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Move or improve? Creating space in our family home

Move or improve? Creating space in our family home

A couple of years ago we started to find our little home wasn’t enough for our family needs. We had an unusually designed loft conversion which left us with a staircase in the second biggest bedroom, leaving Tween the only option of a small box room.

There were so many niggles that we knew needed money throwing at to get the best from the space we could have. So we decided it was time to move, we’d outgrown our mid terrace and searched for something which ticked all our boxes; 3 bedroom, dining room, hallway. Nothing extravagant but these were our bonus requirements.

Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be though, after several promising views that hung in the buyers selling their house and being messed around by estate agents we admitted defeat and decided we’d improve on what we had. There were so many positives in our home, the parking, location, neighbours, view that we felt we could turn our quirky home into our perfect one and set about making plans.

It was during this time of planning and renovating that I began to write my first blog, Mummy Money Penny, documenting how we were transforming our home on a budget. I shared tips on how I sourced bargains, how I up cycled furniture and the woes of living through a renovation.

If I’m honest, it was truly awful! We had no kitchen for weeks and the mess and chaos slowly ground me down. But it all came good in the end and the finished result was amazing. Our move or improve decision paid off and we’d created a family home to be proud of.

We moved the silly staircase to the opposite side of the house, gaining an extra bedroom and making the loft conversion seem like it had always been part of the house instead of an add on. While Daz took on the project managing side as well as smaller building and carpentry jobs I got on with the paper work. We needed to make sure we had the right home insurance  in place for  converting our loft into a useable extra bedroom along with the major DIY work going on and check building regs, plans and legalities. Gone were the days of doing what you wanted, if we ever decided to try to sell again, we had to make sure everything was done properly.

Now it’s all complete, our teenage den is in full use and has proved its worth many a time, giving our eldest the space for sleepovers and a chill area for him and his mates. If I’m honest, I think we may have made it a little too perfect as he barely comes out, gracing us only with his presence to scavenge for food and to check the wi-fi cable.

For anyone else who’s wondering whether to move or improve, I would recommend starting with your pros and cons sheet. It was the right decision for us, saving us money in the long run. We took the bare bones of what we had and made them into our little haven of perfection.

Home Etc


  1. 12th August 2015 / 9:25 pm

    Great post! This really interests me because we are currently having lots of conversations about whether to move or improve. We’d like to extend our mid-terrace and create extra space downstairs. The mess and chaos does put me off though, but maybe we could move out for a bit. Glad to see you have no regrets! I need to start that list of pros and cons soon! #HomeEtc

    • 13th August 2015 / 10:24 pm

      It was totally the right decision for us and we ended up with a house we were looking to buy without the hassle of moving albeit with the stress of a renovation.

  2. 12th August 2015 / 10:22 pm

    Living through a whole house renovation is testing – I know I’ve done it too. But I agree it’s worth it and you end up with a house that’s perfect for you – and much better than doing up a house just to sell 🙂 #homeetc

    • 13th August 2015 / 10:23 pm

      That’s so true, we did everything so that it would last and we wouldn’t have to do repairs or amendments for a while. nothing superficial like a patch up to sell job.

  3. 12th August 2015 / 11:46 pm

    Fantastic, I’m so glad to hear it worked out well and you made the right decision. Working out the pros and cons is such a sensible approach, we talk about even if we won the Lottery we wouldn’t leave this house as we absolutely love it and our neighbours are wonderful, we’d just move out temporarily to get all the work done we need. Love that space I can understand why he hangs out there X #HomeEtc

    • 13th August 2015 / 10:22 pm

      I’ve said a few times how much easier it would’ve been to move out and we did try it for a couple of weeks while it was being done but I just love my home too much so we came back. That’s amazing you live somewhere you love so much.

  4. 13th August 2015 / 7:30 pm

    We’ve improved a few homes now and it is stressful! But so is moving! You’re right about sitting down and weighing it all up. So important not to just rush into moving and see whether anything can be done with your current space. Thanks for linking up – much appreciated. Jess x


    • 13th August 2015 / 10:16 pm

      I think i totally underestimated just how stressful I’d find it! I even resorted to trying reflexology to help with the stress (it worked a treat!)

  5. 13th August 2015 / 8:57 pm

    So true isn’t it? These days with the cost of stamp duty alone — then fees (searches, solicitors, agents, surveys) — it really is worthwhile adding it all up and *sometimes* staying put. Renovating your current home is sometimes the cheapest — and best option. Well done you! Looks amazing 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up with #HomeEtc — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro |

    • 16th August 2015 / 11:08 pm

      Thanks Caro, I think we made the right decision, we’re still finishing off but as we’re not moving there’s no hurry and that way we do it properly

  6. 16th August 2015 / 8:29 am

    It’s not as fun or easy as you originally think it’s going to be is it! Good luck with the move.

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