The exterior of Clare and Dan Stewart’s house terraced house gives little away about the extensive renovations and remodelling that has taken place inside.

As a deceased estate that had been in the same family for over 100 years, the mid-terraced house was in a dilapidated state, yet Clare and Dan took the brave decision to live in the property whilst completing the renovation on a largely DIY basis.

Project Notes

Homeowners: Dan and Clare Stewart
Project: Terrace renovation
Size: 85m²
Build time: July 2011 – Jan 2017
Plot cost: £140,000
Build Cost: £44,764
Value: £202,000

Mid terrace house painted grey

The exterior of the terraced house

Dan and Clare moved into the house and stripped it back to the brickwork, before first-fix plumbing and electric works, including the installation of a new boiler, were carried out. Although this provided heating in the living room and front bedroom, the rest of the house remained unheated for the next three years.

Dining room with exposed brick wall

The original built-in cupboards either side of the opened-up fireplace have been painted,
whilst a set of French doors replaces an old window to bring in extra light

“We stripped the whole house back to the brickwork,” says Dan. “We took off the wallpaper and the plaster just fell off. It gave us a chance to add lots of insulation and improve the house’s energy efficiency.”

Dan and Clare say that the additional insulation within the walls, floors and roof, along with new low-energy LED light fittings, means their gas and electricity costs have dropped to just a third of what they were.

Open plan split level kitchen diner

The wall between the dining room and kitchen has been removed to create a more open flow

The original layout reflected the age of the house, with a downstairs bathroom leading off the kitchen and walls separating the two reception rooms and entrance hall.

Removing walls between the kitchen and dining room along with the wall that once separated the entrance hall has increased the sense of natural light and eliminated the ‘rabbit warren’ feel so common in terraced houses.

The floorboards in the living and dining rooms are original but were in bad condition, as were the underlying joists. “I took up the floor, rebuilt the structure and relaid the floor,” says Dan. “We were adamant we wanted to keep them.”

Grey Shaker galley kitchen

The grey Shaker galley kitchen is from Howdens, whilst Clare and Dan shopped
around for the worktops and appliances to save money

The old 1960s kitchen a was taken out and new units from Howdens installed. “We found the oak worktops online and shopped around for the appliances — I think we saved about £2,500 by shopping around,” says Dan.

The ground floor bathroom which led off the kitchen has been replaced with a bright office space, accessed through double doors.

Study with plywood-clad walls

The study has been clad in plywood. Dan built the timber framing for the ply cladding
and constructed the new stud partition walls throughout himself

Living room in Victorian terrace

The fireplace in the living room was actually found in the master bedroom and moved

Dan and Clare were also lucky enough to find the original fireplaces intact. “In the living room there was an old woodburner with a 1950s tiled surround,” says Dan. “We found a big original surround in the master bedroom and moved it down to the living room.

Staircase with LED lighting

The original staircase was stripped and re-painted.
Hidden LED lights give it a contemporary edge

On the first floor, a small third bedroom has been divided into two en suite bathrooms for the two first floor bedrooms.

Master bedroom with fireplace

The master bedroom now features an original fireplace that was found in the second bedroom

En suite shower room

Two new en suites have been formed from the old first floor box room 

“Looking back on those cold winters, when we could see our breath and had to scrape ice off the walls, I would advise others thinking of living in a renovation to brace themselves!” says Dan. “We did underestimate the amount of unknowns.”

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