Check out this welcoming country cottage in Cornwall

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  • With two young children, the owners were running out of space in their old two-bedroom bungalow. So in 2008, they started house hunting. They’d hoped to find somewhere with a garden and the potential to extend, so they could have a family home to grow old in.

    The owners looked at quite a few options, but fell in love with this place on the spot. It’s in a lovely, quiet position, close to the beach. The price was right and, importantly, there was plenty of room to build an extension. On the down side, the house had been empty for about two years and needed a huge amount of work. It was so damp and musty, there was ivy growing inside! It had a very basic kitchen, a tiny living room and a tatty bathroom downstairs, three bedrooms upstairs and garish colours and loud wallpapers everywhere. But despite its faults, the couple decided to put in an offer.

    They started work on the house the day they got the keys. As they’d sold their bungalow and as the property wasn’t really habitable, they moved into a caravan nearby. They’d never tackled anything like this before, but planned to learn on the job and do as much as possible themselves.

    The first task was knocking through the kitchen and small living room so they could turn it into a practical kitchen-diner. Upstairs, a new bathroom was installed and the bedrooms redecorated. A two-storey extension that includes a new living room and a large bedroom above it was another big part of the project. After running into problems with their builder, they decided to do most of the extension work themselves in the evenings and at weekends. It was hard graft, but four months later, they were finally ready to move in.

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