Daryl & Hannah’s Renovation


In a new regular blog feature Daryl, a website manager, and Hannah, a Director of a parenting advice company, will be sharing their experiences of their renovation and retrofit journey as they embark on the re-build and renovation of their 1950s bungalow to turn it into their dream family home with an improved energy rating.

When Hannah and I bought our 1950s bungalow through an auction, nearly three years ago, we had every intention of gutting and remodelling their house to turn it into a two storey (with a loft conversion) five bedroom dream family home. As we cycled through the seasons, and the years rolled by, that reality seemed a mile off. This was never more so than when we came to apply for our mortgage.

After a failed mortgage application attempt at a high street lender (who, it seems, does not lend for  deep renovation projects after all), we trawled through the various self-build and renovation mortgage lenders and began a process with another specialist in this area. Unfortunately we were not impressed by their speed or their service, so four weeks into the process and our window of opportunity to start, slowly slipping through our hands, we decided to go look elsewhere, again.

We found Ecology and within five minutes of an initial phone call I felt such relief. We were in a pretty desperate situation at this point and their friendly, reassuring approach to the process was so refreshing. It’s like they actually wanted to help us. Our advisor at Ecology was efficient, professional and a clear communicator. She was an absolute pleasure to deal with and managed our expectations perfectly but, crucially, showed a willingness and desire to help us get our mortgage offer. Going into a big renovation project can be a very stressful time and having peace of mind that your mortgage provider is on your side, is critical. Needless to say, the process from there followed suit and three weeks later we’re ready to start building works!

We’re now five days away from breaking ground. Our new home (a mobile home) is parked up on the front lawn and our sense of excitement for the project restored. We’ve been promising our kids their own room, a toilet that flushes properly, a cooker that works and a carpet that isn’t older than their Dad (I’m 33!) for three years and they are finally starting to believe us.

When we set out on this journey it was about building the dream home, through the last three years in a three bedroom bungalow (two adults, three kids and a labrador dog) we realised that actually, a home can be wherever you make it. It’s bought us closer as a family and helped us focus on the bits of a home that really matter. But at the same time, we can’t wait to have a little bit of comfort and luxury!

Artist's impression of Daryl and Hannah's completed renovation
Artist’s impression of Daryl and Hannah’s completed renovation

Published: 28 June 2017

Author: Laura Baines

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