Woman who transformed spare room into bathroom with £2,500 shares how she did it

Leah Holden and her boyfriend Glenn, both 28, took on a huge challenge when they bought their first property in May last year.

However, unfortunately the Huddersfield home had previously been owned by an elderly woman who hadn’t been able to look after after it, meaning that many of the rooms needed some TLC to return to their former glory.

The couple began their DIY project by taking on a run-down spare room that, when they moved in, had a brown-ish floor and wallpaper coming off the walls.

Now the small space is unrecognisable, having been transformed into a gorgeous bathroom that has left others in awe.

Leah has shared before and after photos of her project on Facebook in the DIY On A Budget UK group, where it has since racked up over 9,200 likes, with people saying it is ‘beautiful’.

The house originally came with a different bathroom, which was next to the main bedroom, but Leah and Glenn decided to get rid of it because it was ‘in a really awkward place’.

So for three months, while they created their new bathroom, the pair had to shower at the gym.

‘A 90-year-old women lived here before we bought the property,’ Leah tells us.

‘When we moved in there was a bathroom in the house, but it was put in a really awkward place between two of the bedrooms, and didn’t have an external wall or a window, or even a toilet – it was just a sink and a bath.

‘The bath took us hours to fill and drain, so we decided to take it down and make our bedroom bigger instead – but it meant that we went three months without a shower.

‘We had a kitchen sink and a toilet, but for three months we used the gym to have showers, before getting on with our now finished project.

‘The entire room took us six months to complete; it was a gradual process, because we wanted to do it as cheap as possible.

‘My boyfriend and I did most of the work ourselves, apart from the pipe fittings – we had plumbers come in for that – and my dad helped us a lot too, teaching us to do tiling and the wood panelling.

‘All in all, it took about six months from completely ripping it out.

‘The whole thing cost just over £2,500, including the fittings, the shower, toilet, sink and towel rack, which was about £1,000. We got these on sale and used cashback offers to get the cheapest possible deal we could find.

‘We found the bath, which people comment on the most, on eBay for £80, then primed it and painted it pink. We’d seen a similar one online for £1,000.

‘Because the seller was local, they also dropped it off for us at no extra charge.

‘We got the wood for the panelling free; someone else who had done panelling had it left over, so we just cut it to size.

‘We had to buy a bit extra, but it only cost around £20 to £30. We also bought beading that we stuck on.’

Leah and Glenn paid professionals to do the floor, which along with the plumbing and getting rid of the toilet was the biggest expense.

‘It was quite stressful because we’ve never done anything like this before,’ she adds.

‘This is our first project, so we’ve had a lot of calls to my dad, asking him for advice and Googling. It was hard, but worth it – because you know you’re going get something how you want it done. It’s rewarding.’

While the entire transformation is pretty remarkable, the pièce de résistance is the pink bathtub.

Leah and Glenn’s bathroom budget broken down

Shower, toilet, sink, tower rail: £1,000

The bath: £80

Panelling: £20-£30

Tiles: £250

Professional help (plumbing and flooring): £1,000

Aqua boarding behind shower, paint and materials for finishing touches: £200

Leah says: ‘I’m really happy with the response we’ve had from people and it’s great to see that it has inspired people to get on and do their own bathrooms.

‘We made the whole bathroom around the pink bath (I’m glad my boyfriend was happy to let me have the pink shade!) and a lot of people have commented on where we got it from.’

Next up, the couple will be finishing the upstairs bedrooms, before taking on the basement and turning it into a kitchen.

Leah says: ‘We’ve got our spare bedroom to do, as well as our own bedroom – we want to get upstairs done first.

‘Next year, we will be turning our basement into a haberdashery-style kitchen with old-fashioned wooden shop counters, but we want to source all it ourselves.

‘I found a similar kitchen online and it was between £30,000 to £40,000, which we just can’t afford to pay.’

Fancy staying up-to-date on what Leah and Glenn get up to next with their house?

The couple are documenting their journey on their Instagram page, calling it Project 187.

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