Our 2013 winners!

Shamier and Hudaa Croeser
Without any experience and on a tiny budget, our 2013 winners, Hudaa and Shamier Croeser, showed that with creativity and perseverance, the sky’s the limit! Two years ago, they bought their first property; and there’s good reason why the 40-year-old house in Ottery, Cape Town was such a bargain: it hadn’t been painted in 20 years, it was very dark inside, and the décor was exactly the same as when it was built.

Learning the ropes

Before moving in, they broke through the wall between the living room and kitchen to create an open-plan area. They measured and ordered the cupboard carcasses and worktops from Lansdowne Boards – for just R12 500! Although Shamier, who works in town planning, had never owned a toolbox, with the help of Google and YouTube he did all the finishes and put together the kitchen cupboards single-handedly. After painting the pine ceiling white, the house felt considerably lighter. The old vinyl flooring was removed and replaced with dark laminated floors with a high gloss that they found on Gumtree.

Budget breakdown
Kitchen cupboards R12 500
Laminated flooring 6 300
Cornices and skirting 900
Paint 1 450
Wooden panels
behind TV 410
Wallpaper 200
TOTAL R21 760

The future…
With their prize money of R25 000 from Pennypinchers and Timber City the couple plans to put up a pergola and columns at the front door and to revamp the back garden.