Couple add £50,000 to the value of their house with DIY tweaks

Couple who couldn’t afford a property in the village they wanted to live in reveal how they spent £205,000 on an outdated three-bedroom home – and have added £50,000 in value after 3 years renovating it in their spare time

  • Imogen Hewitt, 28, and partner Tom, of Cheshire, purchase the old house for £205,000 in 2018
  • The couple are both working full-time and spent three years renovating house on free time and weekends 
  • They have added £50,000 to its original value with their DIY tweaks, spending £34,685 on renovations

A DIY-loving couple have transformed their tired-looking home – doing almost everything themselves and adding £50,000 to the property value in the process.

Imogen Hewitt, 28, who works as a marketing manager, and her partner, Tom, 30, a planning officer for a local council, wanted to live in a rural village for peace and quiet, but couldn’t afford the high prices of the properties.

Instead, they decided to purchase an old, run-down house with plans to renovate the place to suit their tastes, settling on a three-bedroom home in a small village in Cheshire for £205,000 in August 2018. 

They weren’t a fan of the layout of the house and the style – but were prepared to get to work and revamp the space.

Despite working full-time, they managed to complete their renovations on weekday evenings and the weekends, giving the home a complete overhaul at a cost of £34,585.

Imogen Hewitt, 28, and her partner Tom bought a three-bedroom property in a small village in Cheshire in August 2018 for £205,000 and set about renovating it themselves. In the living room, they replaced the carpet with wooden flooring, and repainted the room white and pink, with cushions and a grey corner sofa adding pops of colours

Before, the living-room was fitted with beige carpet and the same patterned wallpaper as the dining-room, while chunky leather sofas gave it a dated feel 

‘We knew the village that we wanted to live in but unfortunately the house prices were out of budget for the type of house we wanted,’ Imogen said.

‘We managed to find a house that had been on the market for a while and had been reduced in price.

‘The style needed updating and the layout didn’t work for us ,but we were prepared to do the work and already had some money saved to do so.

‘We wanted our downstairs kitchen and dining layout to work in more of a social space when hosting people because we’re both big foodies and like hosting for friends and family.’

The couple’s kitchen before the renovation had a monochrome colour scheme and neutral floor tiles, which didn’t suit the couple’s modern style, while the neutral cabinets looked dated 

Entering the new open-plan kitchen, with new tiled floors, blue cupboards and brand new appliances and fittings, including a wine fridge pictured. They opted for on trend white subway tiles on the walls and trendy open shelving with mason jars

Before, the master bedroom was fitted with grey carpet, and the bed and wardrobe took up most of the space, while the dull colours weren’t relaxing or inspiring 

The couple’s bedroom now, with neutral cream carpet and blue walls. They repainted the room and replaced the warbrobe, at a cost of £2,530. Cosy lighting, wood furniture and house plants give it a much more soothing feel

How much did Imogen and Tom spent on their renovations?

Bedrooms: £2,530  

Kitchen: £19,645  

Living room: £4,140

Spare room: £1,370

Office: £770

Bathroom £2,180

Hallway: £650

Front of the house: £1,800

Rewiring: £1,500 

Total cost: £34,585 

Imogen and Tom painted all the bedrooms, added newly fitted carpets and replaced all the upstairs windows, costing them £890 in total.

For the main bedroom, they plastered the ceiling, added new windows, carpet and paint, spending £1,640 on the room.

The couple decided to knock the wall between the kitchen and dining room to create an open-plan living space, adding £12,000 to their bill.

They also added some bi-fold doors and Velux windows to let in as much light as possible, setting them back £1,750.

Imogen and Tom also added new kitchen fittings, costing £4,500 and brand-new appliances, costing £967.

The final details included new kitchen tiles and a backsplash to finalise the modern and clean look, at a cost of £428.

For the living room, they added a new lick of paint, a new window and had a new laminate floor fitted, costing £2,940 in total – including a gorgeous fireplace and a log burner, which cost £1,200.

For the spare bedroom, Tom and Imogen added a new coat of paint and skirting, as well as laminate flooring and a new window – setting them back £1,340.

They also added some panelling to the room, adding an additional £30 to costs.

The couple spruced up their office with a new coat of paint, fresh skirting, more laminate flooring and another new window, spending £770 on the space.

For the bathroom, they installed new fittings costing £675, a new coat of paint and added bathroom tiles costing them £200. Alongside paint and additional materials, they spent £1,305 on the space.

The couple also revamped their hallway, replastering their ceiling for £350, adding a new carpet for £250 and painted the walls and bannisters which cost a further £50.

Before, the kitchen was separate from the living room and didn’t make enough use of the large floor space, while the black and white tiles were garish and clinical 

The couple completely red-did their kitchen, which cost £19,645 to make it an open-plan spot with a central island opening to the dining-room. The addition of Velux windows allows light to flood into the space, while accents of copper and wood add warmth 

The couple retiled the kitchen and got a new blacksplash. They also built a breakfast bar, which they painted blue, the same colour as their kitchen cupboards

Before, the bathroom was plain, with a basic bathtub, sink and toilet, with large white tiles and a dark blue and grey mosaic border, making it a rather uninspiring space

The couple got a new bathtub and entirely retiled the bathroom, they decorated with foliage and got swanky new accessories, spending £2,180 

Imogen and Tom went for mosaic tiles for the floor, and replaced the basic sink with a blue cupboards. They retiled the whole bathroom, and changed the bathtub and toilet, adding plants for a botanical feel 

The couple also changed their bathroom window and lined it with a wooden plank, where they placed pot plants and a mirror 

For the front of the house, Imogen and Tom added a new front door costing £800 and a new cladding to the front of the house, costing £1,000.

They ended up rewiring the entire house which was done by a family friend, costing £1,500.

Other costs came from building materials and different items added to the rooms, with the entire renovation costing the couple £34,585 – and the couple couldn’t be more pleased with the final result.

Better still, the estimated market value of their home has increased by £50,000.

The dining room, pictured, was separated from the kitchen, with brown carpet and cream wallpaper. Imogen and Tom knocked through the wall to create an open plan space 

The couple  installed bifold doors leading out to the garden, and replaced the carpet with laminate flooring. They also got more modern furniture with a table and a bench and blue cupboards to match the kitchen

Dinner’s served! The couple opted for A rustic but modern look for their renovated home, and their dog approves, pictured

Imogen said: ‘It was very stressful in the beginning – especially when you start knocking walls down and uncovering more problems that you didn’t know about, and that will inevitably result in more money being thrown at it.

‘But when it finally starts to come together just how you envisioned, that’s the most rewarding part.’

In a few words of advice to others who wish to renovate their home, Imogen urged other renovators not to play it safe.

Stripped to the bone. Pictured: the couple’s kitchen during the renovation. They completely emptied the room to start anew with a design they preferred 

She added: ‘We were undecided about whether we should go for the dark navy kitchen of our dreams or play it safe with a neutral kitchen that might make the house easier to sell on afterwards.

‘But in the end, we decided on the navy kitchen and haven’t looked back, and we still get so many compliments about it.

‘I think you just have to go with your gut and trust that it will all come together in the end – and if not, you can always paint.’ 

The couple’s bathroom halfway through the renovation works, with the new bathtub and tiled mosaic floor installed

The hallway of the house during the renovations, before its new floor was fitted and after it was repainted. Right: The hallway after it was stripped of the old carpet on the staircase. It cost Imogen and Tom £650 to completely redo it

The couple installed new wooden floors for their hallways, repainted it and fitted the stairs with new carpet, pictured. They also picked modern items to decorate, including mounted antlers and a hexagonal mirror 

The main bedroom during the renovation. The couple stripped the carpet floor and the old wooden floors underneath to rewire the whole house, pictured

The kitchen during the renovations, before the wall between the living-room and the kitchen was torn off in order to created an open-plan space. The couple got new cupboards and wooden worktops, They also replaced the windows, and got new fittings and appliances for their dream kitchen, with a Belfast sink, on-trend dark units and metallic accents (right)

The living-room, pictured now, opens to a new fireplace, made of stone, which replaces the old white one. The couple also changed the lights, added velvet chairs for a cosy feel and painted the door blush pink  

The house from outside during the renovations. Imogen and Tom, who both had full-time jobs, worked on the property on weekends and in the evenings 

The house now, with bay windows that open to the dining area, ont o a lovely garden with a patio. It cost the couple £34,685 in total to renovate the property

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