To inspire those looking to renovate their home on a budget, Little-Loans.com has partnered with Nicole Sage, a home and interiors blogger, to find out how she refurbished her fireplace for under £100. Nicole was keen to redesign her living room when she purchased her new home and wanted to restore some of the original Victorian features, such as the fireplace.
Nicole said: “When we bought our Victorian terrace house, we were adamant that we were going to restore the original architectural details for period authenticity.
“The previous owners had removed what would have once been a Victorian fireplace; it was boarded up with a plastic sheet to cover the hole that was left.
“It was really important to us to restore what would have once stood there, but as we were hoping to renovate the entire property, keeping costs as low as possible was essential.”
The interior blogger was keen to renovate the fireplace on a budget, so turned to shopping second-hand which she said was “key”.
Nicole sourced the likes of Vinted, eBay and charity stores but eventually found a beautiful fireplace from Facebook Marketplace.
She explained: “It cost just £50 and was exactly what we were looking for.”
“My tip for anyone else looking to do the same thing would be to not give up and to not compromise, Items of furniture are added to these platforms daily, so persistence is key – and don’t be afraid to barter.”
Before fitting the fireplace, the home blogger sanded the surround and then painted it in a satin paint which they already had, costing her nothing.
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Nicole continued: “We then cleaned the fireplace and used a wire brush to get rid of any dirt or rust. Then we painted it using Hammerite Matt Black finish spray paint which cost just £12.”
“In order to fit the fireplace, the first step was removing the plastic cover installed by the previous tenants and enlarging the existing hole ourselves so it would fit the new fireplace.
“As there was already a lintel existing within the wall, we were not required to install a new one, but you should always install one if there is not one existing and you plan to do it yourselves, so as not to impact the structural integrity of the wall.
“To create a hearth (the floor of a fireplace), we bought some matt black tiles and secured them in place using an adhesive, then grouted them using a black grout.
“All of these three materials came to £25 and the DIY was surprisingly easy to undertake for someone with little experience.”
After the hearth had set, Nicole inserted the fireplace into the hole and secured it to the wall with plugs, screws, making sure it was centred to the wall and level.
She then used a ready mix cement for the lower area, costing £10, followed by spraying the cement with some black spray paint once it has set.
The surround was then fitted into place and secured with screws, ensuring it was level at the same time before using caulk to seal any exposed edges.
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Nicole noted: “Overall, for the materials and fireplace itself, the total cost of fitting a brand new fireplace set us back just under £97.
“If we bought this type of fireplace brand new, it would have cost at least £500 – not to mention having to also pay for installation costs.”
“I now browse Facebook marketplace more than anything else on social media. I have found so many amazing pieces of furniture and decor accessories that would have cost a fortune at full price.
“Most of the time people have just fallen out of love with items or they just need a little bit of care to restore them. You definitely do not need to buy full-price items to create a beautiful interior.”
For Nicole mixing new is how she can create her modern but homely interior but she would have never been able to achieve it by purchasing brand new items.
Commenting on the tips, Personal Finance Expert at Little-Loans.com, Dan Whittaker, said: “If you’ve just bought a new home, it’s likely that finances may be more difficult than usual right now, particularly given the cost of living crisis and energy bill costs rising. However, renovating your home doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank.”
“That’s why we love Nicole’s tips, which are testament to the fact that thrifting and getting your hands dirty with some DIY can give you a stylish and professional finish within your home for a fraction of the price.”
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