Couple DOUBLES house price after DIY renovation transforms home

Kim J. Clark

A COUPLE have managed to double the price of their property by doing renovations themselves.

Their DIY efforts have seen their home in Pontypool, South Wales become worth £400,000 after buying the unloved property in 2015.

The Regan family made over most of their home without help


The Regan family made over most of their home without helpCredit: Jam Press
The old kitchen was opened up with an extension


The old kitchen was opened up with an extensionCredit: Jam Press

Lucy and Sean Regan, both 34, handled the project themselves doing renovations which include a new kitchen and extensive re-plastering and painting

The pair bought the 1930s four-bedroom family home for £180,000.

They started work a year after moving in to update the old, outdated look of their home and slowly made their way through the house – which is now unrecognisable. 

“We knew from the moment we saw the house that it would be a renovation project,” Lucy told Jam Press. 

The supply chain controller, who became pregnant with son Ralph during the DIY project, said: “We had already done major renovation work on our previous smaller house and wanted to make our dream family home.

“The house was built in the 1930s, which was perfect as we love period properties, however, the previous owners had lived in the house for a long time so it needed to be changed and opened up.

“It excited us that we could immediately see the changes we would make and so there was no question that we would buy it.”

The couple continued renovation work during the budding mum’s pregnancy, intermittently living without flooring in some rooms, heating or a fully-functioning kitchen.

They converted the old dining room into a makeshift bedroom while tackling the upper part of the house.

Lucy said: “We were living with bare floorboards, a lot of dust thanks to going back to bare brick upstairs, and it was cold as the old windows and conservatory let in one hell of a draft.

“The kitchen was make-shift for part of the time as we started to clear out downstairs.

“The ceilings were taken down in part of downstairs whilst we were living downstairs to allow for the plumbing and electrics to be sorted upstairs too.

“It was not a fun time but we made the most of it.”

The major work was done by a builder and the couple did the rest


The major work was done by a builder and the couple did the restCredit: Jam Press
The garden also underwent a makeover


The garden also underwent a makeoverCredit: Jam Press

Without any proper bedrooms in their house, Lucy and Sean scrambled to get at least one bedroom and bathroom completed before their baby was born.

However, just four months in, Sean injured his anterior cruciate ligament and had to have an operation – and so the couple were forced to put the renovations on hold.

Overcoming the challenges they continued with the project, only hiring a builder to knock down a wall and build an extension and tradesmen for new plumbing and electrics.

The rest they did themselves, starting by stripping the entire house back to bare brick and replacing all structural timber floor joists and ceiling rafters.

Sean stripped out the walls of the bedrooms to bare brick and replaced all structural timber floor joists and ceiling rafters.

Lucy said: “Renovating whilst pregnant was definitely tough and not the most ideal time to be doing the amount of work we had to do, however I knew it was necessary.

My tiredness particularly in the early and latter parts of my pregnancy meant that I was pretty useless. Sean had to dig deep to get things done.”

They also installed new plumbing and electrics, new flooring and altered the staircase in the loft room.

The duo painted the walls and added new plastering on their own, which cost £6,000 for the bedrooms and £3,500 for the master bathroom.

For the ensuite loft bathroom, Sean’s uncle, who is a tradesman, helped with tiling and installed plumbing, which cost £3,500.

And for the downstairs toilet, the budding dad did the tiling and fixed the plumbing on his own, at a total cost of £1,100.

The couple stripped back the hallway and added automated sensor lights to their stairwell to help get their baby around safely.

They replaced the spindles and handrails with a 1930s style design, and added storage under the stairs (£8,000).

For the front part of the home, the old laminate flooring was removed with the original tiles from under the porch restored.

The front door was moved back to its original location and replaced with a new composite door and frosted windows to bring light into the hallway.

The front garden was excavated with retaining walls built, new steps to the house added, as well as lighting, block paving and drainage at £12,000.

Lucy and Sean also excavated their back garden to one level, replaced all the fencing, laid new turf, a patio area, drainage and rending to the walls (£10,000).

Here’s how much the couple spent:

  • Extension and knocking through to create open plan living area £42,000
  • Aluminium doors and Velux windows for kitchen and dining space £6,000
  • New kitchen including, splashback, appliances and countertops £29,000
  • Plastering and painting £9,500
  • Tiling and plumbing £4,600
  • Stair spindles, handrails and underneath storage £8,000
  • Front and back garden £22,000

The home renovation cost the couple £121,100 in total – and they couldn’t be happier with the final result.

Lucy said: “We are so happy with the outcome.

“What we have done to make the house open plan downstairs and by moving the kitchen into the central part of the space means that it’s perfect for family and social living.

“We cannot wait to share our home with family and friends as we come out of lockdown.”

The extensive property renovation has more than doubled the value of their home, which is now worth almost £220,000 more than what they bought it for.

Taking into account how much they spent they could make £100,000 if it sold for the £400,000 it’s now valued at.

There’s no guarantee when doing renovation work that it can add value to the property.

It’s also worth checking how much the most expensive house on the road has sold for recently to see the maximum you could add.

You can also set your budget accordingly so you don’t spend more than you expect to make.

Lucy said: “One of my biggest recommendations is to give yourself some time off either living or owning the house before you start the renovation.

“We gave ourselves a year and it meant that we weren’t rushing decision making.”

These new parents saved THOUSANDS by renovating £298k first home themselves.

One home renovator told The Sun £25,000 to the value of a home by totally transforming the kitchen in only 10 days.

The old decor was outdated


The old decor was outdatedCredit: Jam Press
A new entrance way is much more welcoming


A new entrance way is much more welcomingCredit: Jam Press
People are raving about Home Bargains’ £4 stick-on kitchen tiles

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