By Molly Pennington
THIS WOMAN revealed how she added an incredible £250,000 in value – more than FOUR TIMES what she spent decorating her previously “tired” and “unloved” 1980s house using smart DIY tricks.
Content manager Sophie Higgs (40) and her husband Simon bought their home for £365,000 in 2017.
Since then, they have spent around £60,000 renovating the kitchen, garden, and hallway—a whopping £50,000 less than they were quoted—adding up to £250,000 in value to the property.
They also spent £40,000 on a kitchen extension.
They panelled the hallway, stairs, and downstairs toilet, replacing skirting and architrave, and did all the decorating themselves. They also did most of the garden themselves and fixed their conservatory.
Sophie has documented the process on her Instagram @home_by_the_cloud, which has over 109K followers, showing what can be achieved without breaking the bank.
“We’ve been in our home just over five years now and it’s been quite a journey,” Sophie said.
“There wasn’t a lot on the market when we were wanting to buy, so we chose something we thought had potential. The house was very tired and unloved and didn’t fit our needs.
“It’s been a long process because we save the money needed to renovate each room at a time.”
Sophie and Simon saved thousands by doing most of the work themselves.
One of their biggest savings came from their garden, which they transformed for just £7000 after being quoted £35,000.
“We try and do as much of the work as possible ourselves, between both working full time and having a busy family life with two children,” Sophie said.
“Everything we do is on a budget. Our goal is to create a high-end look without breaking the bank.
“We’ve designed the interior of our home and garden ourselves, including the kitchen design and layout and we designed all the gardens.
“We transformed our old leaking plastic roofed conservatory into a proper room, that’s now used as an office.
“We did this by replacing the roof with a solid roof and sanding, repairing, and painting the wooden conservatory frame.
“We’ve also saved a few thousand by panelling ourselves in the hallway, stairs, and downstairs toilet, replacing skirting and architrave ourselves, and doing all the decorating ourselves.”
The couple also saved money by using smart DIY hacks.
“We did a lot of the garden ourselves, including laying edging stones and making fences out of roofing battens,” Sophie said.
“I’ll always look for ways to upcycle furniture rather than spending loads of money on new.
“Dining tables I were looking at were coming in at £1000 and I thought there’s no way I’m paying that.
“We bought one off eBay for £100 and painted it, it looks the same as those high-end dining tables.
“I also did the same with our console table in our hallway. It cost £65 for the table and £20 for the paint, rather than the £400 one I was tempted to buy.
“We haven’t had our home valued but it will have increased anywhere from £200k to £250k.”
Sophie and Simon did run into challenges during their renovation journey but insist that they have no regrets.
“There were so many times that we just wanted to give up,” Sophie said.
“After the arrival of both our children and sleepless nights, the last thing we wanted to be doing then was renovating our house.
“Because we’ve been working on it for five years now it can seem never-ending, but everything we’ve done has been worth it in the end.
“My number one tip for people renovating is to do your research with everything, even small things.
“Take time to make decisions because it can help avoid mistakes in the long run.”
Sophie and Simon are planning to tackle their bedroom and the living room next, and they plan to get their garden ready for spring and summer.
Cost Breakdown and Savings
- Kitchen units quote £16,000. Actual cost £7,000
- Kitchen extension £40,000
- Kitchen flooring quote £3,600. Actual cost £1,000
- Garden quote £35,000. Actual cost £7,000
- Hallway cost (excluding flooring) £500
- Conservatory quote £15,000. Actual cost £5,000