The Winchester Mystery House: The World's Most Unusual Renovation?

Winchester Mystery House could be the world's longest renovation
(Image credit: Getty Images)

‘On time and on budget’ is a mantra oft repeated by those renovating a house, but neither seem to have been a priority when this Californian property, now known as the Winchester Mystery House, was created over a century ago.

The owner, Sarah Winchester, transformed the former eight-bed farmhouse into 160-room mansion over a 38-year period. Work was rumoured to be have carried out day and night — and only ceased when Sarah passed away in 1922.

Claire Lloyd

Claire is Editor in Chief of Homebuilding & Renovating website and magazine. She became Editor of Homebuilding & Renovating in 2016 and has been a member of the team for 15 years. An experienced homes journalist, her work has also appeared in titles such as Real Homes and Period Living.

She has a particular interest in green homes and sustainability, and interior design is a passion too; she has undertaken qualifications in this area. 

After finishing a major renovation of a period cottage, she is now onto her next project: overhauling a 1930s property in the Shropshire countryside.