Couple saves thousands on house renovation by painting roof tiles

A couple has shared their delight after adding £230k and curb appeal to their home after renovating and painting their roof tiles with paint – costing just £400.

Sharing their success, Ellie Rimmer, 27, says the couple saved £4,100 by cleaning and painting their tiles black instead of buying a brand new set for an average cost of £4,500. She and her partner, James Lawrence, 28, a company director, came up with the idea to paint them while strapped for cash during their house renovation.

Ellie researched and discovered tile paint existed and bought £400 worth to coat their existing brown tiles twice. The pair – along with Ellie’s dad, Gary Rimmer, 60, a sales direction – cleaned each tile one by one with a wire brush and spent around four 10-hour days painting the tiles.

Ellie and James couldn’t be happier with their handiwork and say doing the DIY themselves is “satisfying”.

Ellie, a project manager for the NHS, from Brighton, East Sussex, said: “I have done a lot of upcycling in the past. I just thought ‘surely you can paint tiles.’ I Googled it, and it did exist.

“To save money on new tiles we cleaned them all by hand. The first coat – the tiles drunk the paint. We did two coats and all with brushes. It fits with the rest of the house. We saved thousands.”

The couple bought their two-bed bungalow for £400k in September 2021 and have been renovating it ever since into a four-bed house – spending £120k so far.

As Ellie explained: “We started stripping it all out straight away. It wasn’t habitable. It was built in the 50s and I don’t think it had been touched since. We ripped the entire house back to the bare bones.”

The savvy couple created a loft conversion to create two extra bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs.

With the cost of their renovation rising, they wanted to find a way to fix the marked and moss-covered tiles cheaply: “We had always planned to give them a clean. I saw painting tiles is done quite a lot in Australia. While the roof was off for the extension, we cleaned them. They were all mix-matched and marked.

“When the tiles went back on the roof had changed size, so we were a few tiles short.”

Ellie managed to find the remaining 500 tiles on Facebook marketplace from an old church for £150. With the roof back on but the scaffolding still up from their builders, Ellie and James worked tirelessly to paint them in April 2022.

“It’s very windy where we live so we couldn’t use spray,” added Ellie. “Some of the neighbours would stop by as we were doing it to tell us looked amazing. You’ve got to trust the process. A year on it looks the same.”

The couple have nearly finished the renovations and have been living in their home for the last eight months. They recently had their house valued and were told it was worth £630k – £230k more than they paid for the property originally.

Ellie said they are starting the decorations for the last bathroom and will then have the patio to complete next summer: “We project managed it ourselves. We did the research to find things cheaper.

“Doing the bits yourself – it’s satisfying. We’re finally being able to enjoy it.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel.”

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