Mum who couldn’t afford a summerhouse renovates a caravan for the garden instead using Amazon & eBay bargains

A MUM who wanted a summerhouse for the garden but couldn’t afford one decided to revamp an old 90s caravan instead, and says she saved herself a fortune. 

Clare Francis explained they’re a family of five living in a three-bedroomed house, and her teenage son decided he needed his own space over lockdown. 

Clare said he decided to take over their existing garden shed, which she used as a workshop, so she wanted to get a summerhouse she could use instead. 

But after looking at prices, she was dismayed to see they’d shot up in price, and she couldn’t afford one. 

Her husband, Martin, came up with the bright idea of renovating an old caravan, and the couple bid for one on eBay, getting a 90s model for £1,100.

Clare told Fabulous Digital Martin spent four weeks renovating it while on furlough, and it now looks unrecognisable. 

Clare and Martin sourced a lot of their materials from Amazon, and also picked up bargains from Homebase, eBay, Dunelm, as well as pieces from friends. 

In total the entire project cost less than £2,000, the majority of which Clare says went on the caravan itself. 

She told Fabulous Digital: “We are a family of 5 in a 3 bedroom house and my teenage son wanted more room.

“I already had a garden cabin which I used as a workshop but he decided he would like it and needed more space so we looked into purchasing another cabin for me to use during lockdown.

“But with such high demand for them the price had tripled and we couldn't afford it. 

“My husband came up with the idea of a second hand caravan as they were already isolated and electrics running through and plumbing fixed inside. 

“We searched through ebay and won a 90s caravan for £1100 and Martin set to work stripping the majority of the van out.

“From start to finish the process only took 4 weeks as my husband is still on furlough.” 

And explaining she created the lush interior, Clare said: “The wallpaper was from homebase arthouse collection 2 x rolls @£20.

“The floor tiles are self adhesive from homebase there called floor pops in the gothic range £15 each we needed 4 packs.

“The kitchen cupboards and long worktop we already had from my previous cabin in the garden, but bought an additional piece £50 from eBay.

“The curtains were from eBay £35. The white tiles were from Amazon there also self adhesive £50

“We replaced the cupboard handles again from amazon £15, and the spot lights were also from Amazon. 

“A lady recovered the seats for me a local company to me £150. The sink was from amazon £35.” 

The gorgeous blue paint was some leftover Farrow and Ball she had, in shade Hague Blue, and the white is simply Dulux satin wood, with varnish to seal it. 

Clare shared her lockdown project to Facebook group DIY On A Budget UK, where she said: “I needed a cake workshop and couldn't afford a summer house for the garden so we brought a 90s caravan and revamped it for half the price of a summer house, I'm so pleased with it.”

Nearly 2,000 people have liked the makeover, with some saying it looks so good they’d even live in it. 

One person wrote: “Now this is an idea.”

Another commented: “Looks fantastic! I could live in it.”

A third said: “End result looks really great!.”

While this person added: “Amazing u need to get on that program called amazing spaces or grand designs.”

And this in other DIY news, this couple spent £23,000 transforming a caravan into a mini-hotel..

Meanwhile a house-flipper who made £45k on her latest pad on how to renovate your home on a budget – & don’t waste cash on a garden.

Plus this crafty mum built her own dining table out of Ikea & Amazon bargains as she didn’t want to fork out for a designer one.

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