Mum’s DIY home renovation adds £157,000 to value of family home

A DIY-loving mum-of-four has managed to add £145,000 to her house value by overhauling it herself.

Leanne Baud, 35, from Leeds, and her husband Ash, also 35, bought the 1930s five-bed semi-detached house five years ago for £279,950.

They decided to get stuck in doing all of the work themselves to entirely revamp the property.

But the couple had to juggle the renovations with both working full time and also looking after their three children, Oliver, 15, Mason, 13, and Esme, two.

Leanne, who works for Yorkshire Ambulance, focused on decorating – taking inspiration from YouTube videos.

Ash, who works as a plumber and engineer, took over the plumbing and heating works.

Leanne and Ash Baud did all the DIY themselves

The DIY buffs knocked walls down to create family-friendly spaces, converted their loft to add an extra bedroom and cut costs by buying furnishings on eBay and Facebook Marketplace.

The family spent a total of £60,000 on the renovation and now estimate the property to be worth £425,000 – £145,050 more than they bought it for.

Leanne fell pregnant with their fourth child in 2019 and the renovations ground to a halt when she developed pre-eclampsia and had to deliver their daughter, Ada, who is now six months old, three weeks early.

Despite the difficult time, the couple got back to working on the property just three weeks after Ada’s birth.

“The most challenging part has been renovating with small children,” Leanne told media agency Jam Press.

“When we started the loft conversion, we had an 18-month-old and I was pregnant.

“We hoped to finish this work before our baby arrived but things got halted due to Covid and lockdown.”

Ash hard at work renovating the property
Ash hard at work renovating the property

The delays meant the family were forced to use a piece of chipboard over the gap where the front door should have been.

They also had to make do with boards covering holes in the floor, no plaster on the walls and no handrail or spindles on the stairs.

Leanne said: “Work restarted when our baby was three weeks old, so we then found ourselves juggling DIY and sleepless nights with looking after two teenagers, a toddler and a newborn.”

For the kitchen, the couple replaced the appliances, and added a breakfast bar and a home office on one end of the room to maximise use of the space.

The kitchen before the work began
The kitchen before the building work

The kitchen afterwards - totally transformed
The kitchen afterwards – totally transformed

They got rid of the glazed roof and added cornice 1930s-style doors, then replaced handles, taps, sinks and retiled the floor with materials from Wickes and local stores, costing around £13,000.

For the living room, they ripped out the old gas fire and opened up the chimney.

Leanne and Ash then knocked the wall through from their kitchen to their living room to create an open plan kitchen and dining space.

They decided to rework the existing conservatory, adding Crittal doors and blocking up the windows to make the room an extension of the living room.

For the main bathroom, they ripped back the bricks before painting the walls and ceiling dark grey.

The main bathroom before
The main bathroom beforehand

The main bathroom during the renovation - sadly the toilet seat didn't make it
The main bathroom during the renovation

For the hallway, landing and stairs, they knocked down part of the bedroom wall and moved the doorway back to make room for the loft staircase.

A large custom-made mirror was added and the taps were replaced.

Then the couple installed a new shower, bath, sink and toilet with ex-display pieces from eBay, costing around £5,000.

The finished bathroom
The finished bathroom

They then installed an oak staircase, a cornice, ceiling roses and a 1930s style door at the front of the house with a gorgeous porch at the front, costing £7,000.

The loft extension became Leanne son’s new bedroom, and she chose monochrome floor tiles and matte black furniture, as well as green paint for the walls, at a price of around £10,000.

Esme’s room was decorated with upcycled furniture from Facebook Marketplace and charity shops, while Mason’s bedroom was painted dark grey and wallpapered to create a brick effect.

Esme's room beforehand
Esme’s room beforehand

Esme's finished bedroom
Esme’s finished bedroom

The en-suite bedroom needed the most attention as it was the most dated room.

It received a lick of paint and new tiles from Wickes, and a new sink from an ex-display bought on eBay, as well as a custom-made vanity unit.

The finished en-suite
The finished en-suite

Leanne and Ash repainted the bedroom and decorated it with upcycled furniture, making the room look as good as new – costing them around £7,000 including the en-suite.

The family-of-six spent around £60,000 on the entire renovation – and they couldn’t be more pleased with the results.

They now plan to lay oak herringbone flooring throughout the ground floor and finish the hallway.

Leanne said: “We love the outcome. It’s still evolving, and we hope to finish everything over the next couple of months.”

In a few words of advice for those who wish to renovate their home, Leanne added: “Don’t be a slave to current trends – try to be a little bit sympathetic to the house that you live in.

“Ours is a 1930’s semi so we have tried to include elements in each room that are a nod to that era.

“They might not be the latest craze, but they work. In addition to that, I believe that homes should be comfortable, functional and reflect their occupants.”

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