Renovating a tired home into a super-green, super-cool living space is a dream for many — but for one Stockport couple, it has become a reality after years of hard work.

Lloyd and Sarah Hamilton transformed their 1960s dormer bungalow in Heald Green into an eco-friendly paradise, completing most of the work themselves.

The property now boasts chic interiors, sun-drenched roof terrace, and a cosy fireplace - but friends were initially sceptical of the £295k purchase made by the couple, who moved up from Nottingham.

“One asked why we’d bought that pile of s***,” Lloyd, 58, jokes.

Transforming the property into an eco-efficient home has meant the couple's gas bills have fallen by 85 percent — a saving of £1,100 per year.

Now, Lloyd, who works in cosmetic science with Unilever, and Sarah, who works in the civil service, are encouraging others to make their homes greener — saying it’s not as complicated or expensive as you might think.

“Do you need to be a professional person to do this? No. Could you do it yourself? Yes. Was it hard work? Yes,” Sarah, 56, explains.

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Although some of the work was done by tradespeople — like plastering — all of the insulation, internal walls and ceilings, and decorating was completed by Llloyd and Sarah.

After buying the house in 2016, the pair discovered that the 1965 property was in far worse condition than expected — with the only 'roof insulation' being a tree growing up through the beams and a series of wasps nests.

The parents-of-two moved in mid-way through 2018, but with the work far from complete at that point, they had to sleep in a bed surrounded by bare walls and only had a microwave to cook with.

Dilapidated features have been replaced with an open plan kitchen and diner

All in all, the couple spent around £80,000 renovating their dream house.

Ploughing on despite holding down two full-time jobs, they finally finished the work late last year, with lockdown providing an opportunity to complete the last pieces of the puzzle, Sarah says.

“It’s about having the vision,” she adds. “You look at a house and think how much you’re going to spend on it and re-do, and then you always underestimate how long it’s going to take — there’s difficulties getting qualified builders and tradespeople in.

“There’s also an issue with the supply of materials after Covid as well, that’s a big difficulty.

“So it’s always about meeting those challenges of what we wanted to do, how much money we had, and it helped that Lloyd did a lot of research and reached out to Carbon Co-op to look at innovative ways [of completing it].”

Carbon Co-op offers householders in Greater Manchester independent advice on how to make their homes eco-friendly.

“Lloyd came to us with lots of questions about retrofitting his home – things like what are the best products to use and where can he find trustworthy builders,” Jonathan Atkinson, Carbon Co-op co-founder said.

Knocking through a living room wall created space for a wood-burning stove, which vents through the floor to stop air coming in from outdoors

“When people start to ‘green’ their home it can be really confusing, there are so many options. We want to give people reassurance and a helping hand on what’s best for their home.”

Much of the Co-op's influence and guidance is hidden behind white render and flooring - layers of membranes, wood fibres, and even bean bag filling.

“There were no records from the council on the insulation for the cavity,” Lloyd explains.

“We couldn’t do anything about [what was there already], so we had to look and see where the gaps were.

“Because wood fibre blocks would not fit, we topped up the gaps with bean bag beads.”

The kitchen is now surrounded by greenery with an impressive garden

Sarah says that that idea is typical of how people can save money on energy without breaking the bank on insulation.

“It’s things like that where you think outside the box,” she says.

The attention to detail goes throughout the property - with footrests hand-upholstered by Sarah, and a former bay window squared off to form a reading nook surrounded by garden views.

There is also a stunning south-facing roof terrace straight off the large master bedroom.

The roof terrace, off the master bedroom, tops the property off

It sits on top of an open kitchen-diner, which was once four rooms, and features second-hand units, saved from a Lymm mansion.

Although Lloyd and Sarah have not had the house officially valued, they say similar-looking and sized properties in the area go for at least £500,000 today — and theirs has the added benefit of being eco-friendly.