HGTV Stars Share the Secrets to Pulling Off a Large-Scale Renovation

published Oct 12, 2022
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Dean Poulton and Borja de Maqua know that a large-scale renovation can be daunting. When the couple initially purchased their Warwickshire estate in 2018, their family thought they were out of their minds, they said. With 10 buildings, 65 rooms, and more than 500 years of history to contend with, the architect and former real estate agent recognized that they had their work cut out for them. 

They documented their mission to turn buildings on the property into both a forever home and a rental space via Instagram and are now sharing the full details in their new HGTV series, “Saving the Manor.” In a recent interview with Apartment Therapy, Dean and Borja offered up some of their tips for successfully pulling off a massive renovation.

First and foremost, both Borja and Dean recommended breaking down the project into smaller, more manageable parts.

“I think for us, one of the reasons we can [keep from] crying about the amount of work that we have to do is because we can compartmentalize it in our minds,” Borja shared. “So in our heads, we think, ‘well, let’s tackle it like a two-bedroom house at a time or a three-bedroom house at a time,’ because that’s more manageable.”

“I think anyone can do a renovation like ours,” Dean said. “People always think, ‘oh, it’s such a big project,’ but we only look at it in small parcels. And that’s why everyone should do that when they’re renovating. Really focus on a room at a time and then that’s when you can really enhance the detail and the quality of the finish, because you’re just focusing on one small item.”

The duo also noted that money will always be a factor in large-scale renovations like theirs. They cautioned that projects often end up costing “twice as much” as expected and suggested doing as much work as possible on your own. To help abate some of their concerns, they immediately began renovating one of the rental spaces (the Caretakers Cottage), rather than their own living area.

“It was really important for us to do one of the cottages so we could get it rented out,” Dean explained, “so we could start getting an income to start funding the rest of the renovation.”

Despite the struggles that come with any large-scale renovation (especially a historic one), both Dean and Borja recommend taking the leap if possible.

“There is something extremely special about doing it and feeling that you’re restoring something,” Borja said, “because once it’s restored, you know you’ve done it and you know that you’ve spent all this time, so the home feels more like yours, because you’ve put so much time into that.”

“Saving the Manor” airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV and discovery+.