Couple quoted £650 for new bathroom create jaw-dropping one themselves for £222 - Birmingham Live

2021-12-25 08:56:37 By : Mr. Wen Dan

Instead of paying builders £650 to renovate it, they did it themselves for £222.

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A DIY couple have transformed a damp loo from drab to fab for just £222, saving £100s.

Michelle Collett, 45, and Sean Smalley, 36, had a mouldy, damp loo.

Instead of paying builders £650 to renovate it, they did it themselves for £222.

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Michelle and Sean used materials from B&Q, B&M, Poundland, IKEA and Sainsbury’s.

Michelle, who lives in Durham, told money-saving community : "I have a huge interest in interior design and I work for B&Q designing kitchens and bathrooms.

"I also have a part-time wedding and events decor business, so I am very creative.

"While shopping for wallpaper last November online at I Love Wallpaper, I came across the Dalmatian print and fell in love so I bought one roll of it for £20 and knew exactly where it was going to go.

“We needed to renovate our downstairs loo.

"The whole room was damp, mouldy and stained despite trying to clean it and it leaked brown liquid.

“We had to keep the window open, use an air freshener and keep the door closed until we could do the work.

"I designed the toilet around the wallpaper.

"I got the basin free off Facebook Marketplace, the tap for £15 from IKEA and the accessories for £40 from B&M, Poundland, IKEA and Sainsbury’s.

"When we started to rip it out, there were huge holes in the walls, which needed to be filled quite deep.

“We had a load of leftover wood and MDF from previous tasks and old furniture, so my boyfriend decided to use it for boxing in and covering the high holes.

"The bottom half of the walls were in quite a bad condition and with it being a rental, we didn't want to spend a lot.

“So we decided to fill and sand the holes and add some beading to give it a panel look and painted it black.

“We were very worried about painting it black in case it made it look too small but it has worked very well.

"We used B&Q GoodHome Liberty Emulsion paint and the matching furniture paint for the wood. We spent £15 on the paint.

"The ceiling was in such a bad state that we got some PVC ceiling panelling from B&Q for £17 and used that.

"We then went looking for lino and came across one for £40 a roll so I then decided to add gold into the theme too.

“The plumbing cost £30 and the toilet cost £45.

"Once I started putting all the accessories into the room, it totally transformed it and made the room look bigger.

"We decided to put the toilet on an angle to give us more legroom and to be able to have a basin in as there wasn't one before.

"I absolutely love it and am so glad that I went with my idea.

“I posted it on social media and the feedback has been amazing. I am totally overwhelmed by all the likes and comments!”

Michelle is thrilled with the trendy new look of her toilet and says it would have cost £650 just for the labour if she had got builders in to do the work. Instead, she spent just £222 including all the materials by doing it herself with her partner.

"We are so happy with the outcome and that we did it ourselves because if we had to pay those costs, we would have had to wait until next year to do it,” she adds.

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“Now we have a lovely second toilet for when our family come for Christmas and Boxing Day.

"I would urge anyone with a small space not to be scared to go with a bold colour.

“The trick is to add mirrors for extra light and good lighting.

"I shop around for bargains and freebies all the time and collect things until I have enough to do a room up!”

Tom Church, co-founder of, comments: “Getting builders in is definitely the easy option, but it’s also the expensive option.

“Michelle and Sean have shown how much you can save by doing work yourself using budget materials from places such as B&Q, Poundland and IKEA.

“They even managed to get a free basin from Facebook Marketplace, keeping costs down even more.

“If you want to do the same, keep your eye on Facebook Marketplace and FreeCycle, where you can regularly pick up free items that would otherwise end up in landfill.”

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