‘We HATED every room in our house – our DIY makeover has added £205,000 to the value,’ reveal Cheshire couple

Kate and Chris transformed the three-bedroom terraced house
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A couple has added £205,000 to the value of their property after transforming the dated space into a modern family home.

Kate Sandhu, 38, from Warrington, Cheshire, a DIY aficionado, purchased a three-bedroom, terraced home for £745,000 in June 2017 with her husband, Chris, 37, and their two kids, Raf, 2, and Wilf, 7 months.

While the couple could see the potential, they “hated” every room and wanted to put their own stamp on the place with a full revamp.

The couples kitchen before renovation. (Picture: Jam Press)

Now, they have completely transformed the space using their upcycling and DIY skills and have added £205,000 to the property’s value.

“The house was ghastly, like a living room for hobbits with pokey bedrooms,” Kate, who runs courses, teaching renovation to beginners, told NeedToKnow.online.

“It’s taken us a while to finish, but then again, a renovation is never really finished.

“While we had builders to complete the main build, we did everything that we could possible between us – from painting to decorating and building a home office.

“It’s always a real family affair, as my parents help with everything. I’m from a family of renovators and grew up in mid-renovated period properties.

“As we didn’t have loads of money, my mum and dad did everything, and they taught me all I know.

“We wanted to use our skills to completely transform the house on a budget and make it our own, while also making a profit – both of which we did.”

Their kitchen after the makeover. (Picture: Jam Press)

Firstly, Kate and Chris tackled the kitchen and rebuilt it entirely, as well as removing their downstairs toilet in order to expand the space.

She said: “We made it much more light, open and airy – but our one big splurge was on the crittall doors at the end of the kitchen.

“Everything else we had to do on a budget and we went for a Wren kitchen, as we could get some interest-free credit and a ton of IKEA bargains for shelving.

“We also made shelves from some reclaimed timber from a guy down the road, which we get lots of comments on, as they only cost around a fiver.

“A family friend also made us a table out of scaffolding boards and the legs are from my parents’ old dining table, which I painted.”

The only downstair bathroom also had a makeover. (Picture: Jam Press)

As they still wanted a downstairs toilet, they decided to turn their old dining room into this space and added a pop of colour with jungle wallpaper – costing only £12 per roll.

She said: “The whole thing was built from scratch and I knew I wanted wild wallpaper in there, as it was a tall ceiling, so although it was a small space, it could take it.

“We then built some panelling on the bottom half, so we didn’t overwhelm the room and it’s a super fun space.

“In the living room, it used to be tiny and grey – totally grim. We decided to rip out the internal walls and make it into one big room.

“We added in an exposed brick wall to separate out the front door, as the hallway had been removed, and this tied in with the kitchen.

“I’d seen this restaurant decked out in pink and green, which I loved, so I took that as my inspiration and did half the space in green and half in pink with gold accents.”

Before renovation. (Picture: Jam Press)

After finding some reclaimed boards from old apartments in Notting Hill for the flooring, they also found a second-hand sofa from Marks and Spencer, which helped them save money.

Kate said: “We cut out doors under the stairs so we could use that as storage and then we used an old internal door, which was painted.

“I wanted some bling, so I upcycled an old TV stand and also the stairs, doing them both in black paint and gold leaf to tie in with the rest of the room.

“In the spare bedroom, we ripped out the fireplace, which was sad, but it wasn’t functional and we made the room a proper double bedroom.

“In the third bedroom, we extended this out so it doubled in size. When we moved in, it was just a white room and I knew I wanted it to be a playful and fun space for our son, Raf.

“In the end, I landed on day and night as a theme, with lots of colours and things to look at like rockets and rainbows.”

The nursery under construction. (Picture: Jam Press)

As their upstairs bathroom was tiny, they decided to rebuild this – but opted to have a Victorian theme throughout, to tie in with the crittall and monochrome vibe they currently had.

Kate said: “Our bathroom before was so tiny, you could go to the loo, brush your teeth and shower your feet at the same time.

“I found some monochrome tiles and built the rest of the room around those.

“We also built an outside office, turning an old outbuilding into a cosy space with a treadmill and some homemade wardrobe-type shelving to hide things like a lawnmower.

“We also took out the windows and doors, added sliding doors and retiled the patio, as well as redoing the entire garden.”

Overall, the transformation took them six months to complete and in total, they spent £123,000 on the entire revamp.

The downstairs family bathroom after renovation. (Picture: Jam Press)

The stunning home has been completely modernised and given Kate’s classic quirky touch.

She shared pictures along the way on Instagram (@renovatelikekate), where she has a following of more than 30,000 followers.

The mum-of-two is also putting her experience and skills to good use, launching a new teaching course for beginners who are interested in renovation starting this month.

Whilst the family are thrilled with the results, they have decided to take the plunge and do another renovation – and have just sold their home for £950,000.

Their next project? A rural Georgian farmhouse that they are set to give a huge overhaul.

Kate shares her renovation projects on her website which can be found here.


Double-storey extension, redesigning layout and upstairs extension – £100,000
Kitchen – £12,000
Living room – £3,000
Upstairs bathroom – £6,000
Downstairs bathroom – £2,000

Total – £123,000