"I can't get on property ladder - I turned my parents garage into a home for £15k"

  • 28 days ago
A man struggling to get on the property ladder landed spent just £15k on his first home - by building it in his parents' garage.

Josh Jones, 21, convinced his mum and dad to let him convert the garage attached to their four bed family home in Tunbridge Wells into a one-bed apartment.

Having saved up £4000, Josh decided to spend the cash transforming the space into his own home rather than putting down as a house deposit.

He started the build in January 2023 and took eight months to complete the work - with tips he picked up on YouTube.

Josh did all the work himself- completely stripping the garage roof, levelling out the floor, adding drainage, building a kitchen, installing a bathroom and a bedroom.

He spent £14,700 on materials, moved into his new abode in May 2024 with his girlfriend and say his parents are "happy for him".

Josh, a landscaper, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, said: "Renting is ridiculously expensive.

"I was living with my mum at dad and I knew renting could never be an option.

"As I was still living at home it was a no-brainer really.

"I learned to do it all on YouTube, as I have been in the building trade since I was 16.

"I knew what to do with most bits but I used YouTube for anything I didn't know about."

In December 2022, Josh approached his mum and dad with the idea to transform their garage into a small home.

He says to start with his parents weren't into the idea but Josh was able to win them around.

He said: "Initially, they were not on board. I kept going on and on about it.

"The garage was full of crap from over the years and I think dad realised that it was a serious situation when I started to take stuff out of the garage."

Josh started working on the garage in January 2023 - stripping it of all the items and fixing the roof.

From there he levelled the garage floor, added drain work and damp-proofed the structure.

He said: "I had to completely strip the garage roof, repair it and then insulate it.

"I levelled out the garage floor, we damp-proofed it and added drainage.

"I added walls, a kitchen, bathroom and living room."

Josh said the hardest part of the project was the drainage.

He said: "We had to dig a six-foot deep hole and I dug too far down and broke a pipe that I didn't need to so I had to replace that.

"The most challenging part of the project was the drainage - it is very complicated."

Josh said his favourite part of the build was putting in his kitchen.

He said: "I love my kitchen, it was second-hand from Facebook Marketplace and so cheap - costing £500.

"The most exciting part of the build was when I put in the window and doors.

"It felt like I was getting somewhere."

Josh said he will be in the property for the next 10 years due to the state of the rental market.

He said: "Renting is ridiculously expensive and never an option for me as I didn't want to be paying someone else's mortgage.

"I can see myself living here for the next 10 years - I don't see why not.