The best friends have given a run-down house a massive makeover using the DIY skills they learned during lockdown.
The self-taught dynamic duo have saved thousands of pounds by watching YouTube videos.
Cullen and Ola, who met while studying at Lincoln University, saved a fortune by spending around £4,400 on their new kitchen, compared to an average cost of around £15,000 in the UK.
The buddies who worked in creative advertising made the decision in 2019 to buy the dilapidated house.
As reported in Daily Mirror, once the sale was over they began their massive refurbishment – which collided with the first Covid lockdown in March 2020 – during which they were both furloughed.
The best friends, who share their project on TikTok @bricks.and.disorder, took advantage of their extra free time and threw themselves into the project, taking on almost every aspect of the renovation on their own.
“We were furloughed for 4 months, and during that time we started learning how to do DIY because we had no choice,” they joked.
Today, they’ve remodeled about 80% of the house, but it’s in the kitchen that they believe they’ve made one of their biggest savings.
“One of the first things we did was to focus on the humidity issue.”
They added that most people would call in experts to fix moisture problems, which can be very expensive. Cullen and Ola took a different approach.
“We watched many videos on YouTube, called the moisture experts and got more information on what they were planning to do. Then we used that information to do the waterproofing ourselves. “, they said.
“We also found that the ground was completely rotten with dry rot and wet rot – it was a bad day.”
The pair used wooden joists instead of concrete to solve the problem, as it was a much cheaper option.
After fixing the issues with the floor, Cullen and Ola also realized that part of the ceiling was missing from a “botched job” a few years earlier – and it nearly had disastrous consequences.
“When you live with people while you renovate, sometimes accidents can happen.
“For example, our friend walked into the room above the kitchen when there was no floor – but there was a rug. Luckily he didn’t fall, we still don’t know How? ‘Or’ What.
With the structural issues fixed, the couple saved £1,300 on kitchen cabinets – which they ditched in favor of shelving instead.
Another budget choice the pair made was on kitchen tiles — or lack thereof. Instead of tiling the kitchen walls, the pair used washable paint which was a much cheaper option.
As for the appliances they used to outfit the room, the couple said they took a ‘thrifty’ approach – buying an ‘almost new’ fridge from Gumtree for £100.
The pair admit there were some things they couldn’t skimp on, such as an extractor fan, sink (£223) and tap (£120).
They also had to use their fingernails to open (IKEA’s) kitchen drawers for weeks while they decided which handles they wanted to buy – which totaled £100.
Since the couple plastered the walls of the house, Cullen and his girlfriend Beth (who also helps with DIY) have been living there while Ola lived with her mother in London.
While they agree it’s possible to live in a house while it’s being renovated, they said: “It’s definitely not an experience we would wish on anyone.
“Inconsistent electricity, dusty air, damp plaster, sometimes running water but sometimes not – it was difficult,” they said.
The pals said the main thing they learned was not to try to renovate the whole house at once – which didn’t leave them much room to live.
Their advice to anyone looking to take on their own home DIY project is to do your research before you get to work.
They said: “We spent hours researching YouTube, making calls and double-checking with every family friend we could reach.
“Be prepared to make mistakes, because we definitely have. Be sure to protect yourself – financially with relief funds and physically with masks, steel-toed boots, helmets and goggles.
“It helps to invest in good tools.”
Although the couple have taken on a huge amount of work themselves, they want people to ask for help if they need it.
“Sometimes it’s okay to pay to do a job and not do it yourself if it saves you stress.”
For more stories where you live, visit InYourArea.