A couple with no DIY experience completely transformed a hoarder’s house, once infested with rats, into a home to bring up their children – and tripled its value in the process.
In one year, this three-bedroom 1950s property was transformed by owners Charlotte Fotheringham, 39, and her partner Michael Winder, 36 – and now it’s unrecognisable.
The couple purchased the house in Stamford, Lincolnshire in March 2019 for £160,000, and despite how much work needed to be done, how little experience they had, and the fact that Charlotte had given birth to twins two days before they picked up the keys, they were itching to get started.
But before they did, they had to get clear out all of the belongings left behind by the previous owner, who, according to Charlotte, was a hoarder.
“It was absolutely filthy,” she said, “It had yellow walls stained with nicotine, it was the worst house I’d ever been in.
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“We couldn’t even look in the garden because it was so overgrown with brambles but we could see the potential.”
Charlotte and Michael spent the next seven months making the place “livable” and preparing it for building work to start in December of 2019.
“We started the renovation and only left the brick walls,” she said.
“We pulled down all the ceilings, replastered, added new electrics, new plumbing, built a two-storey extension on the side and single storey on the back and landscaped the garden and built a home office at the end of the garden.”
Charlotte admitted she and Michael underestimated just how much work they were getting themselves into when they bought the house, especially with three young babies.
‘It definitely was interesting! Doing all that while the twins were still babies was a challenge and having a three-year-old as well,” she said.
“We had absolutely no idea how much work it was going to be.
“I was on maternity leave looking after the baby twins and a 3-year-old while we were in a tiny rented house, so when the lockdowns started it was really hard with Michael working or at the house working all the time.
“I’d go and paint at night when everyone was asleep for a couple of hours here and there.”
And when Michael wasn’t in his workshop restoring and selling antique furniture, he was helping Charlotte with the house.
All in all, they spent £150,000 and one year of hard work on the renovation, so they were thrilled at the recent £435,000 valuation – triple what they paid.
Charlotte’s advice to anyone looking to do a renovation project themselves is to plan ahead and budget generously “so you’re ok when things go over.”
She also said: “Get separate tradespeople in for each job (as it’s more expensive to have one company do everything) and don’t necessarily use the cheapest quote.
“Better trades will end up saving you money in the long run.”
And finally, she encouraged buyers to splurge a bit on “items you touch every day” like flooring and kitchen worktops as they will last longer.
The couple has documented the renovation on their Instagram @renovationrathouse, take a look here.
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