Renovation Tour - A Small Bungalow Is Extended To Create A Modern Home

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This week's renovation tour (@our_dream_at_no_15 on Instagram) is a huge inspiration for anyone wanting to completely transform a small property into a wonderful forever home. What was a tired 2 bedroom bungalow has been completely gutted and extended to create a stunning 4 bedroom home. 

One of the benefits of renovating a bungalow is that they are normally on generous plots which allow for large extensions. Steffi and her husband made the most of their original garden and added a huge rear extension which significantly increased the footprint of the property, whilst still being left with a large garden. The front has been sensitively renovated so that the home would not be overbearing on the existing street; a tasteful makeover and a loft conversion only can be seen from the street.  

There are so many features we love in this home, including the pitched roof in the kitchen and the wonderful exterior transformation...all of which have been styled to perfection. Thanks to Steffi for sharing her wonderful renovation journey with us.


Can you tell us about your home and renovation project?

My husband and I bought a 2 bedroom bungalow on our dream road (funnily enough the same road Lee my husband grew up on) in April 2016, 3 months before we were due to get married. It's located a less than 5 minute walk from the most gorgeous beach. 

We definitely weren't house hunting at the time but during a conversation in the gym with a friend who was an estate agent, she gave us the heads up it was on the market and we fell in love with it's potential after viewing it. I mean it was like stepping back into the 1960's as the bungalow was completely fitted out with the original decor still but the garden was huge and so we knew we could make a vast improvement should we be luckily enough to get planning granted. 

Our architect said to us to go 'big' on the planning permission application, that way if it was rejected we could always scale it back, but our first time plan and drawings were fully granted straight away to our amazement. 

We started the build in August 2016, days after returning from our honeymoon, and moved into the house in March 2017 semi complete. 

We were almost done on the interior ready to host Christmas 2017.  

After a rest for the majority of the start of 2018, garden landscaping works were completed late 2018/2019. 

A lot of work has been done this year to the exterior with the driveway almost complete, the resin bound paths and garden courtyard and now we are onto the next project of "The Lodge" in the garden, which we hope will be complete by Spring 2021. 

The front of the bungalow before

The beautiful bungalow after which includes a dormer loft conversion to the front of the house


Why did you choose to renovate a bungalow?

This was our 4th project. I met Lee just after he had finished his first project where he built himself his first apartment. We then bought our first home together a few years later and completely gutted it and then went on to build another in the garden. 

After that insight into building I think we always knew the next project would be of the renovation type. It wasn't necessarily a bungalow we were after, in fact we weren't even actively looking as were up to our eyeballs in wedding planning but due to the stamp duty changes due to take place we were keen to get it completed once we viewed it. 

We were worried about raising the roof height but once planning was granted there was no turning back. The garden size was the real catch for us as we knew we could go out the back quite a lot and still keep a decent size garden. 

The beautiful kitchen with the raised ceiling which gives the home such a wonderful sense of space


What was the biggest challenge of the project?

Eek, I think moving into it half complete was quite a challenge!!! We couldn't live in it throughout the whole build due to the roof having to come off to be raised. But once that was complete and it was weather tight we moved in where luckily our bedroom and ensuite were complete, we had a temporary living room in the front bedroom and a temporary kitchen set up in the now bathroom which was just an empty shell. Lee made the temporary kitchen using some scaffold boards as my worktop, we bought a second hand cooker and used the sink in the utility. It was testing times. 

Also luckily Lee is in the trade as a plumbing and heating engineer and he's incredibly handy - there isn't much he can't turn his hand to. However, the endless hours grafting in evenings after a full day at work and full weekends of job after job took their toll. It was a double edged sword as we saved thousands on labour but also there was very little time as a couple away from the build. It's not for the faint hearted but also now looking back, it was so so worth it. 

This photo shows the original bungalow and the footprint of the large extension. The bungalow could take a large rear extension due to the size of the garden.

The rear of the property after - it is so beautiful


Where in your home do you love the most now?

Oh that is a tough one, the kitchen diner is the space I spend most of my time in, especially now I work from home so much due to COVID. I also LOVE to cook and bake so the kitchen really is the soul of the house. Although I do love going upstairs in the evening to the living room, we get perfect sun sets out of the apex living room window in the summer right over the ocean. 

And then there is the bathroom. I love going in here and because we have an ensuite I don't go into the bathroom very often at all, sometimes for weeks at a time, so when I treat myself to a bath/spa night I really do feel like I am in a hotel.

This bathroom is perfect in every way - so striking


What would be your biggest piece of advice for anyone about to start out?

I remember telling family and friends throughout our build how tough/stressful it was and they would always say, "It will be worth it when it's done"! That I can 110% agree with. I think you get such a different home to any other when you pour your heart and soul into a renovation. There are so many decisions we made together, choices we selected from various options and the product we are left with is our dream and vision in real life. 

Take your time with decisions, I don't regret any of ours but I think I would have maybe taken a bit more time with some, looked at other options should I have my time again. 

Have a clear vision, get a Pinterest board saved and start sourcing items early on so that you don't feel under pressure when tradesmen are asking for answers.  

It's not for the fainthearted, but I promise you it will be so worth it. 

The kitchen looking up to the staircase leading to the lounge


Would you do it all again?

I mean we have finally built and have our dream home, with only a very few things left on the 'to do' list. We feel so incredibly lucky to be living in this home, in the perfect location and wouldn't change anything about it. 

Would we do it again....absolutely but maybe as a side line and further down the line although I don't think we are in any rush!!!

The lounge with the apex window


If you are thinking about a renovation project in the near future and need some help finding an architect or designer, we can match you with the most suitable ones for your project.

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Published: September 28, 2020


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