Persistence Paid Off During This London Home Renovation From Hell

When Sophie and Luke Hakes found a house for sale on their favorite London street, they thought fate meant them to buy it.

But their subsequent two-year struggle to transform the dated house into a contemporary family home—complete with disappearing contractors, shoddy workmanship, a spiraling time frame, escalating budget, and a pandemic—drove the first-time renovators (who became first-time parents during the project) to the “brink of breakdown,” said Mr. Hakes.

The couple had lived in the north London neighborhood of De Beauvoir Town since around 2010, in a modest two-bedroom house. By 2017, with starting a family on their minds, they wanted to upsize.

The living room, with its fireplace, is decorated in dramatic deep blue.


Joanna Yee for The Wall Street Journal

“We often used to walk down this particular street and would look into the houses and say that we would love to live in one of

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High-impact green upgrades transform your home and save money – Home Improvement Blogs

(BPT) – Improving your property, increasing its value and cutting down on costs are common goals for homeowners. So naturally, investing in features that are better for the environment is, by extension, good for the wallet because it reduces the costs of utilities in the long run. However, it can be difficult to know which home improvements can make the biggest impact on the comfort and value of your home — and the planet.

To help guide your efforts, consider these four green ideas that can help improve efficiencies, save you money and protect the earth:

1. Participate in the ENERGY STAR® Home Upgrade program

Start by thinking about which eco-smart steps make the most sense for your home. The ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a series of six high-impact, efficient improvements that can save the average family about $500 a year

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