A talented couple have managed to transform a derelict office building into a beautiful and inviting home, adding £142,000 to the property’s value, all while expecting their second child.
Home transition from a dark office to a family home
Holly Grocott and her partner Mike, both 33, paid £245,000 for their Cheshire home in March 2020 and it’s safe to say they’ve got some work up their sleeves with the place.
Having sat empty for 18 months prior to that date, the property, which was built in the 1930s, had already been used as an office block for a local housing development and was “not in good condition”. .
There is a garden to fight in, and a small one with no floor anywhere.
However, the couple saw a lot of potential in their new home, which comes with two double bedrooms, one large bathroom, a ground floor bedroom, a living room, and a dining room. Plenty of space for a young family to make it their own.
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With a vision, Holly and Mike began working on a complete renovation to turn the property into a happy family home, all while Holly was pregnant with their second child, Emmeline.
To keep costs down, the couple – who are also parents to three-year-old Ellis – were able to complete much of the work themselves.
Professional electrician Mike worked 12 hours on the first lock, rewiring and re-plumbing the whole house while social media creative Holly turned her attention to budgeting, interior design, ordering equipment , and design.
They worked together as a team when it came to fitting out the kitchen and utility room, which they fitted themselves when Holly was eight months pregnant.
While they were getting their house up to livable condition, Holly, Mike and Ellis stayed with the family, before going in to finish their decorating project together.
At this point, they have at least one working bathroom, but it will be another six months until the kitchen is lined up, the ones downstairs still in need of renovation.
Holly described the hardest part of the project as “being pregnant with a two-year-old daughter while renovating in the winter”.
Things were especially difficult in January 2021 because the outside door was left open, meaning the house was “freezing cold”. By this time, Holly was already five months pregnant, with a baby to follow.
Holly said: “I shower in the bath and cook every meal in the microwave in the living room because we don’t have a kitchen. As it was locked, we had nowhere to go and we couldn’t get help from relatives. It’s truly a labor of love and we’ve put our blood, sweat, and tears into it – not to mention all our money. “
The building remains completely unrecognizable after a new floor, new furniture, furnishings and a custom kitchen that transforms the property into a home.
Despite these changes, the character of the house has been carefully preserved, with some original features remaining. This includes the fireplace in the living room, stained glass front door, living room tiles, banisters, bay windows, interior doors, skirting boards, and picture rails.
The couple spent £45,000 on the renovation, which took 18 months from start to finish. It is a credit to their hard work that the value of the property has now risen to £387,000.
Holly says: “My favorite room was the first one we completed – the master bathroom. I love how the wall tiles work well with the marble and wood detailing of the laundry room, along with the antique brass hardware. I think this room epitomizes the overall look we want to achieve. We are very happy with the finished look [of the house] because it is exactly what we envisioned – a mix of traditional design with modern elements. “
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