Picture Perfect

Stuff that matters

A young couple transformed their dull council house into a luxurious-looking ‘black and white’ home for just £10,000 during an ambitious lockdown DIY project.

First-time buyers Oli Tobin, 26 and Kira Clutton, 25, craved a more modern look on a strict budget after buying the “dated” three-bed home, in Wrexham, North Wales, for £145,000 a year ago.

Within hours of moving in last July, they began converting it into their dream house by stripping the flooring, carpets and wallpaper, and removing plaster off the walls.

They hired experts including a plumber, plasterer and joiner, and bought new furniture for every room during the four-month project, spending a total of £10,000.

The couple installed new glass panels and steel handrails on the stairs and, with the help of family members, were able to tile the hallway, kitchen and bathroom without hiring a professional.

Oli, an exercise referral specialist, said: “We started work the day after we got the keys.

“We started by removing little things such as the flooring and carpets in rooms, stripping wallpaper and even removing old ruined plaster off of walls.

“We found lots of decorating on top of old decorating which often set us back by a few days as it took longer to get through the years and layers of paint and wallpaper.

“With being first-time buyers we were on a strict budget as we were told we couldn’t get additional money on top of our mortgage straight away to improve our home.

“However, with having a Help-To-Buy account we got a little bonus back after paying the deposit and some funds out of our personal account to create our budget.

“We estimate all the work including labour for trades we had to get in, materials and furniture to cost around £10,000.

“We know this is larger than most people’s budget but it is still a budget that we worked hard to save up for to create our dream first home.

“The hardest part for us was constantly hitting setbacks by finding lots of bodged jobs hidden in the house.

“One simple job often turned into three or four separate expensive jobs.

“However, this didn’t stop us as we were determined to achieve our dream house.”

Oli and Kira finished most of the renovation in February.

They are now expecting their first child and plan on redesigning one of the rooms as a nursery.

Oli said: “We have pretty much finished with the renovation of the house; all that’s left to do is cosmetic finishing touches such as mirrors, curtains, rugs and wall art.

“We have plans to convert the empty water tank cupboard in the third bedroom into a built-in wardrobe.

“However, we have recently found out that we are expecting our first child so we will also have to start thinking and redesigning the rest of this room as it will now have to become a nursery, ready for our little arrival that is due in September 2021.”

Oli shared the before and after transformation of his home on Facebook.

His post has so far racked up more than 7,400 likes as users praised the couple for a job well done.

One person wrote: “Wow that’s some transformation, I’m speechless.

“I love it it’s like a completely different house marvellous job well done u shld be super proud of it the best of luck in ur new home.” [sic]

Another person added: “Absolutely gorgeous you’ve done a fantastic job love it.” [sic]

A third person wrote: “This is no renovation. Like a new built. It’s gorgeous.”