Meet someone who has helped double the value of your home in just four years – after watching YouTube DIY videos.
NHS worker Alex Dodman, 36, has built himself a dream home with a gym in the back garden, a family-sized cinema space, and a modern folding bed for his home office.
And he did it all by learning on the go, watching YouTube videos, and reading building forums.
Alex, along with his partner and two young children, bought Safran Walden’s home in 2018 for £ 250,000, but it has since been reported that the improvement has raised the price to 25 525,000.
He first joined DIY when he bought his first home in 2014, with a kitchen and a patio.
But after buying his current home, his DIY skills increased greatly when he saw a businessman putting up a stud wall – and he realized he could do it himself.
He said: “We had a house price in 2020 and we were told it was worth 25 525,000, which I put into my work.
“This rundown went from two beds to a nice large four-bedroom house with a garden.
“I estimate I’ve saved about £ 75,000 in the last few years just by calling merchants and trying things out myself.”
Roll up your sleeves
Her most recent project was transforming a slightly used spare bedroom into a sleek and modern office – which can also be called into the bedroom service if needed.
After a brainstorming session to install a space-saving folding down bed, Alex was upset to see that a professional carpenter would charge thousands of rupees – and that would mean a long wait.
So, he rolled up his sleeves and started working on his own. He said: “Ever since I’ve been working from home, I’ve wanted a home office, and I’ve been thinking about doing it for many years before I knew it was time to hire someone. How much will it cost?
“In the end, using only B&Q pine boards cost me about £ 250 on the bed – and then another £ 160 on the mattress.
But his favorite construction is what he calls a ‘Superbed’ – two king-sized beds attached to the master bedroom, with a large projector screen on the wall.
Alex believes this is perfect for family movie nights, and that when his children – five and two years old – leave to sleep with their parents, they spend the whole night under the sheets. Don’t spend time kicking others.
Her accomplishments have even earned her a follower on Instagram – where 122,000 people and counts can see her house in detail.
In the garden, Alex’s home gym is 6m x 6m, has plenty of equipment for a full workout and, at one point, even had his own sleeping bag.
He said: “I have now got rid of the gold and am planning to build one outside with a swimming pool – which is my current project.
“I saw a YouTube video of a woman in the Netherlands building her own pool in her garden, and as soon as I saw her I called out and hired a digger.
“I had never driven a digger before, so I dug this big pit and there was no way to go back.
“In general, the hardest thing to learn from a DIY perspective was plumbing – it’s quite annoying. If you do it wrong, you get drips and stuff.
“But it’s not as difficult as I thought it would be – it’s really like Water Lego.
“I wasn’t confident in DIY, but the best way to learn is to just let it go. I’ve made mistakes and things don’t always tell you how you think but letting it go is the best way.
“I’ve learned almost everything from YouTube, and there are a lot of builders’ forums online where you can get help on a lot of projects – if you’re having any problems, it’s possible that someone else has done it in the past. Written about online. “
Susie Spence, B&Q’s director of admissions, said after seeing Alex’s home changes: “We like to see the results of consumer home improvement projects more or less, and Alex is such a unique change. Moved forward to work with him on his Changemaker campaign.
“Making small changes to improve our living space can make a big difference and we encourage everyone to get stuck in their homes and see what they can do to make their homes and lives better.” can.”
Alex Dodman’s Top Five Tips for DIY Beginners
1- Don’t be afraid
The first step is always the hardest, just consider anything that might be scary – it’s much easier than you think.
2- Get professionals where needed.
When it comes to things like electronics or plumbing, which require signing and certification, you should always leave it to the experts.
3 – Measure twice, cut once.
I have learned this lesson myself a few times! The extra time spent on making sure everything is measured correctly will save you a lot of frustration – even though I still don’t always have it.
4 – Get the right tools.
A meter saw, a decent power drill with good drill bits, and a box of screws and raw plugs of various sizes will get you through most of your early DIY projects. I got my meter saw from B&Q for about £ 60 and I use it almost every day.
5 – Do not take too much at once.
It’s easy to get bored of a project and start something new – my advice is to take one thing at a time, and do it right. It’s something I don’t always have with anyone – my swimming pool is a perfect example!