Couple transform their dull and dated £280,000 house into luxurious space for £25,000 by doing most of the renovations themselves while working full-time after learning tricks from Instagram and YouTube

  • Becca Larkin, 26, and Jordan Sutton, 27, purchased home in December 2019
  • They bought the two-bedroom property for £280,000 and started renovations 
  • Renovation has cost £25,000, including materials, heating system and driveway
  • Becca learned a lot from home renovation accounts on Instagram and YouTube 

A couple have transformed their old, dull-looking home into a luxurious space with £25,000 – doing the majority of the DIY themselves while working full-time. 

In December 2019, Becca Larkin, 26, a digital communications manager and her partner Jordan Sutton, 27, a carpenter, purchased an outdated, rundown home with plans to convert the space. 

The pair bought the two-bedroom property for £280,000 in East Sussex and got straight to work – starting by stripping the wallpaper, coving and old carpets so they could start with a blank canvas. 

Becca and Jordan then re-plastered all the rooms, renewed the heating and hid all the pipe work underneath new floorboards, hiring professionals for the trickier parts.

They knocked down the wall between the kitchen and living room to create an open space and Jordan, a carpenter, fitted the kitchen with new appliances, a kitchen island and laid laminate flooring in the hallway, costing the pair £9,000 (pictured: the kitchen after) 

Becca Larkin, 26, and Jordan Sutton, 27, purchased a two-bedroom property in East Sussex for £280,000 in December 2019 and started work on the renovations right away (pictured: the kitchen before) 

The kitchen has black cupboards and marble worktops with white tiles, which Jordan fitted himself (pictured: the kitchen during) 

Becca said the most enjoyable part of the renovation was knocking down the wall between the kitchen and lounge and seeing the space open up (pictured: the kitchen and living area after) 

She learned a lot about home renovation from Instagram and YouTube, and was amazed by the amount of free information she could find. 

In the bedrooms, they added new skirting, coving and architrave – doing the work themselves – as well as fresh carpets and a lick of paint, costing them £1,000 in total. 

Once those were done, Jordan knocked down the wall between the kitchen and lounge to create an open-plan setting. 

He then fitted the kitchen with new appliances, a kitchen island and laid laminate flooring in the hallway, costing the pair £9,000. 

They started by stripping the wallpaper, coving and old carpets so they could start with a blank canvas and then re-plastered the rooms, adding new coving and architrave as well as skirting, fresh carpets and a lick of paint in the bedrooms (pictured: the bedroom after) 

Becca said doing the work in lockdown was hard because of the delayed delivery times, saying they had to wait ‘months and months’ for their bed and sofa, sleeping on a blow-up sofa instead (pictured: the bedroom after)

The couple also refurbished their garden, which cost around £3,000, the en-suite room which cost £2,500 and the bathroom, which isn’t fully finished yet.  

Since both of them were working full-time, Becca and Jordan did the DIY tirelessly during the weekends and evenings to finish their home renovation. 

Becca said: ‘We loved the whole process! I’m not really a get your hands dirty kind of girl but I enjoyed it so much more than I expected. 

‘I would say the most enjoyable part was knocking down the wall between the lounge and the kitchen and seeing the open space. 

‘I loved the whole process and especially enjoy looking back at the before pictures now and seeing the difference. 

‘The most challenging part was probably the fact we did most of the renovating during the pandemic. 

‘We had to wait quite a long time for supplies and there was a huge shortage of plaster. 

‘Also, we had to wait months and months for our bed and sofa. We sat and slept on a blow-up sofa for a long time.

‘This also meant we had to do everything just Jordan and I, because it was during the first lockdown when guidelines were the strictest.’  

The strict coronavirus guidelines during the first lockdown meant that Becca and Jordan had to do a lot of the work themselves (pictured: the office before) 

As both of them were working full-time, Becca and Jordan did the DIY tirelessly during the weekends and evenings to finish their home renovation (pictured: the office after) 

The office, with panelling on one beige wall, has white and gold features, with a sofa and desk (pictured: the office after) 

The office has a pink cupboard, with cream features and a print outline of a flower on top and pampas grass (pictured: the office after) 

The pair stuck to budget chains to get their materials, such as Howdens, Wickes and B&Q. 

The total renovation has cost them £25,000, which includes renewing the heating system, materials and the driveway. 

Because of lockdown, Becca and Jordan haven’t been able to invite family and friends over yet but plan to host a BBQ party once restrictions ease further. 

In a few words of advice for others who wish to renovate their homes, Becca added: ‘My first tip would be to pull together a budget spreadsheet before you commit to a full renovation. 

The couple also refurbished their garden, which cost around £5,000, the en-suite room, also £5,000 and the bathrooms, which still need some work (pictured: the bathroom before) 

The bathroom (pictured) still needs some work, as the flooring needs to be laid under the bathtub, while the tiles around the tub are also not quite finished 

‘If you can pull together some rough costs for labour, materials and so on, this will give you a guide on the type of renovation you can afford. 

‘All the little things add up, I didn’t realise how expensive taps, toilets and taps are! 

‘I would also suggest following renovation accounts on Instagram. 

‘I learnt so much from Instagram and YouTube, there is so much free information out there, it’s amazing.’   

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