Thrifty mother saves £1000 on DIY media unit made with B&Q bargains

I was quoted £2,500 for a media unit so I made my own using B&Q and CostCo bargains – I saved £1,000 and it looks so professional

A thrifty mother-of-three has revealed how she saved £1000 creating a media unit with bargains she snapped up in B&Q and CostCo.

Carly Elwick, 36 from Newport, South Wales, explained how her living room was the last area in her house that was completed in her recent home renovation.

As such, the Assistant Manager decided to try and overhaul the room herself in an attempt to keep the costs as low as possible.

Speaking to Latest Deals, Carly explained: ‘I have quite a good sized living room, but it previously had no focal point.’

After scrolling through Instagram, the mother set her heart on creating a chimney breast to display her TV on and then adding storage on either side. 

Before: What Carly's spacious living room looked like before the overhaul. The mother had IKEA storage units on either side of her TV

After: Carly was inspired to create this faux chimney breast after spotting a similar design on Instagram

But after approaching a professional for a quote, Carly was stunned by how expensive the work was going to be.

She said: ‘We were given a quote of £2500 to have the work done. I sensed we would be able to do it more cheaply ourselves, even if it might take us longer.’ 

To begin with, Carly picked up some supplies for the shelves and chimney breast frame from Howdens as well as a small local business.

The mother added: ‘I got the Dimplex fire from Costco. It was so much cheaper than B&Q for the same one – about £300 cheaper actually!’ 

What’s more, she also snapped up some tiles for fireplace’s hearth from B&Q.

She explained: ‘The bricks behind the fire are actually polystyrene panels with a brick like coating. 

‘They were so much cheaper than actual Brick Slips, but you really can’t tell they’re anything different unless you go really close. They were so easy to install too.’

In total, the mother estimates that she spent £900 on the materials she needed to make the unit. 

The mother was delighted when she found a Dimplex fire from Costco that was £300 cheaper than the B&Q alternative

Carly's living room during the transformation

Carly's living room during the transformation

Detailing how they tackled the project, Carly continued: ‘First we had to build a timber frame and add some OBS board to where the TV would be mounted to ensure that it had a good base to secure to. 

‘We then plaster boarded that all up and had a friend come and plaster that all for us.’

What’s more, the cupboards on either side were made using kitchen cabinet units and doors they picked up Howdens. 

They then used MDF to fill in any space to make them appear as though they’d been professionally fitted. 

Carly said: ‘MDF tops were added to the cupboards, then 2 floating shelves were constructed out of MDF and added to supports mounted to the wall. We were only able to shelve the one side due to the window placement on the other wall.

‘Everything was then primed and painted. An oak beam was ordered online and that is mounted by screws so is removable in the future for painting.’ 

The mother is delighted with the finished results and said her only regret is not having a real log burner installed. 

She added: ‘Altogether the cost of this project came to £1550 and that’s including all materials, having the electrics and the plastering done by professionals, and having 2 new doors fitted. We saved £1000!’


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