The upcoming April 2016 issue of Homebuilding & Renovating, which we’ve just ‘put to bed’ is a very special issue for me. It’s my last as Editor, after 12 years and some 140 issues. I started out working on Homebuilding & Renovating back in the late 1990s, and, thanks in part to then-Editor Michael Holmes’ own television and development career taking off, was given the role of Editor in 2004 — the same year as I bought a building plot and got married. It was a big year. Since then, I’ve learned that a self build or renovation project can be a life-changing journey — and I hope in some way my passion has convinced you to take on your own.
I’m now in the middle of another big building project, and excited as to what the future brings in my new role as Editorial Director for Centaur Home Interest Media (which owns this website amongst many others). Today is a chance for me to reflect on those happy years on Homebuilding & Renovating which, having worked on it for the best part of 17 years, has become a major part of my life.
I’ve loved (almost) all of it. Occasionally we’ve messed up, and done plenty of things we perhaps shouldn’t, but by and large Homebuilding & Renovating has been the only serious magazine and website for people who want to self build or renovate. In a massively changing media climate, I’m proud that sales figures are more than respectable, and that our website is one of the biggest in the market.
I’ve had the great privilege of working with some amazing people. To list but a few I am proud to count David, Mark, Tim, Ken, Jeremy, Nigel, Simon and more not just as paid contributors but as friends. From my first ever case study ‘victim’ – a lovely man called Simon Leese in Leicestershire who built a home with his family in Leicestershire and was just the kindest, charming, most understanding person to the nerves and no-doubt stupid questions of a young cub reporter – to the last, I’ve found self builders and renovators to be universally enthusiastic and welcoming, often completely broke, occasionally quite evidently mentally impaired and just once or twice really quite odd.
Best of all, I’m made lifelong friends of the people who work with me producing the magazine and website. We are a small team and working with Michael, Natasha, Claire, Daisy, Lindsey, Jacob, Sam, Mel and so many others over the years has made it less of a job and more like a hobby we got paid for.
I’ll still be working on the magazine (and writing a new column on my latest project) and our amazing new Editor, Claire Lloyd, will be building on the good bits of what we do and making the magazine even better. She is a passionate renovator and is in the middle of a totally hands-on build with her (builder) partner. Typical, really — because at Homebuilding & Renovating we live and breathe these projects (it becomes a lifestyle) and that’s what makes it so special to read, hopefully. Thank you.
Jason Orme, Staffordshire, February 2016