When Chesterfield based electrician Steve Rivington heard he had been selected for Channel 4’s The Great House Giveaway series – the pretext for which is two people are apparently randomly selected as partners and presented with a house bought ‘blind’ at auction with the challenge of renovating it and selling it for a profit, which is shared between the partners – he was understandably delighted. Steve was paired with Ellie, a 26-year-old student nurse and the two of them had an interesting relationship to put it mildly – but that’s part of the joy of the programme! It wouldn’t be so interesting if the partners agreed on everything, every week!
The programme is a BAFTA-winning show that offers strangers the chance to get on the property ladder, as they are given the cash to buy, renovate and sell a house, and keep any profit that they make.
They are given a budget of approximately £15,000 and a timescale of no more than six months to complete the renovation and it’s up to them to achieve what they can, for what they can, always remembering that the end plan is to make a decent profit to share at the end of the process. So begging, stealing and borrowing is very much a part of the programme that sees contacts of both partners in the project being brought in to do what they do well – be it electrics, heating, plastering or any one of the myriad of skills that are needed to achieve a fully renovated home that is then sold by a local estate agent.
The house that was ‘given’ to Steve and his partner was a run-down red brick semi in Chesterfield that is now a stunning three bedroomed semi with two good sized double bedrooms with velux windows in the roof to make the whole home a light and airy space to live in. Whilst on first impression on the day they found out what they had to work with, it was ‘a bit of a tip’, anyone involved in renovations would say they’d seen worse although it needed pretty much everything doing to it to bring it up to a saleable standard. Steve was keen to see what help he could get from local suppliers and as a local tradesman, he was pretty successful at achieving this – one of the locally based companies he approached was ‘just up the road’ Mexborough-based leading radiator manufacturer Stelrad. There was a need for a number of new radiators throughout the house to match up with the new boiler he had managed to find via EBay. Stelrad has a great reputation for being helpful when asked for this sort of support – it has supplied radiators for a raft of TV programmes from DIY SOS to Grand Designs and many more so it was happy to help Steve and his partner with the heating system in the renovated home and supplied a number of its best selling Vita Compact radiators in a range of sizes to match the décor of the house as it came together over the weeks of work on the property.
“I wasn’t sure what reception I might get from Stelrad to my plea for assistance, but they were really helpful and happy to respond – this was one potential major headache sorted immediately and gave us huge optimism that we might be able to do well with this project,” says Steve. “They were delivered when they said they would arrive and we stored them in the utility room and brought them out one by one as we installed them up and down the house.”
So after completing the renovation and fighting their way through the issues that inevitably arose during the process, was it a worthwhile experience for Steve? “Absolutely, we had our moments but doing house renovations has always been an ambition of mine and this was a great way of trying one out without any risk for myself, and I learned a huge amount almost on a daily basis about addressing issues and discovering challenges the property threw up regularly that we hadn’t expected – as well as learning about how to manage relationships with suppliers and tradespeople. I’d certainly do it again if I had the chance!”
Chris Harvey is Head of Marketing at Stelrad: “We were happy to lend a hand to Steve and his partner with this project and we’re looking forward to seeing the great reveal – we believe around Christmas or early in 2023. Our radiators are part of the staple diet for home renovation projects – most older homes are in need of a new heating system to function properly as family homes once they have been renovated and fitting our radiators, in the largest range of sizes and shapes available offers a sensible and inexpensive way of sharing the heat around the home. We’re really pleased with how good the Compacts look in every room of this home – proof that radiators can be part of the décor rather than simply heating appliances. “
To find out more about Stelrad’s popular radiators go to www.stelrad.com. You can call for information on 0800 876 6813 or email email@example.com. Alternatively, you can also see regular updates from Stelrad on Twitter @Stelrad and Facebook @StelradRadiators.