Sarah's beautifully extended kitchen extension completed as part of their house renovation

House Renovation Highlights featuring Home of Haynes

This week I’m really excited to be featuring Sarah @homeofhaynes here on my House Renovation Highlights series where I share a house renovation project, including the highs and the lows, challenges, top tips and best purchases, along with some renovation pics and beautiful finished pictures. Each post is really useful for anyone planning a future home renovation or seeking inspiration, and often bring in a bit of renovation nostalgia too!

Today Sarah is sharing her renovation story with us, how she has completely transformed her wildcard home, whilst creating a beautifully extended open plan kitchen and living area. I’ve loved reading this, it’s really useful if you’re about to buy a doer upper or project house, and need a few words of encouragement. Sarah has also shared some amazing tips for how you can easily update your current windows.

Do have a read…..

Tell us about your home and your renovation project. What did you do?

We bought the wildcard, that no one else wanted! We knew we wanted our next step on the ladder to be a family home that worked for our growing family and life style.   

We ended up viewing a total wildcard house to pass the time before our ‘dream home’ viewing. It was in a bad condition and hadn’t been maintained or cleaned it seemed since the 80s. The house needed turning back into a home. So, we bought it.  

After viewing a few finished properties, we realised a renovation was the only way to get the most bang for our buck. Upstairs, although in a bad condition, had good bones and just needed a revamp of the bathrooms and bedrooms.   

We then worked with an architect to reimagine the downstairs layout and built a side extension to maximise the plot and create character and impact with a vaulted feature ceiling.  

We moved the kitchen into the old back lounge space and knocked through into the adjoining room to allow light into the space and created a playroom off the kitchen. 

We also removed the downstairs toilet and old utility to create a line of sight from the front door straight into the garden. The old kitchen was divided into two to create a toilet and utility room off the hallway.  We then knocked through from the old lounge into the hallway to create a wraparound flow.  

Finally, we have started to landscape the front and back garden and prepare for rendering ready for the summer.  

The demolition stage, knocking down walls at the start of the renovation project.
The extension during build with the doors and windows in.

What did you enjoy the most about your house renovation?

We’ve really enjoyed working together as a team from budget brainstorming, making furniture, painting to picking finishing. It really does feel like a joint effort to turn our house into our home. I especially loved seeing the walls come down and the vision becoming a reality. Living through it with a toddler & cat through winter with no windows was a challenge I wouldn’t like to repeat though.  

A shot of the extended house in the mirror.

What was your biggest challenge? Is there anything that you would have done differently?

We were lucky to get planning in early spring. However, the effects of Covid did mean we encountered some delays to important materials which caused the build to run over slightly. We had to wait three times as long for roof tiles which meant we were not able to finish the extension and also had long lead-times on windows. 

The only thing I would do differently if we were to turn back time is probably scale back the spot lights in the extension (less is more!). They do look pretty at night though, and luckily switching the switch to a dimmer has helped tone this feature down. 

The bifolds going into the kitchen extension.

Tell us your top tips?

  • Create mood boards, screen shot things you like and follow accounts with similar styles on social media for ideas and inspiration later on. These will keep you motivated during the tougher days of the renovation.  
  • Budget! Set it and track it. Also agree on your no compromise elements and things you are willing to budge on. As ultimately budgets will shift around and you need to be happy with the end result.  
  • When viewing houses throw in a wildcard or two. You never know, this could end up being the house you buy! 
The completed bathroom with sink vanity unit

What was your best renovation purchase?

To keep costs down we decided to paint the existing windows ourselves to match the new windows. Something that would have cost thousands to have sprayed we achieved with a £20 pot of paint.  (Okay maybe a couple of pots)   

Steps –  

Sand (120 grit) and clean with methylated Spirt 

X 1 coat Zinsser Bulls Eye 1.2.3 Interior & Exterior Primer-sealer Stain Killer 

X 2 coats Zinsser All Coat Exterior Paint  

We also knew the kitchen would be the main hub of our home so we invested in time and space saving tech. The ceilings are lower in the old lounge/ new kitchen compared to the new extension space so we wanted to add in a down draft extractor on the island to keep the ceiling height undisturbed. We also invested in a hot water tap which has been getting a lot of use with us working from home.  

Would you do it again?

Renovating isn’t for everyone, but we definitely have the bug. This is our second renovation project and will not be our last, I’m sure. We really enjoyed the process and finding solutions when issues arose. We also enjoyed learning more about construction, working together and flexing some DIY muscles. 

The finished side extension with vaulted ceiling.

What’s next? Any future renovation plans?

Like a lot of people, the effects of 2020 have made us re-evaluate our future. We would love to turn renovating properties into more than just a hobby. For now, we will continue to finish our family home and keep one eye on Zoopla for more wildcards.  

Thank you so much Sarah, I have loved featuring you on my blog and as part of my series. Do all go and check out Sarah’s beautiful home on Instagram.

If you would love to have your your home featured as part of my series, do drop me an email and take a nose at my last renovations highlight post featuring Fern and Green.

Claire x

House Renovation Highlights featuring Home of Haynes

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