Completely transforming a home can cost a fortune, but when you have no idea where to start when it comes to DIY, it seems only logical to hire experts to help.
But one couple decided to give it a go anyway in the hopes they’d save some money, even though they had very little renovation experience between them.
And not only did they manage to save thousands – they also added £73,000 onto the value of their property.
Abbie Mottershead, 28, and partner Mark Moloney, 33, from Staffordshire, purchased a 1930s semi-detached home in June 2019 for £287,000.
They felt the place was “extremely tired” and needed a modern makeover, so for the past two years, they’ve been transforming the three-bedroom house.
The couple completed the majority of the work by themselves – including levelling the floors, fitting the kitchen, tiling and decorating – and only hired builders for the structural work and an electrician for a new fuse board.
Doing it this way meant they were able to keep costs down and Abbie estimates they saved around £2,000 by tiling the floor without any professional help and a further £1,000 on on plumbing costs by plumbing the radiators and taps.
They also saved money by doing all the decorating themselves, giving every wall and ceiling a fresh coat of paint.
And when it comes to their new kitchen-diner, experts quoted them £1,200 to £1,800 to fit it all – another expense they decided to forgo.
In total, the couple have spent £42,000 doing up the property – with all but £2,000 of the money going to the gruelling kitchen renovation, which involved knocking down several walls and five moths of work.
Before the kitchen was touched, they had the house valued at £330,000 – but they now believe the kitchen will add another £30,000 to the property.
Speaking to Jam Press, Abbie who works as a children’s nursing sister, said: “We were attracted to the house because of its original features, high ceilings and big room sizes, but it was very dated and didn’t suit our needs with a narrow galley kitchen that was poorly designed and impractical.
“The whole house was very dirty and extremely tired.
“The goal for the house was to do it up for us to live in for a few years and be able to grow into. We wanted to do it to a high standard and take our time to allow us to save the money we needed for the renovation, doing one room at a time.”
The house now features three bedrooms, one bathroom, a large kitchen-diner and large living room-music room.
The property has been freshly decorated in stylish neutral tones throughout with black finishes.
Abbie continued to say: “The hardest part was the kitchen – we had to live in lockdown without it for nearly five months as we did everything we physically could ourselves.
“Once the builders left, we had to sand down, plaster, paint, level the floor, plumb the radiators and tile 30sq m worth of kitchen floor with the most difficult pattern I could have chosen.
“It took weeks to floor between my shifts but it saved us a lot of money. Every tile company we spoke to told us we were brave doing it ourselves as it’s one of the most complicated designs.
“Towards the end we were struggling as I work 12-and-a-half-hour shifts, so every day off was spent doing DIY and eating nothing but microwave meals.”
Although the property is unrecognisable after the couple’s efforts, they have kept a few of the original features, including the parquet floor in the hall and living room and a cast iron fireplace in the living room, which Abbie painted and re-tiled.
The couple aren’t finished just yet and are currently fixing up the bathroom.
After that, the garden is next on the to-do list – but Abbie’s not convinced she’ll ever be truly finished.
“Decorating is never-ending and I’m always evolving and changing my style,” she added.