Mom-of-three transformed ‘hoarder’s house’ with no experience

A mom-of-three and her partner transformed a ‘hoarder’s home’ and tripled its value despite having no DIY experience.

The savvy couple, Charlotte Fotheringham, 39 and her partner Michael Winder, 36, completed their home transformation in just one year.

They purchased the house to turn it into their family home and the property was originally infested with rats before the couple got to work.

Now, the house has a stunning modern, open-plan feel to it, and is totally unrecognizable.

The couple bought the 1950s three-bedroom house located in Stamford, Lincolnshire back in 2019 for £160,000.

Despite the house needing repairs from top to bottom, how little DIY experience the couple had and the fact Charlotte, had given birth to twins just two days before getting the keys, they were itching to get started.

But before the couple could even get started, they had to clear out the previous owners’ belongings that were left behind – which included bedding, washing up and even some McDonald’s.

Speaking to the Mirror, Charlotte said: “It was absolutely filthy, it had yellow walls stained with nicotine, it was the worst house I’d ever been in.”

It took seven months for the couple to make the place ‘liveable’ and prepared building work to take place in December 2019.

A rock couple left behind in the basement.
The home was originally infested with rats before the couple got to work.

Charlotte remembers they couldn’t even look in the garden as it was so overgrown with brambles.

Charlotte and Michael completely emptied the home, leaving just the brick walls as an empty frame to work with.

They ripped out the ceilings, added new electric, new plumbing and added a two-story extension to the side of the home and a single story on the back.

The front room of the couple's home.
The couple’s renovations tripled the value of the property.

The couple also got the garden landscaped and built a home office at the end of the garden, all with no DIY experience themselves.

The mom-of-three admitted the couple underestimated just how much they were getting themselves into when they bought the house.

Charlotte had three children under three at the time and confesses it was a challenge.

Fotheringham home
Charlotte and Michael completely emptied the home, leaving just the brick walls as an empty frame to work with.

The mom was on maternity leave while they were renting a tiny house, then the lockdown started while Michael was at work and working on the house all the time.

Charlotte chipped in too, going to the house to paint while the babies were asleep.

In total the couple spend £150,000 and a year of grafting on the house and were thrilled when it was recently valued at £435,000 – triple what they paid.

A front view of the home.
The house needed to be repaired from top to bottom.

Charlotte has documented their DIY journey on her Instagram account, Renovation Rat House, and recommended others to plan ahead and budget generously in case the price goes over.

She also said: “Get separate tradespeople in for each job (as it’s more expensive to have one company do everything) and don’t necessarily use the cheapest quote.

“Better trades will end up saving you money in the long run.”

A view of a bedroom.
The couple had no experience in flipping homes before they transformed their own.

Finally, she encouraged buyers to splurge on purchases like flooring and kitchen worktops so they last longer.

This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.