Guy with no DIY experience quits his job to renovate his house
A dad saved thousands of dollars after quitting his job and working full-time renovating his own home, despite having very limited DIY experience.
Jesse Leach, 35, of Plymouth, Devon, had only installed shelving before taking on this task, but has now spent the last two months knocking down walls, ripping floors and installing cabinets to transform everything the ground floor of his family home.
He and his wife Amber, 39, moved into their four-bedroom Victorian home in October 2020 and planned to pay professionals to modernize the interior.
But with finances strained following the recent move, the couple were unable to afford the £ 10,000 that builders cited to install a new kitchen.
They kept asking around but were faced with the same price over and over again.
Desperate to have a working kitchen, Jesse suggested he take on the job in an effort to save money.
He handed in his notice in July 2021 as operations manager before finally leaving in early November, and later plans to retrain as a consultant like Amber.
But first, he decided to dedicate his newfound freedom to their home.
He learned the ropes from his stepfather Lee, 55, and started tearing down the kitchen two days after quitting his job.
“It was great to see the fruits of your labor come together over the weeks,” Jesse said.
The father of three then decided he would take care of the entire ground floor, renovating the front room, back room and hallway.
The project saw him install a new kitchen and tear down the wall between the back room and the kitchen to create an open concept dining room.
He also ripped out the fireplace in the front room, redone the parquet and insulated the walls before repainting the entire ground floor.
Over the next seven weeks, Jesse learned on his own how to grout, restore wood beams, insulate the roof and even basic electrical wiring as he set out to remodel the family home.
He worked 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the renovation and as Christmas approached he worked 11 hours a day to get it ready for the holiday season.
Jesse said: “It was really stepping into the unknown, but it was a great experience to face my fears.
“Little by little, it progressed.
“The hardest part was probably the wooden beams because the roof was rotting.
“There were difficult times when I doubted myself and thought I couldn’t do this.
“But I got through it. Amber’s mom’s partner is a builder, so I learned a lot by asking her and a few friends for advice.
“I’m so glad I did because it proves that if you think about it, you can do it.”
Amber, who runs a marketing agency, Established By Her, added: “When we first started dating he was like ‘I have a drill if you ever need to borrow one’ but I didn’t. never really seen using it.
“And now he has rebuilt everything and renovated the whole ground floor.
“Jesse really embraced him. He learned basic electricity, insulated the walls, painted, fixed the wooden beams and the ceiling, and ripped out the kitchen.
“We saved a small fortune.
IKEA kitchen – £ 6,000
Materials – £ 6,000 including carpets and flooring, power outlets, wood, flooring and paints, all purchased from the Facebook Marketplace
Salary of other professionals / specialists – £ 2,000 including painters, flooring installers, electricians, gas engineers and carpenters
“Even though the builders quoted us £ 10,000, we were also told it would be done in three weeks.
“It took Jesse two months to get him to where he is now because it’s an old Victorian house and he had to redo the wooden beams because the roof was rotting.
“So we probably saved thousands more on top of the original quote because that would have required more labor costs.
“We had to bring in a carpenter and an electrician to install the carpets and rewire the electricity. But the majority were Jesse.
“The timing was also right with Jesse leaving his job.
“He was very inspired by the creation of my own company and therefore wanted to do the same and retrain as a consultant.
“So seeing him not working and being able to take charge of him was great.
“For the past few weeks he has been working around the clock.
“There are still a few snags like filling in the edges around the door and painting the back room.
“I’m proud of him, he completely transformed him.”