Planning for a home redesign, where to begin!?

Grant Wesgate
December 17, 2017
In 2004 I bought my first house, nothing flash just an end of terrace ex council house in South Wales, I was 24 and happy to get a mortgage and get on the ladder. Thirteen years later I’m still here only now I have a family and the house is in dire need of some redesign, decorating, reconfiguring etc.

Now I’ve had a million different ideas and have attempted to start half of them but I have never finished any of them! It’s getting to the point I could start my own series of unfinished home from hell!

The only way out for me is to come up with a plan! Now I don’t have a budget because I don’t know what can be achieved yet, I have big ideas for our little home but can’t put them into a plan or design let alone a reality.

Can anyone out there help? I suppose what I am looking for is an architect to work with me to get the design and layout down and even advise me if all this work is a good idea on a home like this!?

When we have a solid plan in place I can then get it costed and start organising a budget and get things underway. The “unfinished” nature of our home really does depress me, we never have people round, I don’t let the children have they’re friends stay. For 2018 I just want our little house to finally become a home we all love.

If there is anyone out there that thinks they can help, then please get in touch!

Comments (24)

  • Jonathan
    I think you need a really great builder or designer to manage everything and make sure that everything gets done. You can look at your local planning portal to find builders who are dealing mainly with house projects or use the professionals part of Houzz.
    You could also make some decisions in advance and if you have particular questions post them here.
  • Grant Wesgate
    Thanks Jonathan, I’ve tried locally. I couldn’t get a tiler to tile my bathroom, I tried four people. I advertised the job on another website but no response, now I’m looking for someone to start from the design onwards.
  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    Agree with Jonathan.............................

    Why don't you post a plan of the house...............let's all have a look at it, and then maybe a plan will jump out for you. You say you want an Architect, but maybe that's going a little far on a terrace.............who knows. How big is it? What do you want from it? A great concept planner is cheaper than an Architect, and I think better placed to serve up what you need. They will probably be more in tune with what you want and need.

    I think if you start with a plan, then maybe you can get a builder round, give you an estimate for everything and start from there?

    Clearly you do love the house and where it is otherwise you wouldn't still be there. Also, even if you wanted to move, it may be difficult if a lot needs doing as you started and didn't finish.

    I often find builders are easier come by if there's more to do, not less. I also think that the more that you ask for, the more you get for your money sometimes.

  • PRO
    We are concept planners - we work remotely - but I do have a contact just outside of Pontypool who might be able to help with the labour / plastering/ tiling etc click on my icon or name to get to my pro page and hit ‘contact me’ for more info
  • Emmanuelle
    What an exiting project! I agree with above, a tiler/builder would not like a small job as it’s not cost effective for them. I would start by making a list/ rough plan of what you absolutely want in your new design. After living so many years in your house, you must have an idea of what is missing, what works, what would be better if...
    My first port of call, especially if your budget is tight, is to post the plan of your house here on Houzz! I am sure some of the most creative members would come up with brilliant ideas- as they often do! Then you can see if if you require a planner/ architect according to the complexity...
    I can’t wait to see the progress!
  • Grant Wesgate
    That’s a great start thanks everyone, the bathroom is just an example of one half finished room, it needs a kitchen too, decorating, I’ve been looking expending out the back single story to open everything up. I’ve also been trying to buy the small plot of land of the council next to me with view of putting a double garage on it. There’s so much that needs doing and so much I think it would benefit from, just not on a George Clark budget.

    I’ll post some plans up later to give everyone an idea, I’m very computer savvy so any tips for software programs to put one together. I’ll get some photos as well and you’ll see why it makes me miserable.

    As for moving, as you said lots needs doing before I could contemplate selling and also getting a mortgage for a house in my surrounding area would be very difficult for me.
  • Grant Wesgate
    Here are some outside and downstairs photos I’ve just taken. I am always doing work to it in my spare time hence the building site look
  • Grant Wesgate
    And some more.
  • Grant Wesgate
    And a few more
  • Jonathan
    I agree with Hugh that it is easier to get someone to do everything than to recruit trades for lots of little jobs. I also think that no one likes the responsibility of finishing jobs that they haven’t started.
    If you do manage to buy the plot next door for a garage that will be great as without cars parked in front you will be able to see the house and have a nicer outlook from your lounge.
    Please post a plan and some ideas of what extra you need and perhaps we can come up with some ideas.
  • Jen P

    I personally would wait until you can (hopefully) buy that bit of land next to your house. I'd then get a local architect to come round to discuss possible options and costs. If you owned the land you could potentially extend to the side as well as adding a garage. In the meantime, if you've got time off over Christmas then get tiling!! A carpet fitter in the new year could combine carpets and a cheap kitchen floor, while you are deciding on your options.

  • Jonathan
    If you do buy the land investigate if you could put a house in it- this would be a great way of making money
  • Grant Wesgate
    I don’t want to extend to the side, the cost would significantly out weigh the return in conjunction with what already needs doing. I want to get rid of that concrete driveway in favour of the garage if the council will sell me the land....I’ve been trying since April.
  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    I think Jonathan has a great point.....................I know you'd like the Garage, but if you bought the land, you could possibly / potentially sell it on with planning permission for another house and make quite a bit!. However, if you want the garage, it's still a great idea.

    There are lots of programs that we all use...............I like, not sure what Jonathan uses, his plans are really good. As for the professional Concept planners, they almost certainly pay for programs they use. Anyhow, see what you think of Floorplanner, it's not that hard to get the hang of.

  • PRO
    BetterSpace: The Floor Plan Experts

    Hi Grant.

    If you post a plan of the house and a wish list we will be very happy to help with direction.

    Check out what we do by visiting, we help people put their dreams into a plan.

    Good luck, Avi

  • PRO
    Being totally honest - as I always aim to be ... having a software package doesn’t instantly make you a concept planner.... yes it’s fun for home owners to ‘have a go’ at planning their own project and I enjoy seeing some of the ideas that others who have downloaded software come up with on these sort of dilemmas for people, and some of the ideas that come out on these threads are great - but some are so way off the mark and not inline with building regs that I do worry that there will be comeback if people go ahead and use them. I can just see it now ‘but it said it on Houzz, so it must be ok’ - no, not necessarily!

    Don’t get me wrong , I have the greatest respect for the people who regularly offer their time and ideas on here - but please please please homeowners, don’t always assume that these ideas are finished and viable... They are ideas, suggestions, something to print off and to take with you for your meeting with your builder/ architect/ design and build contractor etc ie to discuss and take to the next level if they prove to be viable.

    Sorry if this comes across as grumpy - but I’ve just had to squeeze in an extra project, as an emergency, for a lady who’d followed some really dodgy advice from a family member who thought they could ‘be a designer’ - the building inspector disagreed - and it’s going to cost that poor lady lots of money to rectify it, and make her home safe again. I have your interests at heart Houzzers ! :-)
  • Najeebah
    Lots of good advice above, in addition to floorplanner, you can try roomstyler or even paint, or just good ol pen and paper. We don't need anything fancy, just a simple sketch worth dimensions shows what you're working with.
    It would also be helpful to know how many people in your family, your needs, wants, restrictions...
    of course, to get anywhere you'd do well to work with pros in your area, design and construction, but this can help give you initial ideas and feedback.
  • chloeloves
    Hi Grant. I’m curious as to why you haven’t completed any of the projects that you have started. Are you a keen DIYer who has taken on jobs that are too complex, are you unable to choose between the millions of products out there (if so I feel your pain!) or are you time poor? It looks like you have a vision for the bathroom, fitted furniture, large format tiles, neutral colours, you are so close! Regardless of whether you extend or not that bathroom just needs finishing. I would write up a list of all the tasks that need completion, by you where possible, and by other trades. This then gives a prospective tradesman a clear idea of how much work is required. I think once you have one room complete you will start to feel much more positive about the work ahead. Best of luck!
  • Grant Wesgate
    Sorry guys I’m in the French Alps for a few days, treating the children to some snow before Christmas, I’ll definitely get the plan made up when I get back.

    In answer to one question, I don’t know how it’s come to this, I have great intentions, make a valiant effort to get things moving and then end up pausing and that normally lasts months. I am a DIY person and can do most things but I’m usually held back by time. I had a boiler leak about this time last year which ruined the freshly plastered ceiling in the kitchen below which I was prepping for a refit, in January there was another leak this time being cause from water behind the tiles in the shower. I pulled off a few tiles in the shower and it was clear that it was a refit rather than repair so started doing that. Then the boiler and all piping was changed so all of the floor upstairs was lifted to accommodate that. It’s just one thing after another and now the whole lot feels like one impossible one man project.
  • PRO
    Up For Grabs Interiors

    Hi Grant, hope you had a nice Christmas time.

    I agree that home renovations could be frustrating and the hardest part in my opinion is to put together many different ideas into one coherent style.

    Have a look at our services at Up for Grabs Interiors, maybe we can help you create your ideal home. We offer a selection of styles focusing on surface areas.

    For example Style MP_S001 for your kitchen:

    Best of luck with your project!

    Kind regards,


  • Grant Wesgate
    Hi everyone, I’ve had some time today so I’ve put together a quick plan of the downstairs.
  • Grant Wesgate
    These are what I’ve done
  • Grant Wesgate
    Try again
  • Grant Wesgate
    Some 3D designs

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