In this Renovation Case Study, we meet Steph (@stephfrom_belmont) who purchased this Victorian Villa in the Midlands back in 2013, for £145,000. As well as a full renovation, they have also added a drive as well as a rear extension, with her husband James and their two dogs Hungarian Vizsla’s Bella and Nala.
In this article, we’ll cover more of what they did, their house and also a full breakdown of what they spent and where they spent it!
Front Elevation – Before
Front Elevation – After
We purchased the property because we prefer character properties for their space, high ceilings and the traditional features. We bought it thinking it wouldn’t need much work (naivety as first time buyers maybe?!) but have slowly renovated each room bit by bit.
We bought to renovate ourselves but have got the renovating bug and have spoken about moving into the buy-to-let and flipping houses as a career. Owning the house for 10 years now, the house has been renovated throughout this time, however in the last 3-4 years the house has been renovated a bit more seriously by adding the drive, extension and physically taking rooms apart to redo them.
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Kitchen – Before
Kitchen – After! Kitchen by DIY Kitchens.
My favourite transformation is the kitchen. We opened it up but still kept the feel of a Victorian house. I am pleased with the matches of the bricks and the fact is isn’t a huge modern extension on the back of the house that it is in keeping with the period feel. I also love having the extra light with the bifolds and skylights – it has totally changed how we use the house as we spend most of our time in there and the adjoining snug.
We spent a lot of time, effort and money on the garden so it’s nice to be able to see it from the kitchen. The previous conservatory was a useless space.
The extension is 3m in depth (to stay within permitted development), and 6m in width.
The renovation has taken up most of our outgoings over the last few years and we’ve roughly probably spent around £50/60k but have added a lot of value onto the house, as we had it revalued last summer for offers over £290k. (Brought for £145,000)
A breakdown of costs are as follows:
Kitchen (including extension building work) – £33k
Living Room & Snug – £1800
Bathroom – £3.5k
Master Bedroom – £900
Guest Room – £600
Box Room – £250
Driveway – £2k
Garden – £4.5k
I think the difficult thing has been knowing when to stop, to not spend too much money on it that we may not see a return on. Also making sure we take the time to sit back and enjoy the house now that it’s pretty much finished. We have looked at other projects very recently and its made it difficult to want to leave the house now that it is exactly how we’ve always wanted it.
We also found it difficult during the Covid-19 lockdowns as we had started the kitchen extension; so rising costs, lack of materials and wait times were difficult. We didn’t have water/electricity in that part of the house for a while and that was very draining physically and mentally. After a full day at work, having to come home to clean all of the building work and cook meals with no real space too. It certainly took it’s toll!
Yes, we would definitely do it again. We have decided that we’re going to wait it out for the forever home and we want to possibly move out of the area into the countryside. So it will depend on how the market is and finding the right project. We know it will be another period property and they are hard to find!
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