If you’re looking to undertake an unconventional renovation project, or to incorporate some unusual ideas into your plans, look no further. All of these renovators have found ingenious ways to improve their homes — often with a limited budget.

Ranging from a renovated water tower to a Georgian apartment renovated on a strict schedule, these projects all highlight the possibilities that are presented when breathing new life into a tired and dated older property.

1. New England-Inspired Renovation

New England Style Renovation

Few renovations could be more dramatic than this one. Luckily Paul and Gemma Sinclair, owners of this New England style renovation project on the south coast, could see beyond its origins as a 1930s Spanish-style property. They now own a spacious open plan family home that’s far more in tune with its coastal setting.

  • Project: Renovation of 1930s chalet
  • Location: Bournemouth

2. 1930s Bar Reinstated in Listed Farmhouse

basement bar

As part of this renovation, Tiffany and Andrew Boldt reinstated a 1930s disused bar they’d found upside down in a corner of the cellar. They then added budget-friendly astro turf floor, which can handle damp floors and spilt drinks. The bar was originally restored by a previous owner, an actor known for his roles in Alfred Hitchcock films.

  • Project: Renovation of a listed farmhouse
  • Location: Hampshire

3. Industrial Feel for Water Tower Renovation

water tower

This four-storey water tower had already been converted by the previous owners but was damp and in a bad state of repair, with a dated 1970s bathroom and rotten timber windows. The new owners, Sheryl and Andrew Wilson, carried out a full renovation that remains sympathetic to its industrial roots. The second floor (above) features new arched steel-frame windows and original floorboards that have been sanded back.

  • Project:  Renovation of a Victorian water tower
  • Location: Hampshire

4. Timber Shack Renovated on a Budget

customised kitchen

This project was all about finding creative ways to renovate on a budget, such as customising off-the-shelf items. For example, renovators Oliver and Julia Jackson used Ikea carcasses in the kitchen, with Douglas fir plywood and yellow-sprayed MDF doors to give the space a bespoke look.

  • Project: Budget renovation of a timber shack in Kent
  • Location: Kent

5. Listed Pest House Saved from Collapse

renovated pest hous

Few renovators would take on a derelict listed 18th century house that was in danger of collapse. But Jam Koramshai and his wife did, working with a team of specialists to make the property secure before sympathetically restoring it. 

  • Project: Renovation of 18th century listed Pest House (a house for people with infectious diseases)
  • Location: West Sussex

6. Renovation of Georgian Apartment in Six Weeks

restored Georgian flat

After viewing more than 50 similar properties, Dawn Rogers and partner Sam Khomsi found the perfect project — it was in poor condition, but had 4m-high ceilings, original cornicing and stunning sea views. Individual features, such as 3.8m-high doors from a French chateau found in a salvage yard, now grace the property, which was renovated in just six weeks.

  • Project: Renovation of first floor Georgian flat
  • Location: St Leonards on Sea

7. Light Touch for Mid-Century Gem

1960s renovation

Retaining as much of the original as possible was the thinking behind the renovation of this 1960s home in Wiltshire, which had become largely uninhabitable. The new owners, Sandra Copping and her family, worked to retain many of the original built-in features and the extensive use of timber and brick. At the same time, they managed to bring the property up to modern standards of energy efficiency and insulation.

  • Project: Renovation of architect-designed home
  • Location: Wiltshire

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