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Mother-of-two transforms former church into a luxury family home complete with a gym and bar

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An artistic mum has transformed a former 19th-century church into a dream family home with luxurious additions of a cosy bar in the garage and a home gym – adding £380,000 to the property value in one year. 

Mother-of-two Emily Barratt, 37, from Rochdale, purchased the eight-bed house in Middleton, Greater Manchester, which was cluttered with the previous owners’ items, in January 2020 for £470,000.

Although it was in a bad state, Emily, who is a pottery artist, saw potential in the building and set about renovating the house, doing the majority of the labour herself, and documenting the process on her Facebook page, Our Big Renovation.

In total, she spent around £95,000 fixing up the historic home and a recent valuation indicated it is now worth an astounding £850,000 – £380,000 more than it was purchased for.

Emily, who lives in the property with her husband and daughter Minnie, seven, and son Rory, six, took time away from work to focus full-time on the renovation while home-schooling the children. 

Before and after: Mother-of-two Emily Barratt, 37, purchased a former church in Middleton, Greater Manchester,  for £470,000 and transformed it into a dream family home (Pictured: The master bedroom before the renovation)
The master bedroom now features bright cream, with a statement floral wallpaper behind the bed, and added a plush beige carpet and a stand-alone bathtub (Pictured: The master bedroom after the renovation)

Before and after: Mother-of-two Emily Barratt, 37, purchased a former church in Middleton, Greater Manchester, for £470,000 and transformed it into a dream family home. Right: The master bedroom now features bright cream, with a statement floral wallpaper behind the bed, and added a plush beige carpet and a stand-alone bathtub 

Before: The kitchen was the most expensive room in the house to renovate and was originally fitted with dark flooring, wooden cabinets and cream tiles
After: It was given a complete modern overhaul, with a cream stone floor and matching walls to brighten it up, additional windows added and chic slate cabinets with white countertops

Although it was in a bad state, with rooms cluttered with the previous owners’ stuff, Emily, who is a pottery artist, saw potential in the building. The kitchen was the most expensive room in the house to renovate and was originally fitted with dark flooring, wooden cabinets and cream tiles (left). After: It was given a complete modern overhaul, with a cream stone floor and matching walls to brighten it up, additional windows added and chic slate cabinets with white countertops (right)

The artsy mum lives in the property with her husband and daughter Minnie, seven, and son Rory, six, (pictured together) and did the majority of the labour herself, documenting the process on her Facebook page, Our Big Renovation

The artsy mum lives in the property with her husband and daughter Minnie, seven, and son Rory, six, (pictured together) and did the majority of the labour herself, documenting the process on her Facebook page, Our Big Renovation

‘We lived in a very small cottage built in 1710 prior to this, so I was keen to have lots of space,’ she said.

‘I saw so much potential with this big, beautiful building that had such a lovely history, and thought it would make the perfect family home.’

But transforming the crowded property into the spacious, open-plan home of her dreams would require extensive renovations. 

After repairing leaks in the roof and fitting around 35 new windows, it was time to focus on aesthetic choices to make the home more in keeping with the family’s tastes.

Builders knocked the wall down between the kitchen and diner to create a large, open-plan kitchen-diner, as well as opening up a doorway to the room by knocking down a wall in the entrance hall.

In one year, she has transformed the former 19th-century church into a luxury property with additions of a cosy bar in the garage and a home gym. Pictured: A painting of the church as it looked originally

In one year, she has transformed the former 19th-century church into a luxury property with additions of a cosy bar in the garage and a home gym. Pictured: A painting of the church as it looked originally

In total, Emily spent around £95,000 fixing up the eight-bed historic home and a recent valuation indicated it is now worth an astounding £850,000 – £380,000 more than it was purchased for. Pictured: The exterior of the house now

In total, Emily spent around £95,000 fixing up the eight-bed historic home and a recent valuation indicated it is now worth an astounding £850,000 – £380,000 more than it was purchased for. Pictured: The exterior of the house now

Before: What was originally a dingy garage with exposed brick walls has been completely transformed into a large pub space.

Before: What was originally a dingy garage with exposed brick walls has been completely transformed into a large pub space.

After: The cosy red-brick bar comes complete with fully-stocked bar, atmospheric mood lighting and even a drum kit for live music

After: The cosy red-brick bar comes complete with fully-stocked bar, atmospheric mood lighting and even a drum kit for live music

The mum then set about plastering the ceilings – by herself – except for the ceiling in the master bedroom, which she pulled down to expose the original church beams.

After that, she focused her attentions on making the space perfect, tackling the property one room at a time.

The kitchen was the most expensive room in the house to renovate as the family purchased all new appliances. 

It was originally fitted with dark flooring, wooden cabinets and cream tiles and was given a complete modern overhaul, with a cream stone floor and matching walls to brighten it up, additional windows added and chic slate cabinets with white countertops.

The family bathroom is equally unrecognisable after the pink walls and old-fashioned three-piece suite was removed.

Emily added a statement floor of black, white and grey tiles, a stunning claw-foot tub, and a walk-in shower.

Prior to renovation, the bathroom had pale pink walls and an old-fashioned three-piece suite with dull floral curtains

Prior to renovation, the bathroom had pale pink walls and an old-fashioned three-piece suite with dull floral curtains

Emily added a statement floor of black, white and grey tiles, a stunning claw-foot tub, and a walk-in shower

The bathroom is now modern and pristine with bright lighting

Emily added a statement floor of black, white and grey tiles, a stunning claw-foot tub, and a walk-in shower. The bathroom is now modern and pristine with bright lighting

The gym before: To keep fit during lockdown, Emily remodelled one of the spare rooms into a gym, clearing out the previous owner's clutter

The gym before: To keep fit during lockdown, Emily remodelled one of the spare rooms into a gym, clearing out the previous owner’s clutter

Gym after: The workout room now has floor-to-ceiling studio mirrors, padded mats on the floor, a treadmill and motivational quotes on the walls

Gym after: The workout room now has floor-to-ceiling studio mirrors, padded mats on the floor, a treadmill and motivational quotes on the walls

The master bedroom, meanwhile, originally featured plain cream walls, old wooden flooring and dated criss-cross windows.

Emily updated the large space by painting the walls a light, bright cream, with a statement floral wallpaper behind the bed, and added a plush beige carpet and neutral furnishings to complete the space.

The room also has the quirky addition of a bathtub set on a raised platform.

To make the most of the surrounding countryside views, Emily added French doors to the room, and as an added touch of luxury, she knocked down the bedroom next to the master and created an en suite and dressing room.

Her children’s bedrooms have undergone equally dramatic transformations, going from dull, dated rooms to lovingly crafted and colourful spaces tailored to each child.

Minnie’s room was formerly painted bright green with clashing wooden floors, but now has fresh white flooring, pastel pink and blue walls and sweet decorative finishes including a teepee tent to play in.

Meanwhile, Rory’s bedroom was originally painted in a bland white paint with dark windows allowing little light into the room.

Her children's bedrooms have undergone equally dramatic transformations, going from dull, dated rooms to lovingly crafted and colourful spaces tailored to each child. Pictured: Minnie's bedroom before

Her children’s bedrooms have undergone equally dramatic transformations, going from dull, dated rooms to lovingly crafted and colourful spaces tailored to each child. Pictured: Minnie’s bedroom before

Minnie's room was formerly painted bright green with clashing wooden floors, but now has fresh white flooring, pastel pink and blue walls and sweet decorative finishes including a teepee tent to play in. Pictured: Minnie's bedroom after.

Minnie’s room was formerly painted bright green with clashing wooden floors, but now has fresh white flooring, pastel pink and blue walls and sweet decorative finishes including a teepee tent to play in. Pictured: Minnie’s bedroom after.

After some TLC, the bedroom has a mountain mural, hand-painted by Emily, and jungle-themed accessories.

The children also get to enjoy a dedicated play room, with the original church parquet floor still in place.

Other bedrooms from the original eight in the home are being used as an office and guest rooms.

Emily did almost everything without assistance, apart from the plumbing, hiring builders to knock down the walls and insert steel beams, and roping in an electrician friend to fit lights and sockets.

She said: ‘The hardest part was tiling the floors and laying the carpets. I taught myself to do both, but they are quite physical and I’m not the strongest person out there.

‘I do DIY every day, including painting, tiling and upcycling furniture. I did all the panelling and wallpapering myself and also sanded all the beams in our bedroom.

‘I also painted the outside the house – but I still have a few other sides left to do. I love DIY, I find it really addictive and I’ll give anything a go other than electrics.’

Meanwhile, Rory's bedroom was originally painted in a bland white paint with dark windows allowing little light into the room (pictured before)

Meanwhile, Rory’s bedroom was originally painted in a bland white paint with dark windows allowing little light into the room (pictured before)

After some TLC, her son's bedroom now has a mountain mural, hand-painted by Emily, and jungle-themed accessories (pictured after)

After some TLC, her son’s bedroom now has a mountain mural, hand-painted by Emily, and jungle-themed accessories (pictured after)

The DIY-savvy mum spent roughly £95,000 on the renovations – and her further plans include a garden transformation and further work on the utility room, pantry and lounge

The DIY-savvy mum spent roughly £95,000 on the renovations – and her further plans include a garden transformation and further work on the utility room, pantry and lounge

After tackling the vital rooms in the house, Emily set her sights on some luxurious additions – including a bar in the garage and a home gym.

Originally a dinghy garage with exposed brick walls, the space has been completely transformed into a large pub space – complete with fully-stocked bar, atmospheric mood lighting and even a drum kit for live music.

To keep fit during lockdown, Emily remodelled one of the spare rooms into a gym, with floor-to-ceiling studio mirrors, padded mats on the floor, a treadmill and motivational quotes on the walls.

Although she has not yet finished the house, Emily got the property valued six months ago and found it is now worth £850,000 – £380,000 more than it was purchased for.

In total, Emily has spent roughly £95,000 on the renovations – and her further plans include a garden transformation and further work on the utility room, pantry and lounge.

She said: ‘The biggest challenge has been trying to renovate in lockdown. I had to order most things online and it was pretty difficult to return things.

‘I was also trying to fit renovating in around home-schooling my six and seven-year-olds. It’s also quite hard to stick to a budget for a room as it’s easy for costs to spiral when it’s a big space.’

It seems the effort was well worth it, with the family delighted with how the house looks so far.

After sharing her progress on Facebook, Emily was inundated with comments from people who were amazed at the transformation.

One person said: ‘This is amazing, I’m absolutely in awe with the transformation. Blooming fantastic.’

‘Fabulous, what a transformation – really great and inspirational,’ another fan commented.

Someone else said: ‘You seriously need to sell tickets to an open day at your house. The work you’ve done is amazing and it just looks stunning.’

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Tungsten and BC Partners launch €296m industrial JV (GB)

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Tungsten Properties have signed a transformative €296m (£250m) JV funding agreement with BC Partners. The newly formed joint venture company will target single and multi-let industrial opportunities across the UK, which will range from last-mile to big box logistics warehouses with a GDV of greater than €29.6m (£25m). Tungsten Properties will act as asset and development manager for the joint venture. With a strong conviction in the underlying occupational fundamentals of the industrial warehousing sector, the joint venture has already identified a strong pipeline to initially seed the partnership.

 

Jeff Penman, managing director, Tungsten Properties said:“This is a significant step in Tungsten’s expansion strategy to continue to deliver industrial and warehouse space to create growth, jobs and investor returns. This transformational JV agreement with BC Partners will provide reliable capital to continue delivering strategically located, environmentally friendly buildings across the UK. While there is volatility in the capital markets, both Tungsten and BC Partners believe that the industrial market’s long-term fundamentals remain strong. With a fighting fund behind us, we look forward to securing further opportunities.”

 

Laurian Douin, partner, BC Partners said: “The UK industrial and warehouse sector has strong secular fundamentals. Given Tungsten’s strong track record and like-minded approach to development, we are thrilled to partner with them to jointly invest in this asset class. The joint venture intends to deliver well-located, exceptional schemes to meet occupier demand, with a particular focus on schemes’ environmental credentials in-line with BC Partners Real Estate’s commitment to ESG.”

 

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Four homes for sale with swimming pools: With price tags from £1.1m to £190k

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Owning a property with a swimming pool might seem like one of life’s luxuries that is reserved for millionaires.

But, as our pick of homes for sale with swimming pools proves, you don’t have to have a multi-million pound property to have one.

That said, you may still need deep pockets for their upkeep, which can be costly, particularly if you want to keep your swimming pool heated to a comfortable temperature.

While water shortages and hosepipe bans are hitting the headlines, a pool that is already filled with water will not draw on resources but may be forbidden from being topped up by hosepipe in the case of a ban.

Our pick of four properties for sale with swimming pools are for various budgets, ranging from £1.1million to £190,000 (scroll down for more information about the house pictured)

Our pick of four properties for sale with swimming pools are for various budgets, ranging from £1.1million to £190,000 (scroll down for more information about the house pictured)

Here, we take a look at four swimming pools at properties for those with a range of different budgets.

At the top end is a six-bedroom house in Ramsgate, Kent. with an acre of land that includes an outdoor swimming pool. It has a price tag of £1.1million.

At the other end is three-bedroom property in Ashington, Northumberland, with an empty indoor swimming pool and an asking price of only £190,000.

Daniel Copley, of Zoopla, said: ‘With Britain currently experiencing a heatwave, it’s no surprise that homes with swimming pools are proving to be increasingly popular.

‘Whether your budget is more in the deep or shallow end, some homes with pools may be more affordable than you think.

‘While the rise in energy bills will have a very real impact on those wanting to heat a pool, at this time of year a refreshing dip may be just what’s needed.’

Four properties with swimming pools… 

1. Six-bed house, Ramsgate, £1.1m

The most expensive house in our list of properties with swimming pools is this £1.1million home in Ramsgate, Kent, which is being sold by Miles & Barr estate agents

The most expensive house in our list of properties with swimming pools is this £1.1million home in Ramsgate, Kent, which is being sold by Miles & Barr estate agents

The property is called Pond Cottage and it boasts a large outdoor swimming pool that has a curved slide at the side

The property is called Pond Cottage and it boasts a large outdoor swimming pool that has a curved slide at the side

Inside the property, the entertainment facilities continue - with a cinema room that has black chairs and a red carpet

Inside the property, the entertainment facilities continue – with a cinema room that has black chairs and a red carpet

The most expensive house in our list of properties with swimming pools is this £1.1million home in Ramsgate, Kent.

It boasts more than an acre of land that includes a large outdoor swimming pool, a patio and a pool area.

The property is called Pond Cottage and it is being sold by Miles & Barr estate agents.

2. Five-bed semi-detached house, Welling, £625k

This semi-detached property in Welling, Kent, may not look like it can house a swimming pool from the front aspect

This semi-detached property in Welling, Kent, may not look like it can house a swimming pool from the front aspect

A slimline swimming pool has been added to the rear of the house and it has been covered to protect it from the elements

A slimline swimming pool has been added to the rear of the house and it has been covered to protect it from the elements

The Kent property is on the market with a price tag of £625,000 and the sale is being handled by estate agents MS Estates

The Kent property is on the market with a price tag of £625,000 and the sale is being handled by estate agents MS Estates

This semi-detached property in Welling, Kent, may not look like it can house a swimming pool from the front.

But a slimline swimming pool has been added to the rear of the house. It is on the market for £625,000 via MS Estates.

3. Five-bed house, Ripon, £450k

This three-bedroom house in Ripon, North Yorkshire, was once a barn and has been converted into a family home with a swimming pool

This three-bedroom house in Ripon, North Yorkshire, was once a barn and has been converted into a family home with a swimming pool

The curved shaped indoor swimming pool sits below wooden beams and has a separate bar area for entertaining

The curved shaped indoor swimming pool sits below wooden beams and has a separate bar area for entertaining

The barn conversion has a colourful interior and is on the market for £450,000 via Solo Property Management estate agents

The barn conversion has a colourful interior and is on the market for £450,000 via Solo Property Management estate agents

This three-bedroom barn conversion in Ripon, North Yorkshire, boasts an indoor swimming pool and bar area.

It is on the market with a price tag of £450,000 and the sale is being handled by Solo Property Management.

4. Three-bed house, Ashington, £190k

This three-bedroom house in Ashington, Northumberland, is the cheapest in our list of properties for sale with swimming pools

This three-bedroom house in Ashington, Northumberland, is the cheapest in our list of properties for sale with swimming pools

The 1930s detached property has an indoor swimming pool that isn¿t currently being used because it has been left empty

The 1930s detached property has an indoor swimming pool that isn’t currently being used because it has been left empty

The three-bedroom property is currently for sale for £190,000 and is being sold via Rook Matthews Sayer estate agents

The three-bedroom property is currently for sale for £190,000 and is being sold via Rook Matthews Sayer estate agents

This three-bedroom house in Ashington, Northumberland, is the cheapest in our list of properties for sale with swimming pools.

It is a 1930s detached property with an indoor swimming pool that isn’t currently being used as it is empty.

The property is for sale for a relatively cheap £190,000 and is being sold via Rook Matthews Sayer estate agents.

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Barwood Homes invests in Woodville resi scheme (GB)

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Harworth Group plc has completed the sale of an eight-acre land parcel at Woodville, Derbyshire to Barwood Homes for the delivery of 73 new houses. This represents Harworth’s first transaction with the Northampton-based housebuilder. The land parcel forms part of a 53-acre regeneration site which is owned by Beepart Ltd, part of Dyson Group, the Sheffield-based former manufacturer of industrial materials. Harworth is promoting the site on its behalf through a Planning Promotion Agreement. In April 2022, South Derbyshire District Council granted outline consent for the creation of up to 300 homes on the site, in addition to a c.30,000ft² local center with convenience retail and leisure amenities and over 150,000ft² of employment space for a range of uses.

 

The wider site has been unlocked by the delivery of Derbyshire County Council’s Woodville to Swadlincote Regeneration Route, which opened to traffic in December 2021, providing better access to Swadlincote and traffic relief in Woodville, as well as improved connectivity across the site. Preparation works will commence shortly for the next phases of residential and employment land sales at the development.

 

Ed Catchpole, Regional Director for Yorkshire & Central at Harworth, commented: “This sale is a fantastic start to the development at Woodville and we are pleased to welcome Barwood Homes to the site, who will deliver high-quality new housing for the local community. Our focus is now on bringing forward the rest of the development, utilising our extensive experience in the remediation of complex sites, including earthworks and infrastructure, to ready the remaining residential and employment land.”

 

Luke Simmons, Managing Director of Barwood Homes, added: “We are delighted to be working alongside Harworth on this exciting development. The team is looking forward to engaging with the local community as we gear up to deliver a scheme of excellent quality in design, build and service.”

 

Gavin Rosson, Managing Director of Dyson Group, added: “This first sale of a residential portion of the site is an important step in unlocking the full development potential of the whole, something we have been trying to achieve for many years. Such development will help regenerate Woodville and the surrounding area, somewhere we have had a presence since 1967 and are delighted to participate in.”

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