Many people carry out renovations for the love of DIY and home improvements, while others do it to increase their property’s value. For Leanne Baud, it was both.
35-year-old Leanne from Leeds, and her husband Ash, also 35, purchased the 1930s five-bed semi-detached house five years ago for £279,950.
They quickly set to work to revamp the dated property themselves, and have gone on to create a family paradise, also adding over £145,000 to the home’s value.
The couple had a huge task ahead of them, needing to juggle the renovations with working full time and 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 – while Ash, who works as a plumber and engineer, was put in charge of plumbing and heating works.
To overhaul the entire property over the following years, the DIY-lovers knocked walls down to create family-friendly spaces, converted their loft to add an additional bedroom and cut costs by purchasing 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 purchased it for.
The mum 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 Jam Press.
‘When we started the loft conversion, we had an 18-month-old and I was pregnant.
‘The muck and dust from the structural work was constantly everywhere, and keeping our daughter away from the noise, dirt and tools, while struggling with morning sickness was challenging.’
Covid lockdowns made things difficult too, so the family had to put things on hold for a while, and they had to live with chipboard instead of a front door and no hand rails on the stairs.
They restarted when their fourth child was three weeks old, juggling sleepless nights with daily work.
From putting in a whole new kitchen, to opening up the chimney and fireplace in the living room, to knocking through walls to create open-plan space, it wasn’t an easy task.
The family-of-six spent around £60,000 on the entire renovation – including extensions and other structural changes – and they couldn’t be more pleased with the results.
Leanne said: ‘We love the outcome. It’s still evolving and we hope to finish everything over the next couple of months.
‘Having previously finished the living room, kitchen and conservatory, we decided after our youngest arrived to re-do downstairs to accommodate our bigger family.
‘We have knocked through from the kitchen to the living room to create an open kitchen/dining room, and have created a new, bigger living room where the old conservatory was.
‘This layout is much more suitable for a family of six, and we feel that it flows much better.
‘Once we have costings that we feel are achievable, we save or we buy bits as and when we can, storing them in the garage until we have everything we need to make a start.
‘You will be much happier with the results if you’ve taken the time to create a room that is exactly what you want.’
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.
‘Don’t be scared of using your favourite colours, including pieces that you love, or interest you, even if they’re not “on trend”.
‘At the end of the day, it’s your space, and it’s important that it makes you feel good.’
They now plan to lay oak herringbone flooring throughout the ground floor and finish the hallway.
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