DIY SOS: The Big Build Cornwall home is transformed

Grandparents who took in their three grandsons when their daughter died have their cramped two-bedroom retirement bungalow transformed into a spacious family home on DIY SOS: The Big Build

  • Brothers Ruben, 17, Jaden, 11, and Uche, 10, lost their mother in April 2017
  • They moved into their grandparents’ two-bedroom bungalow in Cornwall 
  • Space was tight and all three brothers slept in bunk beds in the same bedroom 
  • House is transformed in DIY SOS: The Big Build episode airing tonight 

Three brothers living in their grandparents cramped bungalow are given a new, spacious home on tonight’s episode of DIY SOS: The Big Build.

Ruben, 17, Jaden, 11, and Uche, 10, moved in with grandparents Lynn and Steve Smedley after their mother Carrie died in her sleep in April 2017. 

Lynn, 56, and Steve, 62, retired foster parents who took in more than 100 children, didn’t think twice about moving their grandsons into their bungalow in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, despite there only being two bedrooms. 

On tonight’s episode viewers will see how the pebbledash property was transformed into a spacious family home fit for three growing boys. 

Family: Brothers Ruben, 17, Jaden, 11, and Uche, 10, moved in with grandparents Lynn and Steve Smedley (pictured together) after their mother Carrie died in her sleep in April 2017

Cramped: Lynn, 56, and Steve, 62, retired foster parents, didn’t think twice about moving their grandsons into their bungalow in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, despite there only being two bedrooms

Transformed: On tonight’s episode viewers will see how the pebbledash property was transformed into a spacious family home fit for three growing boys

On top of each other: The three brothers all shared a bedroom with little privacy 

Fit for a teenager: Sneak peek photos reveal how one of the boys has been given his own double bed in a beach-inspired room, complete with a surfboard hung on the wall

Lynn told the Daily Mirror how Uche, then just six years old, was the one to discover his mother dead in her bed.   

‘He and Jaden just thought they couldn’t wake mummy up,’ she said. ‘They got their big brother Ruben, he came upstairs and realised what had happened. For those two little boys to have had to found their mum like that.’

Ruben has stepped up to help look after his brothers and even offered to find somewhere else to stay to save Lynn and Steve from being burdened. But their grandparents were determined to have them at home.

‘There’s no way in a million years we’d let them go anywhere else,’ Steve says. 

The brothers slept in bunk beds, while the living room with its two-seater sofa hardly had enough space for the family.   

Dark and cramped: The dining table couldn’t fit all five family members comfortably 

Bright and airy: The room was replaced with an open kitchen-diner flooded with light

Speaking to Nick on the show, Ruben says: ‘We’ll be able to do more stuff together as a family. When I turned 13 I never got out of my bedroom. I regret that, I never got to spend time with my mum.’ 

Sneak peek photos reveal how one of the boys has been given his own double bed in a beach-inspired room, complete with a surfboard hung on the wall. 

The dark and cramped dining room, which could previously only fit four people comfortably, is replaced with a bright and airy kitchen-diner with banquette seating. 

Outside is also unrecognisable with a spacious BBQ and outdoor dining table replacing the garden. 

Tight squeeze: Grandmother Lynn sits on the two-seater sofa before the transformation

Room to improve: The retirement bungalow before the DIY SOS transformation last year

Building site: An aerial view of how the property was transformed during the massive build

Speaking to the volunteers after the transformation, Lynn says: ‘When we realised we had lost Carrie, we were devastated. Nothing can prepare you for losing a child.

‘But our first instinct was to protect the boys. There was no hesitation the boys would come and live with us, then reality struck.

‘It has been extremely hard at times, no privacy or space, no time to grieve. But the boys come first. We can now move forward and build our lives.’  

Team effort: The family (centre) with Nick Knowles (right), the team and volunteers

DIY SOS: The Big Build airs Thursday 8pm on BBC One 

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