Family buy 'worst house on the best street' and turn it into their dream home

We love a good house renovation – and this one’s pretty impressive.

Jen Rothbury, 36, and her partner Miles Rothbury, also 36, purchased a four-bedroom house in Bramhall, Cheshire, for £580,000, with plans to transform what they called the ‘worst house on the best street’ into their dream family home.

They had chosen the home due to its location to better schools and its low price, but knew that the property would need some work.

In June 2015, the family of four moved into the old Edwardian home and began renovation work in September of that year.

With the help of a builder, the couple managed to knock down walls to create more space, transforming the four-bedroom home into a large five double-bedroom home.

Adding in a loft extension, a rear story extension, and creating an open plan kitchen and dining space gave the house even more room for the family to enjoy.

Jen and Miles sourced second-hand furniture and hand me downs for most of their room furnishings to keep within their budget.

Jen said: ‘We shopped for all of the decor and soft furnishings gradually after the renovation.

‘We spent pretty much all of the budget on the building work so decided to paint everything white and live with hand me down furniture for a while until we got used to the space and what would work.

‘So we’ve been decorating and “finishing” the house for the last few years, saving up for a new room and then giving it an overhaul so we could save for the next!’

The entire home renovation set the couple back by £140,000 – but the family-of-four couldn’t be happier with their new abode.

Breakdown of costs:

  • Loft extension: £45k
  • First-floor works: £5k
  • Rear extension: £35k
  • Kitchen: £24k + Aga: £10k = £34k
  • Patios: £8k
  • Driveway: £7k

Jen said: ‘The added bedrooms have meant that having guests is easy, the loft space feels like a third floor as we had the staircase widened to feel less like loft stairs, so when guests come to stay it feels as though they have their floor of the house.

‘The works to the first floor has given us a lovely sized family bathroom with double sink units and separate bath and shower and the extension which provided us with a good-sized open-plan space perfect for family living.

‘Spending the last few years adding more character and personal touches has made it feel less like a house and more like a home and it really feels like a special place to spend time together.

The parents want to encourage other people to give home renovation a go to create their perfect house – and they’ve shared their essential tips.

Jen said: ‘Advice for anyone looking to renovate. Research your builder well as the
cheapest is not always the best option!

‘Our builder didn’t come in with the cheapest quote but having worked with him before and knowing his local reputation meant we had no doubts about going with him.

‘I’ve heard so many horror stories about rogue builders that I was willing to pay a bit more for reliable and top-class quality!

‘Another bit of advice is to make sure you budget for all the finishing touches.

‘The build quote won’t cover the finer details such as if you want chrome or brass sockets rather than plastic or lots of spotlights etc. and these numbers quickly add up!’

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