Mum saves £97,000 by building an extra bedroom in house for teenage sons – learning from YouTube videos


The rooms before and after
Mum-of-two Emma did the project herself (Picture: Jam Press)

When Emma Green was quoted £100,000 for an extension for her home – she decided to take things into her own hands.

The mum-of-two, from Cheshire, wanted to give her sons – 16-year-old Jake and 13-year-old James – their own separate rooms.

But instead of adding to the house, Emma made use of the space that was already there.

Needing a cheap and fast solution, the 50-year-old decided to get creative and split her master bedroom into two.

James and Jake's old shared room
The room the boys used to share (Picture: Jam Press)
Floor plan of the project
The floorpan before (Picture: Jam Press)
Floor plan of the project
The floorpan after (Picture: Jam Press)

Once this room was divided, each of her boys could have one bedroom each – while she could move into their old shared room.

‘My boys are of an age where they needed their own bedrooms – lockdown only emphasised the need for their own space,’ Emma tells Jam Press.

‘My mum was a big DIY-er and I have inherited the passion. I took my sketch to the wood merchants who were incredibly helpful and told me how much and type of wood I needed.’

James and Jake
James and Jake (Picture: Jam Press)
During the renovation
During the project (Picture: Jam Press)
The room being split in two with a stud wall
The room being split in two with a stud wall (Picture: Jam Press)

Impressively, Emma did most of the hard work herself – solely using YouTube and B&Q video tutorials, which explained how to build a stud wall. 

She did call on a few tradesmen to help with a few odd jobs, too.

Emma adds that the only disaster was when she cut down a wall with her jigsaw to make a banister and a new landing – without realising there was a cable routed around the previous door frame.

She adds: ‘As the lights were flickering realised I there was a problem, and I sent out a distress call to my electrician cycling friend who was able to save the cable and re-route it under the floor and up the wall.’

The mum-of-two managed to complete the project within six weeks, by working on evenings and weekends.

One of the boy's bedrooms after
One of the new bedrooms (Picture: Jam Press)
One of the boy's bedrooms after
One of the new bedrooms (Picture: Jam Press)
Emma's new bedroom
Emma’s new bedroom (Picture: Jam Press)

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It’s safe to say the family are thrilled with the results – and have saved £97,000 in the process.

Emma adds: ‘I’ve saved thousands – I was getting eyewatering quotes from builders with limited availability.

‘There are lots of resources out there both online and in-person, so [I’d advise] don’t be afraid to ask for advice.

‘Wood merchants and hardware stores are filled with staff who are super experienced and helpful – they were always taken aback when I said what I was doing, and one laughed until I showed him the before and after pictures. 

‘Give it a go, you’d be amazed what you can achieve. However, I would say always seek professional help for skilled jobs such as electrics and plumbing as you could end up with a disaster on your hands.’

Cost breakdown for the project:

Building materials (wood plasterboard, insulation, interior doors) – £500.28

DIY materials (Painting, plaster, filler, paint, rolls of brick wallpaper, rollers, banister etc.) – £705.04

Two roller blinds – £39.30

Plasterer – £250

Electrician – £100

Joiner – £150

Carpets for boys rooms – £300

Plumber (replace one radiator with two under each window) – £300.00

Designer stair carpet – £500.00

Total: £2,844.62

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