By Abigail Marlow
THIS DAD has given his £305,000 three-bedroom semi-detached property in Portsmouth a complete makeover adding £45K to the property’s value for less than £15K using DIY skills to keep the costs down despite the risk the roof could have caught FIRE.
Dad-of-two Mike Cutbill (40) is an account manager from Kingston-Upon-Thames who began his home renovation property in 2018 upon moving to Portsmouth with his partner Nicky (40) and two sons Callum (14) and Owen (7).
Whilst the property was not bought as a renovation project, Mike quickly realised that there were many problems around the home, making home renovation a necessity.
After many successful projects giving the house an increased value of £350K, the home is an eclectic mix of design inspirations, fusing minimalist monochrome and pops of colour.
Mike displayed his renovations on his Instagram account @mnhomereno—which has over 18 THOUSAND followers.
The polished outcome of each room makes it even harder to believe that the transformation was achieved for less than £15K.
“We first started in 2018, the year we relocated and moved in,” he said.
“The house was not bought as a renovation.
“Unfortunately, we started to see many issues around the home.
“The chimney stack in the loft space also had holes where mortar was missing or the odd brick.
“Luckily, we had this checked with a local chimney sweep company before we started using it.
“If we didn’t then the roof could’ve easily have caught fire due to embers escaping into the loft space.
“It was lucky this didn’t cause a fire for the last owners do the house also as I believe they were potentially using the fireplace as well.”
Other issues included a water leak in the cavity wall in the downstairs utility room, uneven flooring, an improperly wired kitchen leading to a switch melting to the wall and a cracked ceiling in the hallway.
Fortunately, the majority of problems were caught early on, and the potentially harmful outcomes such as a collapsed kitchen floor and a fire in the loft space were avoided.
“This forced our hand to renovate, rather than just making the property more personal by painting rooms,” he said.
“We joined Instagram to see what others were doing to their homes, to find that inspiration as such and this helped massively for ideas.
“However, we were quite indecisive and probably liked too many ideas on there, so in some instances, we repainted a room here and there three times then finally settled on a choice that worked for us.
“Painting the kitchen cabinets saved us the most money of all the projects.
“The kitchen was nearly new when we moved in from Howdens, so I wanted to keep it.
“We eventually took it apart and sprayed the cabinets Hague blue to move it away from cream-beige.”
Despite saving money, the renovation process has come with some difficulties.
“Living with the mess and DIY tools etc all around the home has been difficult,” he said.
“We had to pull trades and friends’ help when we really needed it, mainly to get a quick turnaround on a few issues.
“The most difficult part though was handling our kitchen.
“As the last owners had a new subfloor laid that wasn’t sufficient and felt like a bouncy castle so we had to take out the kitchen island and then prop the subfloor.
“We did have help here as it needed to be completed within a day.”
This perseverance has seen Mike accumulate over 17K followers on Instagram, keen to see the progress of his projects.
“When lockdown hit, we thought why not document what we are doing.
“It helped pass some time and became a hobby to share along the way.
“We mainly receive a positive response and lots of support from other ‘home accounts’ on Instagram.
“It’s a great supportive community to be part of.”
A room-by-room breakdown of Mike’s costs is as follows:
Living room: £1.8k
Utility & Office: £1.2K
Downstairs WC / Cloakroom: £2.5k
Master bedroom: £1,8k
Bedroom 2: 1.5k
Bedroom 3: £900
Bathroom: £0 – no change
Hallway & corridor: £2.5k