Laura and David's Renovation Project


Laura who works in retail, and her husband David, a furniture restorer, live with their 4-year-old twins and beloved dogs Ernie and Minnie.


After 10 years in their 3-bed semi, Laura and David from Stoke on Trent decided to sell up and purchased number 9, a 1970s renovation project.

Having never been keen on new builds, Laura tells us “We really wanted to make the most of our money, so an older property with some renovation work was just what we were looking for.”

Laura and David had intended to live in their new home and renovate at the same time, however, with Covid, lockdown and other unexpected issues, Laura tells us “We really couldn’t keep our buyers waiting any longer and didn’t want to lose the sale on our house, so in May 2020 we put all our belongings into storage and moved in with David’s mum.” She goes on to explain moving in with family was a blessing in disguise, due to unforeseen issue further down the line.

After waiting nine months, the family finally got the keys to number 9, in July 2020. Hiring a huge skip, they cracked on with ripping things out, with the intention of tacking all the dirty work before they moved in. However, Laura tells us, “On day 3 David started ripping out the bathroom upstairs. He got to the toilet, which had been boxed in, and there they were, all the tell-tale tiny holes of woodworm. Being a furniture restorer David knew this straight away. Then we came to a horrible realisation…”


Laura continues, “The house had been empty for quite a few months prior to us completing and during this time we’d noticed the bathroom window upstairs was slightly ajar. The lock had broken but when we got the keys David managed to close it and seeing as windows were on our to do list it was no big deal.”

However, after noticing quite a few bugs in the windowsills around the house, they wondered whether there was a bigger problem at hand and not just previous woodworm damage. After calling out pest control, they confirmed Laura and David had a live infestation of woodworm. Laura tells us, “I was completely freaking out; I’ve seen the damage woodworm can do on renovation programs previously! We thought woodworm was a problem houses 100s of years old had, not one built in 1970!”

Thankfully the woodworm hadn’t got into any beams and the damage and infestation was limited to the upstairs bathroom and downstairs toilet, due to their love of damp areas. Laura explains, “We had both rooms, the hallway and landing fumigated by pest control and replaced both the upstairs bathroom and downstairs toilet floors as they were badly damaged. As an extra precaution and seeing as the house was empty, David also treated the rest of the house.”

Laura tells us how relived she was, “Thank goodness things had gone the way they did and we had moved in with David’s mum because it would have been horrific to move in with our children and have discovered this!”

With a big weight lifted off their shoulders and the woodworm infestation treated, this finally allowed Laura and David to really crack on with their home renovation.


Wanting to keep costs to a minimum, the Powell’s did as much work themselves as possible. Laura tells us, “David’s great and will have a go at most things, sometimes with the help of YouTube!” They did, however, leave the big tasks like electrics, plumbing and plastering to the professionals.

Ripping out the bathroom and downstairs toilet themselves, as well as replacing all the flooring, fitting skirting boards, and architraves saved the couple a lot of money! They had even planned to do all the tiling themselves too, however, time was creeping on, so they did hire someone to do this. However, Laura and David decided to take on all the painting and decorating.

Even though Laura was furloughed during lockdown, she was looking after their children during the day meaning her and David carried out a lot of the work at night once the children were in bed. 

At the end of July 2020, the pair had ripped out both the upstairs and downstairs toilet, but it wasn’t until the following March that they had their new toilets fitted. Leaving them with no toilet, and “a trusty bucket for emergencies” for 8 months! Laura says, “It felt amazing to finally get the toilet in upstairs!”

One of the last tasks Laura and David completed was switching the intended toilets around for the upstairs bathroom and downstairs toilet due to their depth and positioning of waste pipes. Laura explains, “It’s so lucky we had the two toilets else that could have been a headache.”

Laura and David purchased their whole bathroom and downstairs toilet suites from Plumbworld, choosing one of our Royan suites for their main bathroom and an Amelie suite and Park Lane units for their downstairs toilet, along with two chrome heated towel rails. Later down the line, they also purchased radiators for the rest of their home from us too.


When we asked Laura why they decided to purchase from us she told us, “I found Plumbworld by Googling L shape bath, then spotted the Royan package. I loved how the entire suite was packaged up together and included absolutely everything you needed, in one easy click. It was hassle-free and the price was great.”

The family finally moved into their newly renovated home in April 2021. Laura excitedly tells us, “I think we definitely achieved the look we wanted, a mix of both traditional and contemporary. We’re so happy with both finished bathrooms!”


Having taken on such a big home renovation, we asked Laura if she had any advice for anyone thinking of taking on a renovation of their own. “Definitely expect the unexpected. Prepare yourselves for at least a few bumps along the road. I think we certainly had way more than a few. Surveys - take them with a pinch of salt, the in depth one we had was a complete waste of time and money, because ironically it didn’t show up any of the major problems we encountered along away!”

Laura continues, “When people say, ‘it will be worth in the end’ it doesn’t feel it at the time, but we now have our beautiful forever family home and we feel very proud of everything we battled through to get it and every inch is exactly how we want it!”

When asked about what Laura calls "the famous budget" she explains “We had a decent chunk left over from the sale of our previous property, which we were hopeful was going to cover the majority of work that needed doing. That pretty quickly went out of the window, when we found out just how much was going on under the surface. We’ve definitely doubled our original budget and added a little more, but we’re comfortable with that as we’ve literally done everything possible!”

The Powell’s can be found on Instagram @thejourney_no9 sharing the progress of their beautiful 1970’s home renovation.

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