Man builds dream home with cinema and gym, saves £75,000 on YouTube videos

Alex Dodman built his dream home including a movie theater and outdoor gym and learned it all from YouTube videos – and he’s doubled his net worth

Alex Dodman doubled the value of his home with his do-it-yourself work
Alex Dodman doubled the value of his home with his do-it-yourself work

Meet the man who saved himself £75,000 in mechanic fees – by watching a DIY YouTube video.

NHS Worker Alex Dodman, 36, has built himself a dream home that includes a backyard gym, family-sized movie space and a trendy rollaway bed for the home office his.

And he accomplished it all by learning on the go — watching YouTube videos and reading constructive forums.

Alex bought the home in Saffron Walden, Essex, which he shares with his partner and two young children, in 2018 for £250,000.

But he has since been told his improvements have doubled its value, to £525,000.

Alex recommends investing in the right tools for long-term use



Alex first got into DIY when he bought his first home in 2014, installed a kitchen and laid out a patio.

But after buying his current home, his do-it-yourself instincts kicked in after watching a carpenter hammer a nail wall – and realizing he could do it himself.

He said: “We valued the house in 2020 and were told it is now worth £525,000, which I spent on completion.

“It has turned from a two-bed house to a four-bedroom house with a beautiful large garden.

“I estimate I’ve saved around £75,000 over the past few years simply by not calling in a mechanic and trying things out for myself.”

His most recent project was to turn a unused spare bedroom into a sleek and modern office – which can still be called into bedroom service if needed.

After deliberating to install a space-saving rollaway bed, Alex was dismayed to find that a professional carpenter would charge thousands of dollars – and he would have to face a wait. significantly.

So he rolled up his sleeves and got to work on his own.

“Since I was working from home, I wanted a home office, and I thought about doing that for a long time before I knew how much it would cost to have one there,” he said. how much.

The NHS worker learned all he knows from DIY YouTube videos and reading online forums



“In the end, using only pine boards from B&Q, the bed itself cost me around £250 – and then another £160 on the mattress.

“I spent a total of two or three weeks on it, and that’s great – when it’s up you wouldn’t think it was a bedroom.

“Receiving paint, lighting and floor pieces from B&Q has also helped bring my entire vision to life.”

But his favorite construction is what he calls “Superbed” – two connected king-size beds in the master bedroom, with a large projector screen on the wall.

Alex thinks this is perfect for family movie nights, and it also means that when his kids – ages five to two – sleep with mom and dad, they won’t spend the night kicking each other under the bed sheet.

His feats even earned him many followers Instagram – where 122,000 people and the number of people are continuing to be able to check the details of his house constructions.

In the garden, Alex’s home gym is 6m by 6m, packed with enough equipment for a full workout – and at one point even had its own sauna.

“I have now given up on the sauna and plan to build an outdoor sauna next to the pool – that is my current project,” he said.

He’s built himself a home office that can also be a spare bedroom – thanks to a built-in rollaway bed.



“I saw a YouTube video about a woman in the Netherlands who built her own swimming pool in her garden and as soon as I saw it I called and hired a digger.

“I’ve never driven a digger before, so I dug this huge hole and then there’s no going back.

“In general, the hardest thing to learn from a DIY standpoint is the plumbing – that’s pretty frustrating. If you do it wrong you will get things dripping.

“But it’s not as hard as I thought – it really is like water LEGO.

“I’m not confident in doing it myself, but the best way to learn is to try it. I’ve made mistakes and things don’t always turn out the way you think, but giving is the best way.

“I’ve learned almost everything from YouTube, and there are tons of online forums for builders where you can find help on countless projects – whatever problem you have, maybe someone has encountered it and wrote about it online.”

Susie Spence, Interior Director at B&Q said after witnessing Alex’s home transformation: “We love seeing the results of our clients’ home improvement projects, small or large, and Alex was a unique transformation, which is why we reached out to him about Operation Changemaker.

“Making some small changes to improve your living space can make a big difference, and we encourage people to try to come in and see what they can do to improve their home and life. their”.

AlexDodmans top five tips for DIY beginners

  1. Do not be afraid. The first step is always the hardest, just do whatever seems intimidating – it’s almost always easier than you think.
  2. Find professionals when needed. When it comes to things like electrical or plumbing that need to be signed and certified, you should leave that to professionals.
  3. Measure two cuts once. I’ve learned this lesson myself a few times! The extra time spent making sure that everything is measured just right will save you a lot of frustration – although I don’t always live up to it now.
  4. Get the right tools. A hacksaw, a good power drill with good drills, and a case for different sized screws and cords will get you through most DIY projects for beginners. his start. I bought my bone saw from B&Q for around £60 and I use it almost every day.
  5. Don’t join too many at once. It’s easy to get bored with a project and start something new – my advice is to take it one step at a time and do it the right way. That’s something I don’t always live with – my pool is a perfect example!

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Read more Man builds dream home with cinema and gym, saves £75,000 on YouTube videos

Fry Electronics Team

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