House unrecognisable as single mum transforms it while raising two-year-old son

A single mum managed to renovate her house on her own while raising a two-year-old toddler – and she has even added a one-bedroom flat to rent out in the home as well.

Ane Elizabeth Killingberg, 29, a single mother to Noah, two, from Vanvikan, Norway, purchased a three-bedroom and one bathroom home in September 2020 for around £139,000.

The mum-of-one purposely bought a fixer-upper with the aim to transform the property and eagerly set about giving it a makeover after getting the keys.

To help out, Ane’s mother looked after Noah while her daughter was busy with renovations and her father helped her out with the DIY.

The mum planned to turn a part of her home into a self-contained flat to rent out – and the work has completely changed the layout of the living space.

The new rent-out flat contains a bathroom, kitchen, living room and bedroom.

First, Ane moved the entrance of her property to a smaller room so she could use the old entrance as a guest bedroom.

She also made another bedroom out of her kitchen and moved her appliances out into the living area in an open-plan space.

Additionally, she created a new bathroom and added a soundproof door to finish off the flat.

Ane’s home has been downsized now to three smaller bedrooms, a joint kitchen and living area, one bathroom and one toilet.

She also tackled the existing rooms, which now look unrecognisable.

Most of the work was done by Ane and her dad – with the mum thankfully having done DIY projects in the past – besides some minor bits such as plumbing and electricity where the pair required professional help.

“I have done a lot myself, which has been difficult managing at times with being a single mom and also a full-time job,” Ane said.

“There have been many long nights!

“I moved back to the area I grew up [in] and found a fixer-upper that just had so much potential. The view and garden is amazing.

“Although everything inside had to be done, I could just imagine how perfect this home would be for my son and I.

“I have had two renovation projects before and knew I could do it (with some help).

“But I could not have done it without my mum and dad – my mum being the best babysitter and my dad who is a building entrepreneur.

“Also, for plumbing and electricity, we had to hire expertise.

“Not all rooms are finished yet but they are close to.

“We changed the layout in the house, creating more bedrooms and also making a small rent-out apartment as it is a good market for renting.

“By moving the entrance to a smaller room, we could use the old entrance as a guest bedroom.

“I moved the kitchen out to the living area so the old kitchen became the main bedroom.

“We also created a new bathroom.

“And then we pretty much just needed to put up a soundproof door to finish the rent-out apartment.”

For her own kitchen, Ane fixed up the old cabinets, painted the walls and laid out new flooring to give the room a sleek and modern look.

She also refurbished her bathroom by painting the walls and tiles and added new decorations and a brand-new cabinet.

The mum has spent £56,000 so far – but still plans to refurbish the other bedrooms in two weeks (there are four in total, including the standalone flat), as well as her hallway.

Meanwhile, outside Ane has already put up a 1.5-meter black fence and plans to paint the house dark grey or black with a bright yellow front door.

She said: “The most enjoyable part for me is when I just was finished with all the groundwork and finally got to painting.

“Then the changes were just immediate.

“Now it is just great to have this home for us, enjoy it and see how well it works for us.

“The most challenging part was feeling guilty for not spending all weekends with my boy, although I know it is just good for him to be with his grandparents.

“Also, at times the ground work is just so boring and it could be hard to get started.

“I am very pleased with the outcome!

“I think it helped a lot having done renovation projects before, as I knew more what I like and how I wanted everything to look like.

“But I am a person who always think of new ideas, so I already have some extra things I want to do in some rooms.”

Ane shared advice to those who are considering fixing up a house of their own.

She added: “A tip is to expect that it will take more time than what you believe in the beginning.

“So you don’t take on huge projects and don’t realise how much work it is.

“Good planning is also essential and you can save a lot of money by checking prices and shopping during sales.

“Also, the total costs will probably be higher than you expect.

“Take time to look at the house layout.

“Think through the rooms and solutions so that it will work for you and your needs.”