Retired racehorse breeder John met his wife Helen, a retired vet, at Newbury races in 2005. The couple wed two years later, living together in a 17th century farmhouse until illness struck in 2018. Helen suffered a catastrophic stroke, severely affecting her mobility and leaving her suffering from aphasia which affects her ability to communicate. Constrained by the steep stairs, narrow doorways and changes in level of their current home, John resolves to make a big change in their lives with the purchase of a nearby 2 acre plot. Following the demolition of an old dilapidated house on site, a new high-tech wheelchair-accessible pavilion, complete with wildlife garden, will be built in its place for 1.3 million pounds. Leaving the home where they thought they would spend their rest of their lives is a huge leap of faith for John and Helen, but they both hope the new house will give them a happier and brighter future.
Employed as project manager is John’s son Ollie, who has a small construction business. With a 16 month schedule and their current house on the market, Ollie is under severe pressure not to let the build programme overrun. He gets off to a flying start, 3 months in the shell of the basement is complete and assembly of an 8-metre tall, exposed concrete spine wall has begun. Unfortunately defects mean bringing in a concrete doctor to try and avoid a re-build, costing tens of thousands of pounds and meaning significant delays. Then installation of the concrete fascias goes wrong, with the supporting steel frame cracking under the weight spelling potential disaster. As the sale of John and
Helen’s house is confirmed, Ollie must resolve all issues and push on, hopeful the build doesn’t exact too high a price on a family still reeling from Helen’s stroke.
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