Double Your House for Half the Money


Property television programme review

by an independent surveyor


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As Independent Surveyors we note that there are many television programmes covering the property market aired on terrestrial and satellite television stations which we review in this section of our website. Our television review is our light hearted opinion of the television programme and may get you talking and thinking about what you see. In no way are we advertising the television programme or receiving remuneration for promoting it on our website we hope you find it of interest.

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Double Your House for Half the Money

Double Your House for Half the Money is another property television programme presented by property guru Sarah Beeny. Double Your House for Half the Money is an hour show aired by Channel 4 highlighting how property owners can increase their living space and in doing so increase the value of their homes. Each episode Sarah Beeny visits different homeowners across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom from a bungalow in Buckinghamshire to a revamp to a property in Birmingham no project is too big a challenge.

Sarah Beeny with the help of TV production company Knockers Productions Ltd and Channel 4 bring each episode to air with challenges for doubling the size of property to a budget.


Sarah Beeny

Sarah Beeny who hosts Double Your House for Half the Money is the daughter of an architect and was born in Reading in Berkshire. After aspirations to follow a drama career and travelling the world solo she settled back in the UK to a variety of jobs. She decided to study the property market and with her brother and husband set up her own property developing business and not looked back since.



Sarah has not only presented Double Your House for Half the Money but several spin off property programmes including Streets Ahead, Help! My house is falling down, Beeny's Restoration Nightmare , Property Ladder and Property Snakes and Ladders and Britain's Best Homes as well as writing a weekly column for the Mail on Sunday and several books including Property Ladder: How to Make Pounds from Property and Sarah Beeny's Price the Job.

Sarah's business life has developed further with an online singles dating site and property website Tepilo together with a venture of renovating Rise Hall a Grade II Listed historic house in Yorkshire featured in Beeny's Restoration Nightmare series.


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Double Your House for Half the Money in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire and Sydenham

Sarah Beeny believes it is possible to Double Your House for Half the Cost of moving to your dream house by following some basic rules you can get more space without breaking the bank. A much lesser home soon could be the home of your dreams however it does take time, commitment and a strict handle on your budget. If you play your cards right you can achieve the home of your dreams with all that exact space you have dreamt about. The possibilities are endless and can look spectacular.

Sarah Beeny believes if you can't afford the home of your dream then do not give up as each year over two hundred thousand people apply for Planning Permission to develop their homes by improving them or extending them. Your dream home could be within your reach you just need to plan and budget and then build.

Homes become too easily our slaves but Sarah Beeny believes that our homes should be working for us.

A family in Sydenham believe the answer to their lack of space in their home like many homeowners across the UK is to convert their loft.

In Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire three generations of one family are living under one roof and would love to have more space. Retired parents in a bungalow have their daughter, husband and two young children living with them helping out with child care but long for a house that would suite all six people as life in the bungalow is rather cramped.

The 1930s bungalow is almost bursting at the seams with four adults and two young children however multi-generational living has huge benefits but space is what is needed.

As Independent Surveyors we are frequently asked to carry out structural surveys on 1930s bungalows as well as a wide variety of ages, types and styles of properties.

Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire is an affluent and highly desirable area so to move to a larger property would incur a huge cost. Sarah Beeny takes a look at larger properties in the area and the couple explain that the huge price tag is way over their budget. However, using money to extend the bungalow and continue multi-generational living is the desired route by adding extra space they can remain in the area they love and create additional living space.


Layout of the bungalow

The current bungalow does not have an ideal layout with three small bedrooms, small playroom, small bathroom, living room, dining room and long narrow kitchen. The family are not living in the property ideally as the young daughter has to share a bedroom with her Mum whilst her husband sleeps on the sofa.


The new layout for the bungalow

The plan is to extend on all three sides knocking down internal walls and creating a new large living space, playroom, granny annex with bedroom, bathroom and sitting room on the ground floor. A first floor will be created with a master bedroom and en suite, two further bedrooms for the children and a family bathroom.

The property sits on a good size plot which is long and thin stretching back away from the house with a large garden currently. The couple want to make sure that the design will work as their parents get older with mobility already an issue and to ensure that the property is well heated as this is another requirement for the elderly.

Sarah Beeny is concerned that the design with hardwood flooring and a children's play area will be noisy for the elderly grandparents an open living area will bounce sound around which will be difficult for the elderly in the future.

As Independent Surveyors when asked by our clients to carry out residential building surveys we are often requested to give advice on design layouts where alterations are planned to be made to a property.


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Sydenham, on the outskirts of London

In Sydenham, on the outskirts of London Sarah Beeny visits another family with a view to enlarge their living space. This property is a three bedroom terraced house with the plan to double the number space with a loft extension. The loft extension is to give two extra rooms and a bathroom doubling their existing first floor.

The couple's concern however is that the loft is currently used for storage and with every available space including a clever cupboard made to look like a fireplace they are weary of where they will store all their belongings.

We are Independent Surveyors and are frequently in the Sydenham area carrying out residential and commercial building surveys.


Self Storage

The couple are so averse to throwing away items that they have a self storage unit to store some of their belongings. However, the couple really do not want to continue paying storage fees for the rest of their lives they really want to be able to have the space in their home.

Renting space should only be a short term option as storing items in your home is less costly and more convenient. However if you do require a self storage option then these can be found more cheaply if you know how long you require the space and can pay upfront at a cheaper rate but always make sure they are secure and watertight.


Family Bathroom

Another dream is for the family to have a larger family bathroom so the plan is to knock down the existing one and make a larger bathroom but this will eat into the adjoining bedroom and perhaps not such a good idea.

When carrying out our structural surveys for our clients as Independent Surveyors we prepare full written reports with photographs, sketches and detailed descriptions of any property issues.


Back in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire

Back in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire Double Your House for Half the Money revisits the family who are moving out for six months whilst the building work is being carried out to the bungalow.

A load baring wall in the layout plan is due to be removed so the builders now realise that this will not be possible and building a new supporting wall in a different location will be costly.


In Sydenham loft conversion means losing some space


By the family creating a new loft extension the property will lose some space in order to create the stairway to the new floor. Sarah Beeny discusses with the couple that it is time to address the stored items making to keep and to go piles. Storage units are not the solution long term so Sarah Beeny takes another look around the house and garden to come up with some storage solutions to ensure all their belongs are back at their property.

A window seat which could have storage is one idea and creating more storage ideas in the couple's bedroom will help with the nightmare of where to put everything.

Sarah Beeny explains that storage spaces can be found in gaps between different heights which can be turned into cupboards and boxes can be fitted into alcoves.


Please see our surveying articles on

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Homebuyers Report or Structural Survey


In Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire

The build has been progressing for ten weeks with the new roof and added space starting to take shape. Sarah Beeny removes a lintel to add space to an entrance and then is concerned that the new layout will make the dining area too narrow as the space is to be given over to the playroom. Sarah Beeny shows the couple graphics explaining her concerns regarding the narrow width of the dining area and the couple immediately understand that this is a design option that needs to be reverted to allow more space is much more desirable.

In Chalfont St Giles, Buckingham over the years as Independent Surveyors we have prepared many structural building surveys for our clients including Specific Defect Reports as well as commercial building surveys.


Marking out rooms, doors and windows

Sarah Beeny explains that a simple idea to help visualise the new layout is to mark out with paint the rooms, doors and windows as well as the position of furniture to decide on the desired effect. Computer Aided Design (CAD) also is a great way of visualising your new layout with the 3D drawings helping to expose any problems. Magazines are always helpful for inspiration too; it is important to visualise the end result to ensure that the desired effect is achieved and any problems are ironed out.


Sydenham loft conversion

Extending into the loft can be a fantastic way to add value and space to your home.

The wow factor is revealed when Sarah Beeny takes the couple to see a property that on first viewing appears to not have a garage and then hey presto the ground lifts up to reveal a car stored below ground! This is not entirely what Sarah Beeny is planning for the couple but a version whereby they can have storage below ground level.

When carrying out structural building surveys we frequently come across homeowners who store many items in their loft space which is not always advisable as this is a fire hazard and when checking the condition of roof timbers stored items can obscure some defects.


The family in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire

The family in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire are taken by Sarah Beeny to see another family who all live together in a delightful shared living space with kitchens and bedrooms separate. The layout of the house needs to work for today but also for the growing needs of the family as time goes by the house is a commitment as well as an investment but most importantly a space where generations will live together.


In Sydenham

Loft extensions have come a long way with many ideas to maximise space with tens of thousands of home owner's added space and value to their homes in Britain by extending into their lofts. New modular lofts are becoming popular arriving on site pre-made being lifted into place via crane and a quick way of extending. The modular style lofts are factory built and therefore can keep costs relatively low and are an option that many homeowners are choosing to create additional space.

Bespoke is the way forward in Sydenham with the wife forcing ahead with the expansion of the family bathroom but this will impact on the bedroom space.


P lease see our surveying articles on:-

Structural Surveys

Roof problems and information

Leaking flat roofs


In Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire

The roof tiles are being added and the couple are looking at fixtures and fittings for their new home.

When carrying out structural building surveys as Independent Surveyors we often find that some older properties have been re-roofed and always check the condition of the roof timbers that they are sufficient to take the load of the new roofing material.


Back In Sydenham

Extra cupboards and doors and have added, a window seat and ends of the eaves in the attic are all areas for extra storage.


The Bungalow

Sarah Beeny can see that the build is coming along well but is concerned that the acoustics have not been addressed. An acoustic engineer visits the property explaining that the vogue for open spaces and clean lines can create an echo chamber. The test which involves popping a balloon and measuring the acoustic levels reveals that the area will have some sound issues however these can be addressed with rugs on the floors and furniture positioned against walls or adding acoustic panels.


The loft extension reveal

Sarah Beeny explains that when a loft extension is well thought out with storage space it can transform a property. The bathroom has been extended and the back bedroom has now become an office with storage and the master bedroom now has additional storage space. The loft extension has a feeling of space with beautiful bedrooms and bathroom.


Do the sums work?

The money spent on extending into the loft creating new rooms and additional space has increased the value of the house as well as making the family have a home they can enjoy.

The ultimate plunge of underground storage was a little over the budget and paying for storage was not an option so a large shed was constructed in the garden for storage instead.

The family in Chalfont St Giles are back at their new home which has transformed from a bungalow to a fantastic house. The house is transformed to a bright open plan living space with the grandparent's separate space ideal for their requirements. The property is a home within a home with a central hub and a perfect living space for all the family. The first floor has created further additional living space with the children having bedrooms of their own.

The build has not only created space but has also added value to their property and has become their dream home.


Please see our property television reviews

Homes Under The Hammer

Help, My House is Falling Down


Cowboy Builders




Independent Surveyors

If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a Surveyor with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, dilapidations or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 for aSurveyor to give you a call back.


Independent commercial property surveyors

If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site


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