A derelict house bought for £1 has been transformed into a beautiful retreat

Two years of hard graft and £60,000 later, you won’t believe how it looks now

blue kitchen with island and hanging plants
(Image credit: @homesforapound)

There are not many people that can say they bought their home for less than a pint of milk. However, Maxine Sharples from Liverpool purchased her home for the crazy sum of £1, before setting out to renovate it on a budget.

Maxine applied back in 2015 as part of a regeneration scheme that allowed locals to buy derelict houses for £1, on condition that they renovated the properties themselves. Maxine was thrilled when years later she was offered the chance to buy a Victorian two-bedroom terrace herself. 

‘I got the keys in February 2020,’ says Maxine, ‘but the clock was ticking as I only had 12 months to complete the renovations! Then four weeks later, the UK went into national lockdown. Luckily, the council issued me an extra 12 months to complete the renovation.’

Derelict £1 home renovation

Maxine, who has shown the transformation of her home over on Instagram at @homesforapound, admits she was relatively naïve about the process. ‘As a yoga teacher, I couldn’t have been less experienced in construction and project management,’ she says. ‘As tradesmen were in short supply, I took to doing a lot of labouring myself, starting with ripping everything out. 


room of rubble

(Image credit: @homesforapound)

A hole in the roof meant a tree had taken root in the house and it was in a poor state. ‘There was water ingress, asbestos, rat infestations – you name it, it had it all!’ says Maxine. ‘It took me nine months to get the house back to brick. Luckily, I could learn from YouTube tutorials, which saved me a lot of money.’


outside of brick house with painted windowsills

(Image credit: @homesforapound)

Even the façade got a bit of love, with brightly painted windows and smart front door ideas. ‘The windows are triple glazed,’ says Maxine. ‘I really brought this house back to life.’

blue kitchen with island and hanging plants

(Image credit: @homesforapound)

With a bit of vision and the help of an architect, Maxine set about redesigning the layout inside. ‘By removing the loft and all upstairs internal walls, I created this double-height open space,’ she says. ‘Add in two of Velux’s biggest skylights and I’d transformed the house in one swoop of the sledge hammer.’

island unit in kitchen

(Image credit: @homesforapound)

The house has been given a smart, sophisticated look with plush touches such as a wine fridge and underfloor heating. ‘I installed Wunda underfloor heating, which is such a luxury,’ says Maxine. 

We have to agree, and not only does Wunda’s underfloor heating make Maxine’s period home warmer, but it’s also an energy-efficient solution for both new and older homes.

bathroom with black wall tiles

(Image credit: @homesforapound)

The bathroom features a sleek monochrome look, with a black shower and tap and large-format wall tiles. The shower tray is lined with pebble-style tiles for interest, while the small window brings light into the room.

 ‘I’ve moved so many times in my life and now I feel I can finally settle in this house,’ says Maxine. 

Would you have the ambition to take on a challenge like this house? 

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at lauriedavidson.co.uk