NHS worker Alex Dodman, 36, has built himself a dream home that includes a gym in the back garden, a family-sized cinema space, and a trendy fold-down bed for his home office.
And he’s done it all by learning on the go, watching YouTube videos and reading building forums.
Alex bought the Saffron Walden home he shares with his partner and two young children in 2018 for £250,000 but has since been told his improvements have helped it soar in value to £525,000.
He first got into DIY when he bought his first home in 2014, fitting a kitchen and laying a patio.
But after purchasing his current house, his DIY instincts went into overdrive after watching a tradesman put up a stud wall – and he realised he could be doing it himself.
He said: “We had the house valued in 2020 and were told it was now worth £525,000, which I put down to the work I’ve done.
“It went from a run-down two-bed to a four-bedroom house with a nice big garden.
“I estimate I’ve saved about £75,000 in the last few years simply by not calling in tradesmen and attempting things myself.”
His most recent project was turning a little-used spare bedroom into a sleek and modern office – that could still be called into bedroom service if needed.
After having a brainwave to install a space-saving folding down bed, Alex was dismayed to find a professional carpenter would charge thousands – and would mean a substantial wait.
So, he rolled up his sleeves and got to work himself. He said: “Since I’ve been working from home I’ve wanted a home office, and I was thinking about doing it for ages before I found out how much it would cost to have someone in.
“In the end, just using pine boards from B&Q, the bed itself cost