25 Extreme Home Renos
Love it, list it, fix it, sell it? Whether you’re buying a fixer upper or you’ve been in your home for years, chances are you’ve dreamed of remodeling or renovating at least one part of your house or another. From kitchen cabinets and bathroom fixtures to updating the master bedroom or expanding the laundry room, renovations of any kind can get expensive fairly quickly as you diligently work to guarantee the construction is up to code while keeping a close eye on the budget and ensuring it’s exactly what you want.
Although the majority of both new and old homeowners are keen on sticking to their renovation budgets even if it means compromising on something they truly want, there are a few people in the world who are willing to spend anything to see their renovation dreams come true! Why choose between granite countertops and a Jacuzzi tub or an indoor pool and a home theater when you can afford to have it all?
Are you looking for some inspiration for your next home renovation project? From turning your first floor into an airplane simulator or transforming a cave into your home sweet home, we’ve found it all in these unconventional and uniquely beautiful 25 extreme home renos that are certain to leave you speechless and inspired!
#25 – Dance to the Music (Before)
Turn up the music! Who hasn’t enjoyed a little karaoke, an impromptu jam session or even a dance party at home with their friends? While most of us use our smartphones, tablets or computers to stream music, there are a select few music lovers who have exclusive access to their own private music studios where loud music isn’t met by calls from unhappy neighbors! One musician in particular—known as robbiearebest on Imgur—decided to take matters into his own hands when he started construction on a private studio in his basement.
Far from easy due to construction issues and financial problems, the project took three years to complete but he pushed forward until he saw his music dreams come true. To save money, robbiearebest cleared out a section of his basement on his own and then hired contractors to hang stud walls in order to lay the foundation for soundproofing the room. Next, the entry door was hung as Roxul insulation was blown into both the walls and ceiling to complete the fire and soundproofing process.
#25 – Dance to the Music (After)
Hanging up a few more layers of plywood to ensure the framing was entirely soundproof, robbiearebest was getting closer to wrapping up the three-year project as he completed the tray ceiling with extra sound protection. Adding a few coats of primer and paint, he even installed a second door and trimmed out the floor before wiring in custom lights and syncing them with the sound system so that they changed colors with the music and set the mood for the entire studio. How’s that for your own private music venue?
Almost finished, robbiearebest moved in his drum set, amps and the rest of his sound equipment before giving everything a final test run to ensure it was in perfect working condition—lights and all! Happy with the results and earning a huge pat on the back from his family for creating his own soundproof studio, it’s safe to say that robbiearebest’s renovation is one for the record books, no pun intended!
#24 – Cat Mansion (Before)
Meow! From pigs, ferrets and hamsters to goldfish, lizards, turtles, dogs and cats, there’s certainly no shortage of love for pets around the world but just how far does that love actually go? Do you love your pet so much that you would be willing to completely rebuild your home to accommodate his or her every need or whim? If you think that sounds crazy, then you’re up for a real treat when you take a look at the interior of the home pictured here!
Trillium Enterprises co-founder Peter Cohen had his fair share of family pets growing up but, when he purchased this home in Goleta, California in 1988, he instantly fell in love with two cats that roamed the neighborhood. After one cat was injured and the other was killed in a car accident, Cohen decided to make a huge change in his lifestyle in order to offer his future pets the utmost in comfort and safety. Needless to say, he might have taken his promise to the extreme.
#24 – Cat Mansion (After)
With his California home already spacious at 1,600 square feet, Cohen added another floor that brought the total even higher to an impressive 3,000 square feet. But, instead of simply adding a guest suite and a home office as many of his friends imagined, Cohen designed his second floor as a jungle gym for cats complete with a ventilated litter room and sky lights. Throughout the brightly painted and expansive upstairs, Cohen added catwalks, stairways and lounge areas from floor to ceiling for his cats to enjoy.
So just how many cats are living the life of luxury in Cohen’s California home? With a total of 14 cats (and counting), Cohen’s house is more like a cat-themed zoo with the main enclosure resembling a mansion compared to the doghouses and cat towers so many other domesticated animals call home. As for the price tag, Cohen dished out $50,000 in 1995 on the walkways alone before spending another small fortune on a koi pond for the cats to enjoy as well as a high-tech sound system that pumps calming music throughout the second floor. Now those are some super chill cats!
#23 – Cabin in the Woods (Before)
“Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam…” Have you ever wanted to get away from it all and settle down in a little cabin in the woods—a home on the range, so to speak? Reddit user oldblue had the same desire and finally did something about it when he looked at his unfinished basement and decided it was time for a change! Purchasing wood and metal from a local shipping company, oldblue set out to create his rustic cabin in the woods within the comforts of his home sweet home.
With his materials delivered, oldblue cut each piece of wood by hand, stained them and then nailed the planks to the walls to resemble the interior of a real Montana-like cabin in the woods. Adding in a fireplace (with a fake fire, of course), he then cut smaller pieces of wood for the floors before finishing out the ceiling with plywood pieces and artificial wood beams to complete his rustic man cave. By then, it was time to decorate—western style—and he didn’t disappoint!
#23 – Cabin in the Woods (After)
Doing the construction himself, oldblue only spent money on the materials making this an incredibly affordable weekend project that cost him $107. That’s right! Oldblue barely broke a Benjamin Franklin to transform his unused white-walled basement into his own little private getaway complete with a faux fireplace, vaulted ceiling and hardwood floors! When it came to the decorations, he got even more creative and turned the project into a scavenger hunt starting in his very own attic where old jars, a wash basin and kerosene light started it all.
Hanging the deer head over the mantle with shotguns on either side as well as other framed art and old license plates, oldblue rummaged through local antique stores and flea markets to find the rest of his furnishings including vintage coke bottles and canister sets, a rocking chair and a rustic wood table. With the once barren space completely filled, oldblue had an incredible man cave and an escape from the hustle and bustle of his busy life all without breaking the bank!
#22 – Pool Room (Before)
“Keep calm and play pool!” Although billiards is one of the most popular recreational games in the world, it’s not always easy to play since the majority of people don’t have room for a pool table in their homes and going out to a pool hall usually means a night filled with stale cigarette smoke, loud music, overpriced drinks and sloppy drunks. That’s exactly what led an Imgur user known as fendel to create a pool hall of his own without having to use any room in his own house! So how did he do it?
Instead of transforming his basement or the guest room into his own billiards hall, fendel was inspired to renovate the stone farmhouse behind his home that was built in the late 1800s. Upon inspection, he discovered that much of the wood was rotted from decades of exposure to the elements with the stone house itself offering very little in the form of insulation from the cold. By then, even the front door had frozen completely shut.
#22 – Pool Room (After)
Opting to keep the old door for nostalgia and adding a new door for practicality, fendel cleared out years of junk stored in the farmhouse in what proved to be the bulk of the work and the most time-consuming part of the entire project. Afterward, he repaired the walls, demolished the floor and replaced the rotting wood with new pieces before hiring contractors to replace the roof. At that point, the farmhouse had been completed gutted in a project that started small and grew exponentially.
With the new roof adding insulation that wasn’t previously there, fendel was thrilled with the newly renovated farmhouse that provided plenty of space to hang out with his friends and shoot some pool all year round. Adding in a mini refrigerator as well as recliners, a few couches and tables, the farmhouse that had once been filled with junk went from creepy to cool with a few months of tender, love and care, not to mention a little creativity and a lot of hard work!
#21 – Under the Sea (Before)
“Here fishy, fishy!” Because water is incredibly calming, a lot of people opt to bring a little more tranquility into their lives by adding aquariums to their homes. No, we aren’t just talking about a goldfish bowl or a beta fish tank. While most people don’t go to the same extremes as billionaires like Bill Gates have been known to do with gigantic aquariums that take up entire floors, one man living across the pond in England didn’t give a second thought to the size of his home when it came time to build the massive fish tank he’d always wanted.
Let us introduce you to Martin Lakin of Rochester, Kent, England. Believe it or not, Lakin envisioned placing a 1,320-gallon aquarium right in the middle of his own home and refused to let even the harshest critics and naysayers stop him. A far cry from the average 10 to 20-gallon aquariums most people own and measuring about 1/10 of the standard 21-foot pool, Lakin’s aquarium came at a high price after threatening the safety of his family and home.
#21 – Under the Sea (After)
According to the architect and contractors, Lakin was told that putting the aquarium in the middle of his home would ruin the support structure and possibly destroy the entire house. Lakin, however, didn’t care and ignored the architect’s suggestions leaving his wife Kay and son to look on in fear as he embarked on an aquatic journey to transform his home into a museum. Despite pleading with her husband that their existing tank was large enough and that she didn’t want to be forced to move again, not even Kay’s pleas could stop Lakin from moving forward.
Spending $65,000 on the tank itself, Lakin’s aquarium is so massive that his son can easily swim around inside it (although we certainly hope he doesn’t!). When all was said and done, Lakin added exotic fish, plants, pumps, lighting and other equipment to bring the total cost of the project to $200,000. Besides spending a small fortune to get it set up as well as the constant worry over whether or not his house will collapse, Lakin’s new in-home aquarium sets him back over $5,000 each year just to maintain.
#20 – Drained (Before)
Just call it the “Money Pit!” Buying an old house can bring a lot of problems that newer construction doesn’t have; however, when it comes to character and charm, it’s hard to pass up on an older house you can’t help but love. Reddit user ahowe17 experienced a similar problem when he found this beautiful home in a quiet neighborhood within walking distance from his office and many other local eateries and venues. The only problem was that the house was built in the 1920s and the drainage system was certainly not up to par.
Refusing to give up on his dream home, ahowe17 set out on a project to transform his new house into an even bigger one with a little redecorating and a lot of digging. At first glance, he knew that the property’s drainage was almost entirely dependent on the slope of the backyard but not even that was enough to fix the problem. Digging a French drain and fitting pipes to redirect the water flow, ahowe17 had no other choice but to demolish the deck at the back of the house to make room for the renovation.
#20 – Drained (After)
With the deck completely removed, ahowe17 began by plotting out his drainage system before digging the trench, fitting the pipes and spreading out nearly 40 feet of gravel to reroute the water across his property. Once finished, he added a top layer of decorative stones, landscape edging and hardwood mulch to create a more attractive aesthetic appeal. But, he didn’t stop there! Thanks to the deck demolition, ahowe17 had even more room for landscaping and set his sights on creating his very own Zen garden.
After spending the majority of his energy on digging the drain himself, ahowe17 hired someone to build the replacement deck as well as a bridge in order to connect one side of the yard to the stone steps leading to the garden. With everything installed, stained and in place, he then put the finishing touches on the entire project by planting a Japanese red-leaf maple and adding potted plants along the edges. Needless to say, ahowe17 put a lot of sweat equity into the project but it was certainly worth it as even his dog seems to enjoy the new backyard!
#19 – All Aboard (Before)
All Aboard the Crazy Train! Proving the sky is the limit when it comes to renovations, next on our list is a train station and train that were transformed into a home. First opening for business in 1882 as the Old Station in Allerston, North Yorkshire, the station ran full steam ahead until June 1950 when the last passenger train was officially abandoned. However, that wasn’t the end of the line for the station as Carol and Mark Benson discovered the property over 40 years later when Carol told her husband, “I want to buy it. It’s very sad and rundown.”
Initially shocked by his wife’s outlandish idea, Mark felt that there was no possible way to convert the station into lodging but Carol had other plans—she wanted to transform the train into a house. Knowing that “a happy wife means a happy life,” Mark came around to the idea in 1996 when the railway station was renovated to accommodate dozens of guests that still visit the property today. As for the train itself, the renovations were nothing short of amazing!
#19 – All Aboard (After)
Converting the train’s compartments into first class hotel rooms, each compartment was renovated to include its own lounge, kitchen, bathroom and multiple bedrooms. The Bensons even ensured that elements of train travel were included in the remodel as seen in the lounge area’s oversized armrests that reflect the luxury of early train travel. Designing the kitchens to have a more modern look to appeal to a variety of guests, the Bensons were also able to convert a heating system to protect the train from the elements.
Inviting their guests to stay in the train cottages just a few compartments down from their own living quarters, the Bensons proved even the local naysayers wrong when they debuted the station and their dream after years of hard work and renovations. Today, after two decades and constant upkeep, the Old Station is not only the Benson’s home, it’s also a popular destination for tourists and is a huge hit among local students who travel to Allerston for a sneak peek inside the history of train travel.
#18 – Wet room (Before)
Don’t forget to flush! Did you know that one of the biggest ways to increase the value of your house is by renovating your bathroom? While it seems easy enough (what’s a few bathroom tiles and fixtures, anyway?), bathroom renovations can actually be the trickiest since there are dozens of issues with the plumbing that can go wrong in the blink of an eye or with the twist of a wrench. However, when things work out smoothly, it can mean a huge increase in your home’s worth, which is exactly what we see here in this bathroom to wet room renovation!
With no chance of turning back after taking a sledgehammer to the floor, the homeowners launched into the project by tearing out the old bathroom flooring, stripping the walls and removing the fixtures in order to make room to completely start over. After removing the tiles and plaster, they knocked down a couple of interior walls to improve the overall orientation of the bathroom—after all, how random is the placement of that toilet? Then, they cleared out the rest of the room as they prepared to rebuild!
#18 – Wet room (After)
Once everything was removed, the rebuilding process finally began and started with the plumbing as the owner made a very good point when he said, “Years of poop have gone down [those pipes].” Nothing like a little toilet humor to add to the mix! With the new plumbing finally in place and up to code, the walls were then hung and finished with slate tile just as an underfloor heating system was installed for additional comfort. That’s right—say “Goodbye!” to those cold tile floors in the frigid winter months!
After 12 months of renovations and a small fortune (to say the least), the newly renovated wet room was finally complete with a walk-in glass shower, modern fixtures, a natural stone floor and an illuminated mirror that tremendously added to the home’s overall value. Thankfully, the awkward, dull and drab bathroom is long gone after being replaced by a luxurious home spa in what is one of the most successful and beautiful renovation projects on our entire list. Don’t you agree?
#17 – Local Bar (Before)
Whisky neat or on the rocks? While it’s always a wonderful convenience when you get along with your neighbors, it honestly doesn’t happen very often as homeowners seem to be in perpetual arguments with the people next door over everything from garbage pick-up to lawn care and annoying pets. However, that’s certainly not the case in the charming England town of WIllenhall where you’ll find a new local bar that popped up with only four bar stools and plenty of beer, wine and liquor to choose from.
As luck would have it, Kelvin and Samantha Mayes became quick friends with their neighbors, Robert and Helen Sheldon, shortly after they moved in to their Willenhall home. Frequently hanging out together and enjoying cocktails and beers over casual conversation, they soon grew tired of spending the evenings at the local bar or at one another’s houses and were desperate for change. Together, they hatched a plan to build a bar big enough for the four of them offering the convenience of home not to mention much cheaper drinks!
#17 – Local Bar (After)
In what Kelvin Mayes refers to as “a lightbulb moment,” the group planned to build a shed to connect their two homes and started by buying spare and used shed parts online. Constructing the frame out of wood and metal with a tin roof and two tiny windows, they then decorated the interior like an Australian pub and christened it the Outback Inn. With plenty of beer mugs, a long table and padded seats, the Outback Inn is one of the most extreme renovations on the list and just might be the cheapest with a price tag of just over $100.
Impressed by their creativity and success, Mayes said that the Outback Inn “is far beyond anything we imagined it would be.” Proudly showing it off to friends who were stunned that the new bar cost so little, Mayes says they were able to cut down the costs because they did everything themselves and shopped only the best deals for refurbished building materials. What makes it even more attractive than its price tag is that there are only two rules at the Outback Inn: be friendly with the neighbors and bring your own beer.
#16 – Shed to House (Before)
Demolish that eyesore already! Have you ever seen an older house on the market with a shed that looks absolutely horrendous? It happens quite often as homeowners typically choose one of two options—to either tear the shed down or use it as storage for decades of junk like holiday decorations and old bicycles. However, Imgur user LuigiComparini had other ideas for the ugly shed sitting at the edge of the family garden. After years of hearing complaints about the eyesore, he and his father tore down the shed and cut down the tree that had rested against the neighbor’s fence for decades.
After clearing out a variety of tools from the shed, removing the excess lumber and then cutting up the tree for firewood, the concrete foundation proved to be a bigger job than Luigi could manage himself so he hired a crew to remove the pad. Once it was removed, he and his family were thrilled by the extra room in the garden and happily used the clean palette to design their new summer house destined for the back of the lawn.
#16 – Shed to House (After)
What Luigi and his family came up with is nothing short of incredible! Knowing they had to keep the house small to avoid overpowering the long and narrow space, Luigi and his family hired a crew to lay the foundation of the home to ensure it was the size of a single car garage. Then, he and his father oversaw construction beginning with the delivery of custom wood and roofing materials to start framing. Before long, the windows and French doors were installed as landscapers laid the last brick in the patio.
A huge improvement over the former shed, the new home offers plenty of natural light and a gorgeous view of the garden all within a short walk from the main home. Luigi and his dad even managed to maximize the space by adding a tiny garage next to the house to store the lawnmower and other necessary gardening tools. Of course, while it’s nothing like a beach getaway, this quaint summer cottage definitely brings a new meaning to the idea of a “stay-cation!”
#15 – New Backyard (Before)
Taking it from drab to fab! A YouTube user named Cluelessfather recently diagnosed with cancer decided that he was tired of looking at his boring backyard and being reminded of a desert rather than a nice place to relax. Needing something to do while undergoing cancer treatment, he discovered that carpentry took his mind off his health and put his new hobby to use in designing a new backyard for his daughters to remember him by. Referring to the project as his legacy, he put his heart and soul into a breathtaking design.
With little other than cement and dead grass (which is fairly common in the western United States), Cluelessfather had a clean slate to begin his project and immediately hired a tree service to cut down an overgrown tree blocking the side of the house. Afterward, he hired a landscape crew to get rid of the weeds and the bushes as he began laying out the plans for what he wanted the yard to look like for his girls.
#15 – New Backyard (After)
Transforming the raised concrete flowerbeds into a unique walkway covered by a pergola and climbing vines that his daughters could aimlessly wander through on sunny days, he hid the concrete exterior with dozens of wood balusters before lining the base with miniature shrubs. Next, he added dark mulch and hired a crew to build a raised deck topped with a pergola as well as a giant treehouse. Once the treehouse was finished with its last shingle nailed in place, Cluelessfather added a personal touch to make the project even more special.
Adding sheer pink curtains to the treehouse, Cluelessfather didn’t stop there as he brought in a trampoline, hung lantern lights, built a sandbox and installed a chalkboard to ensure his girls (and their friends) never got bored in their new backyard. And, while the project itself was a massive undertaking that left him completely exhausted especially after months of cancer treatment, it was totally worth it to see the look on his daughters’ faces when they saw the completed project for the very first time!
#14 – Amen (Before)
Holy or haunted—you decide! When you think of abandoned churches built in the 18th century, it might be a toss-up as to what comes to mind first—holy or haunted? Of course, when you discover that a cemetery is right behind the abandoned church, all bets lean toward “haunted.” This was exactly the case in Kyloe, Northumberland of the United Kingdom when the St. Nicholas Church was built in 1792 as a remodeled replica of a church from the 12th century.
Closing its doors in the 1980s, the St. Nicholas Church was purchased in 2002 by a private investor who had every intention of transforming the massive church into a home. Doing exactly that with the property nestled on one acre of land with a garden and a cemetery, the owner eventually decided to sell and placed the church on the market for $1.3 million. With many locals having only seen the church in the 1980s, they were surprised to see its incredible price tag and were even more astounded to see its stunning interior!
#14 – Amen (After)
Gutting the majority of the church’s interior, the owner kept the wooden staircase, upper balcony and a few of the stained glass windows before adding five bedrooms, two kitchens, a living room and two bathrooms to the extravagant space. He refinished the existing pine wood floors and added a heating element underneath as well as six radiators to combat the church’s breezy interior. He then replaced the pews with couches, chairs and a coffee table in addition to placing a miniature pew along the wall as a tribute to the church’s history.
Offering more than enough space for a growing family and plenty of guests, the area where the altar once sat was repurposed as the master bedroom and the choir loft was transformed into a dining room adjacent to one of the most impressive studio apartments we’ve ever seen. While the living room offers very little privacy thanks to the balcony above, the acoustics are impeccable for those late night dance parties not to mention the dozens of windows that offer plenty of natural light and open the space even more.
#13 – Goodbye Pool (Before)
Grab your swimsuit and towel, it’s pool time! While most people dream of hitting the jackpot so they can live large and purchase a mansion with an indoor pool and spa, one Imgur user and his wife decided that having an indoor pool wasn’t exactly their dream come true. Purchasing the house in 2008, the couple desperately needed more room and decided that the 18,000-gallon pool not only took up too much space in their downstairs, but it was also breaking the bank after costing $250 each month just to heat. Yikes!
Since the couple rarely used the pool themselves, it was an easy decision as they ignored their family and friend’s pleas and chose to get rid of the pool in order to completely renovate their downstairs. So, other than breaking the tragic news to their friends, what was first on the project list? Before anything else could be done, the first trick was draining the pool into the treatment system to avoid dumping 18,000 gallons of chlorinated water into the nearby river.
#13 – Goodbye Pool (After)
With the water completely drained, contractors built stud walls along the pool’s interior from the shallow end to the deep end to ensure it could support the wood floor and the weight above it. Then, building from the ground up, the tiled pool walls were replaced with sheetrock and light hardwood flooring was installed. Adding a prefabricated grid ceiling while keeping the existing columns and supporting beams, the skeleton of the basement was finished with only a few coats of paint and decorations needed to complete the newly renovated space.
Although the elevated floor initially looked out of place, the aesthetic was fixed when the designer and contractor suggested removing the wall to create a more open floorplan. Doing exactly that, the couple had track and mounted lighting installed before whitewashing the walls and bringing in decorations such as a potted plant and a few vintage furniture pieces. As luck would have it, the remodel cost the couple less than it would to maintain the pool for an entire year, which sounds like a huge win even if they disappointed their family and friends by no longer hosting the annual pool party!
#12 – Welcome to Springfield (Before)
“Don’t have a cow man!” A staple of pop culture for over 25 years, The Simpsons debuted in 1989 and introduced us to some of the most iconic cartoon characters in history—Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson living in the fictional town of Springfield. Because of the show’s incredible success as an animated series, the Simpson home has become one of the most recognizable settings on television and is exactly what inspired Canadian couple Joe Hamilton and Marcia Andreychuk of Calgary when it came time to remodel their kitchen.
Admitting that he had seen every episode of The Simpsons even though his wife wasn’t a huge fan, Hamilton said it was Andreychuk who came up with the idea to renovate the room to mirror his favorite show. So, the couple set out on their “retro-vation” to deconstruct their kitchen and transform it “Homer-style” into the setting of what is now known as the longest-running American scripted primetime television series in history. Now that’s a dedicated fan!
#12 – Welcome to Springfield (After)
No detail was spared as Hamilton and Andreychuk began their journey of transforming their kitchen complete with corncob curtains that required Andreychuk to get behind the sewing machine and make them herself since she couldn’t find any sold in stores. The floor was retiled to match the oversized yellow and blue squares with the cupboards refinished from their former brown to red, purple and blue with bright blue knobs. Painting the stove lime green and refinishing the countertops in light blue, the renovations were surprisingly cheap and set the couple back around $2,300.
With their original kitchen layout already similar to the Simpson’s, the couple had very little to move in terms of appliances and fixtures, which left the majority of the renovations to include the flooring and paint. As for the appliances themselves, they shopped at local flea markets, garage sales and antique stores to find the right models before refinishing them in the appropriately bold and cartoonish colors. And, if this kitchen isn’t enough, look online for the house in Henderson, Nevada just outside of Las Vegas that has been completely remodeled to resemble the entire Simpsons home. Looks like they’ve got this Canadian couple beat!
#11 – Storage War (Before)
Stuff, stuff and more stuff! Storage units are all the rage because, let’s face it, most people have too much stuff! But, one man in a Washington, D.C. suburb decided to do something a little different with his 350 square foot storage unit. First built in 1890 and featuring brick walls and an exposed wood ceiling, the unit was originally only good for storing odds and ends before the owner put in a little elbow grease, time and effort to make it into a beautiful home.
Located in LeDroint Park where vibrant culture and exquisite architecture fill the neighborhood, the owner purchased the unit fairly cheap and, because of that, was able to invest another $50,000 into the project. Doing the work entirely himself, every penny went toward materials and gave him the opportunity to pick out exactly what he wanted from floor to ceiling. So, just what will $50,000 and a storage unit get you? Wait until you see this stunning makeover!
#11 – Storage War (After)
Since it was only used as a storage unit, the first major obstacle the owner faced was installing proper plumbing to ensure the space was livable. He then replaced the garage-style door with a house door by framing in the remaining space before shifting his focus to redesigning the exterior to make it feel more welcoming. With the outside complete, he cleaned the brick walls, refinished the ceiling, added windows for light and installed cabinets for extra storage in the already tiny quarters.
Building a second floor loft to maximize the space, add an element of privacy and create a two-level apartment, the owner laid light hardwood floors, finished out the bathroom with exquisite fixtures and moved in modern furniture for the final touch. Now reaping the benefits of big city living much cheaper than his neighbors, the owner has a unique home that will likely become a great investment a few years down the road if he chooses to rent it to others looking for a fresh start in the capital city.
#10 – Office Space (Before)
From storage units to garages! Imgur user jareddimartine had a single car garage at the front of his home but wasn’t actually using it for anything other than storage. Sound familiar? Instead of continuing to waste the space, he wanted something that was more practical and believed a home office was just the ticket. Sketching out his idea and making a list of materials, he immediately got to work and started by removing a portion of the brick wall to create a new doorway.
Completely abandoning the idea of ever having a garage again, jareddimartine removed the existing garage door, framed in the walls and added a set of windows before sealing off the rest of the space. Now with a breathtaking view of the front yard, he also gained some much needed natural light in the otherwise closed-off room. So what was next on his list? Making it look and feel like an actual office rather than an unfinished garage!
#10 – Office Space (After)
Showing his true genius and adding to the overall value of the home with the renovation, jareddimartine framed the exterior of the window to match the rest of the house before pouring a concrete patio just outside the new French doors. He then turned his attention inside where he gutted the interior and better insulated the walls for working long hours during the winter. Next up, he added recessed lighting and a few more wall outlets, repainted the ceiling and installed breathtaking hardwood floors.
Finishing the project with a few coats of paint and even adding an accent wall, jareddimartine proved that even the most wasted space in his home could become something practical and exquisite. What’s even better is that the money he now saves during his short commute from the kitchen or the bedroom to the office more than makes up for the few thousand dollars he spent on the renovation itself. Bye, bye gas money!
#9 – Mario Nursery (Before)
What happens when an avid video gamer becomes a new dad? The Super Mario Bros. franchise is one of the most (if not the most) successful video game franchises in history thanks to dozens of sequels and spin-offs. Among these, the Mario Kart series just might be the most famous with Reddit user troymcklure among some of the game’s biggest fans. After learning he would have a son, the video game tester set out to convince his wife to let him design the nursery and boy, did he knock it out of the park!
Inspired to design the room like one of the tracks from Mario Kart 8, troymcklure went above and beyond framed art, patterned wallpaper, Mario-themed bed linens and bright curtains. Instead, he put his creativity into overdrive and transformed the room into a life size mural featuring 3D elements to ensure anyone—young or small—who entered the room felt as though they were completely immersed in the game. What a lucky kid!
#9 – Mario Nursery (After)
Clearing the room of the existing furniture and linens, the gamer set out to recreate the track from Peach’s Castle that features characters like Yoshi, Bowser and Luigi all gunning for first place. Of course, it’s only fitting that he placed Mario in front as the track winds out the door and back into the nursery. So where did he find the model of Mario and the 3D coins hanging over the road in front of the mustached racer? He made them entirely by hand! See? We told you his creativity was over the top!
Installing LED lights on the Kart to entertain his newborn on those long sleepless nights, troymcklure truly thought of it all and added fake grass to accent the Mario Kart track as it traveled up the wall, upside down, across the ceiling and out the door. Needless to say, even if his son doesn’t turn out to love video games, he’s certain to hold a special place in his heart for his childhood bedroom filled with the magic of Mario and the thrill of the race!
#8 – Little House on the Prairie (Before)
Do you remember the Canadian couple who renovated their kitchen to resemble The Simpsons? Well, the next couple on our list also decided to show their loyalty to their favorite television series except, instead of an animated show, they chose Little House on the Prairie. Let us introduce you to Peter Szwaigier and his fiancé Alicja Druzkowska. Before getting married, the couple decided to blend their families together by purchasing a newly remodeled home that had originally been built in the 1930s. However, it didn’t completely measure up to their standards of style.
Rather than continuing the tradition of modernity throughout their entire home, they chose to “get back to the basics” by turning back the clock and redesigning a portion of their home to look like a log cabin. Spending $1,600 on wooden logs, the couple split them in half and cut them to fit the interior of their living room to give a rustic feel to their newly purchased home in Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire in the United Kingdom.
#8 – Little House on the Prairie (After)
Thrilled with the results, the couple says that the rest of the house is still modern while the living room has become their getaway. “It’s our own little world and we are very pleased. Our friends who come to see it are impressed with the room, but so far nobody has asked me to do one like It for them.” To add to the rustic décor and to show their children a different way of Prairie-style living, they also placed a wood burner in the room and added a piano and drum set for entertainment rather than a television or video game console.
According to the homeowners, the value of the home has increased tremendously since part of the room now overlooks their beautiful garden. And, while we think it’s a wonderful idea to add a little getaway in your home, there’s definitely a much more affordable and less drastic way to take a little break from the hustle and bustle of modern life than by completely transforming your living room into a log cabin! Then again, whatever floats your boat!
#7 – Theatrical (Before)
Lights! Camera! Action! Just as people dream of having an indoor pool to enjoy year-round in the comfort of their own home, another frequent desire people talk about is having their own private movie theater. Sure, going to the movies is a lot of fun but, between tickets and popcorn, drinks and candy, a trip to the theater can be incredibly expensive. On top of that, the floors are usually sticky, people are noisy and the chairs smell funny. Do we need to say more?
One Reddit user decided to bring his vision to life in more ways than one. Purchasing the house of his dreams even though it didn’t have the home theater he always wanted, the IT guru decided to make the best of it and used his knowledge of building and repairing computers to renovate his basement and make it into his own private movie theater. The results…well, grab the popcorn and dim the lights because they’re certain to leave you star struck!
#7 – Theatrical (After)
Spending a year and a half on the project, the basement was already finished when he moved in but, because it had never been used, it lacked a lot of heart and character. Cleaning out the space was hardly any work with only a few scraps of carpeting, a couple of discarded couches and a few shelving units to remove. Once the space was cleared, he then converted the utility closet into a media unit that would house all the cables for the theater.
Adding insulation, hanging sheetrock and creating a tray ceiling with sound enhancements, the project slowly came together as recessed lights were installed, the walls and molding were finished and the carpeting was laid. He then brought in a projector and a wide viewing screen before wrapping up the project with a row of recliners complete with cup holders! Not only are tickets free, there’s no chance of sharing an armrest with a stranger or fighting to see around the people in front of you in this luxurious basement theater!
#6 – Taking Out the Trash (Before)
Pack your bags and get going! One of the biggest nightmares any landlord has is being forced to evict someone only to discover that they’ve destroyed the property and left a huge mess! Imgur user larson235 actually lived through this nightmare when he rented an apartment to a nice couple who later defaulted on their payments for six months. Trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, he allowed them to stay while they secretly destroyed the place before leaving in the middle of the night.
Garbage was strewn everywhere with food wrappers, drink cans and other junk scattered across the floor and filling the shelves. However, instead of simply cleaning up the space and calling it a loss, larson235 took the opportunity to renovate the apartment before leasing it to someone else. So what happens when a former trash heap gets a makeover? The results are incredible and quickly make you forget that there was ever any trash in the first place! Don’t believe us? See for yourselves!
#6 – Taking Out the Trash (After)
Taking on the project himself and removing all of the garbage, larson235 stripped the broken tile in each room, sanded the floor and vacuumed up any remaining debris left behind by the previous tenants. Shifting his focus upward, he scraped off the popcorn ceiling and sanded down the sheetrock to create a smooth finish. He then replaced all of the cabinets throughout the apartment, added molding and repainted to give the space a clean and modern look in order to attract new tenants.
Adding new tile to the kitchen as well as new appliances, larson235 may have suffered a huge loss when the previous tenants destroyed the apartment, but he managed to turn a setback into a profitable opportunity. Now complete and ready for the next tenants, the apartment not only looks like an entirely new place, it also brings an increase in rent that is certain to make up for the remodeling expenses. Just one last piece of advice: make sure you clean up after yourself because no one likes taking out someone else’s trash!
#5 – Up in the Air (Before)
Up, up and away! The aviation industry is filled with professionals who are incredibly passionate about all things flight related and, thankfully so! Out of all these enthusiasts, however, perhaps no one is as obsessed with aviation as much as broadcast engineer Steve Everson from Lancashire, England. Although he doesn’t work in the industry directly, that didn’t stop Everson and his wife Vicky from wanting to transform the first floor of their home into an exact replica of a cockpit and cabin of a Boeing 737.
Since they rarely used the terrace on the first floor of their England home, the Eversons upped the ante and set aside $50,000 to turn the entire floor not only into a cabin and cockpit but a flight simulator as well. With money obviously no object, Everson didn’t think twice when he paid extra to have the simulator built in another town and then moved to his home in Lancashire. Much more than just basic shipping logistics, this meant the entire simulator had to be designed and built, taken apart piece by piece, shipped and then rebuilt.
#5 – Up in the Air (After)
Getting the majority of the parts he needed from international auctions, scrap yards and, of course, the internet, Everson spent over four years working on the project to ensure everything from the sky tunnel and cockpit to the simulator and the hatch taken from a retired Boeing jet was absolutely perfect. To add to its realism, he even built the new flight deck around an already existing bathroom that his wife agreed they could keep intact and remodel.
Still enjoying their renovation today and giving an entirely new meaning to the word “private” plane, the Eversons are constantly bombarded by friends and family who ask if they can come over for birthday parties or even sit in the cockpit for a few pictures and a simulation ride. Thrilled with his new addition, Everson says, “Everyone thinks we’re a bit eccentric, but you have to do what makes you happy.” He even admitted that having an airplane simulator was a must-have for him but it’s “not everyone’s dream.”
#4 – Outhouse (Before)
Number one, number two! When it comes to places to live, a public restroom most likely ranks at the very bottom of the list unless you’re David Greaney. Throughout Surrey, England, there are a number of former public restrooms that are currently being restored. And, while most people thought an upgrade to the facilities was a wonderful idea, Greaney had an entirely different plan! Continuing to pursue his dream, Greaney carefully explained his vision to transform the restrooms into duplexes. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
When Greaney first bought the public restroom, he discovered piles of used needles, drugs and widespread asbestos taking over the facility. Although it wasn’t the ideal situation for a living space at the time, he pushed forward with his plans as residents in the area pushed back arguing that the excessive traffic from construction crews would disrupt the already quiet neighborhood. That’s precisely when Greaney dug in his heels and asked, “Would you rather have traffic around your house or a restroom filled with used needles and drugs?”
#4 – Outhouse (After)
Keeping his promise to create a beautiful space, Greaney delivered an astonishing finished project that you would never be able to guess was once home to dirty public restrooms. Adding a second floor for bedrooms and dividing the unit in half using the wall separating the men’s and women’s restrooms, the house has plenty of natural light as well as Amtico wood flooring and modern appliances in the downstairs kitchens. As a matter of fact, one neighbor was so impressed with the results that he jokingly said the converted homes should be called “Number One and Number Two.”
Managing to stay on budget throughout the entire project without sacrificing quality as you can see from the picture, Greaney’s bathroom renovation shocked even the biggest critics in the neighborhood when they saw the “For Sale” sign go up with an asking price of $380,000 for each unit! That’s right! Grab your wallets because this version of small scale living must be pretty upscale for this quaint neighborhood just across the pond in Surrey, England!
#3 – Cashing In (Before)
What was the first job you ever had? Did you deliver pizza, wait tables or bag groceries? Whatever the case, it most likely wasn’t something that takes you fondly down memory lane for a visit much less to move in and live there. Right? Tell that to Cathy Calhoun who shocked her family and friends when she purchased the actual building where she worked as a teenager. After hearing that the National Bank of Spring City was closing, Calhoun did the unthinkable and purchased the 5,200 square-foot building for $52,000.
Once the property was in her name, everyone kept asking Calhoun “What are you going to do with a bank?” but she already had a plan in mind. Rather than feeding her entrepreneurial spirit and opening a new bank, she joined the realm of fixer-uppers and decided to completely remodel the entire building to make it into a home. First things first, however, she had to find a new home for the teller booths, cash counters and paperwork as well as a purpose for the oversized vaults before the renovations could even begin!
#3 – Cashing In (After)
Hiring a crew to remove the safety deposit boxes, tables, benches and other equipment from the vaults, Calhoun carefully planned the layout of her home and managed to keep a few of the existing bank’s features like the vault, stairwell, balcony balusters and entry façade as a tribute to its rich history. “I tried to preserve as much of the bank as possible when converting it into a house, but I knew I had to make it livable,” the former teller said.
So what exactly did she do with the vaults? Knowing that it was practically impossible to remove them without demolishing part of the existing structure, Calhoun decided to repurpose the two vaults built in the 1870s. She made one into her own private sauna and transformed the other into a bar for her guests! Still living in her Pennsylvania home today, Calhoun says, “I feel like a queen in this bank, it just makes me feel good and I’m very secure.”
#2 – Cave Exploration (Before)
Creepy crawlers, bats and echoes…oh my! While most people tend to stay as far away from caves as possible to avoid living among bats and bugs of course, cave explorers make a habit of discovering and traversing some of the most obscure caves in the world. But, they usually don’t go so far as to actually live in them. That is until Alexis Lamoureux and Lotte van Riel did the unthinkable and purchased a cave in Loire Valley, France at an auction after struggling for years to find steady work and a house they could afford.
As you might imagine, caves are just as unpopular in France as they are anywhere else in the world, so the couple came in with the only bid and called it theirs for just $1. And, while many thought the joke was on the couple who would undoubtedly have to fork over thousands of dollars to make the space livable, the two set out to create a gorgeous home beyond what anyone could imagine!
#2 – Cave Exploration (After)
With no massive structural work needed (it is a cave, after all!), the main expense Lamoureux and van Riel faced was making the interior into a livable area. Applying for loans at over 10 different banks and constantly being denied, luck was finally on Lamoureux’s side when he was given a $28,000 loan. Proving to be just enough to cover the initial stages of the project, the pair spent the next year completing most of the work themselves and installed plumbing, electricity and sewage to bring their $1 cave to life.
Adding doors and windows to bring in natural light to the already dark space and finishing out the walls in light colors for even greater illumination, the total price of the renovations was around $45,000—a real steal compared to the prices of other homes in France! So, are you curious as to how it feels to live in a cave? You can see what all the fuss is about for yourself as the couple frequently lists their unique home on Airbnb for around $100 per night, bats not included!
#1 – Disney Princess (Before)
Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Princess Jasmine, Ariel…and the list goes on! Little girls grow up watching fairytales that fuel their princess dreams of living in beautiful castles and finding their Prince Charming. However, few girls actually have bedrooms to match their grand fairytale dreams. That’s when Reddit user and video game designer radamshome decided to take his daughter’s request to have a fairy tree inside her room seriously. He immediately got to work, sketched the design and had a 3D replica printed to show his daughter before construction began.
After getting his daughter’s wide-eyed approval, he called the local fire department to ensure the project wouldn’t become a fire hazard for his family and, with their go-ahead, he immediately got to work. Doing everything himself, he began by repainting the walls a bright green and refinished the floors in hardwood before starting construction on the tree itself. Nearly 350 hours later, the DIY one-man fairy tree project was finally complete!
#1 – Disney Princess (After)
Working nights and weekends for a few months in addition to his regular job as a designer, radamshome’s finished project transformed his daughter’s bedroom from a dull and boring room into something straight from the pages of a Disney storyboard! What’s even more impressive is the fact that the entire project only set him back around $4,200 with the tree large enough for his daughter to climb inside to read her favorite books with her stuffed furry friends while enjoying the soft “grass” below! But that’s not all!
Radamshome took the design one step further and made the trunk large enough that his daughter could climb the branches to the top the tree where another sitting area awaits. He added a dimmer switch for optimal lighting to ensure his princess could see even at night from the highest branches of her fairy tree. Needless to say, this video game designer is one heck of a dad whose daughter is more than thrilled with the outcome! Heck, we want one too!