line in the manner of all too many building contracts.
The building will cost a large part of our savings, and we have thought long and hard about it. However, with our savings decreasing in value by more than 5% p.a. and the likelihood that we will no longer be able to get travel/medical insurance to go on expensive worldwide holiday trips, it seems a good investment. House prices may not be rising, but in this area they are steady. The old structure would have perhaps discouraged a buyer at some future date whilst the new one will add its value to our home. Meanwhile, we will get the pleasure of being able to use it throughout more of the year than at present, knowing that its value, if not appreciating, is certainly not declining at over 5% p.a. like the money in the bank. Short of some major medical emergency requiring private treatment or my erstwhile employer's pension fund going broke, we should be all right and I'll still be able to buy the odd electronic gadget from time to time.
Time will tell whether we are right.