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Adding an extra storey for just £59,000

Hard work and creativity have helped Will Rome convert his old bungalow into a two-storey home fit for modern living, all on an impressively small budget

When Will and Vanessa Rome bought a rundown 1930s bungalow back in 2010, on their return from working overseas, they had their hearts set on completing a major project. “We wanted somewhere in the west of the Isle of Wight with a unique feel but were limited by our budget,” explains Will.

The bungalow was situated on a heavily overgrown plot at the end of a long unmade lane. “It was almost untouched, although it had been underpinned in one corner,” says Will. “It was covered in pebble dash and had an illegal loft conversion. It was awful but it had land, which is rare, and there’s no light pollution here.”

A hands-on build

Despite the property’s poor condition, the couple lived in it for four years before they started out on their renovation. The goal was to transform the main house into a bright and welcoming three-bedroom, two-storey home that would ooze chalet chic.

Will, who is originally from the Isle of Wight, runs Alchemy Architects – so he was confident he could tackle anything the bungalow might throw at him. However, the couple’s tight budget meant that he would have to do much of the work himself.

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About Build It

Get your self-build or renovation project started with advice & inspiration from Build It magazine. Here's what to expect in the January issue: • How the Rogers built an Arts & Crafts-style modern home • The latest on smart home technology • Are woodburning stoves eco friendly? • Heating options for renovations • Avoiding grand designs disasters • Plot Watch: Did they get planning consent? ...and much more!