1. The man who destroyed his house to build a massive indoor aquarium
We all love fish, right? Well, maybe not as much as Martin Lakin, who almost destroyed his house to install a 5,000-liter aquarium right in the middle of it.
An architect warned him the bizarre renovation would make his whole house collapse. He went ahead with it anyway and tore the house in Rochester, Kent, apart, as his bemused wife Kay and son James looked on. Apparently the tank was so huge they could even swim in it before the fish arrived.
The tank cost around £50,000 ($75,000), but with the half ton of live coral, complex machinery (including an automated sunroof), pumps and computers that run the aquarium 24 hours a day, Martin reckons the total cost is around £150,000 ($230,000). Now that it is complete, it’s home to more than 120 fish. (Source)
2. The couple who transformed their home into an airplane
Lovebirds Steve and Vicky Everson took their marriage to new heights after spending £40,000 ($60,000) to turn their modest home into a plane. The pair transformed the two-up two-down terraced house in Bacup, Lancs into a replica of a Boeing 737.
The aviation project started in 2009 after they created a flight simulator in the spare room of their previous home in Milton Keynes. After moving north, they put it back together again. It was so big it stretched from one side of the house to the other.
The couple, who even tied the knot in a Concorde four years earlier, regularly take up to 12 passengers in their “airplane,” on simulated “flights” to New York and Hong Kong. Broadcast engineer Steve, 42, said: “Everyone thinks we’re a bit eccentric, but you have to do what makes you happy.” (Source)
3. The neighbors who built a pub between their houses
Two neighboring couples have given a whole new meaning to the term “local pub.” Kelvin and Samantha Mayes joined forces with Robert and Helen Sheldon to construct a mini pub between their houses for just £80 (around $110).
The Outback Pub was named as such because it’s “out the back”—and now the quaffing comrades don’t have to leave the enclave of their homes for a social drink. The foursome from Willenhall, West Mids built a shed-like enclosure and filled it with seating, tables, glassware, pub paraphernalia, and a blackboard sign was saying, “We never close.”
They used mostly recycled items, which they mainly procured from eBay, including a disco ball. The most expensive item was the £40 roof. Bus seats have doubled up as banquettes, and the bar is an old work surface. The couples aren’t just DIY-savvy, they also brew their own drinks to enjoy at this unique locale. (Source 1 | Source 2)
4. The couple who converted a church (yes, with its own cemetery) into their home
A nondescript exterior and a yard dominated by headstones give no indication of the residential nature of this historic church in Kyloe, Northumberland. A couple decided to buy and readapt the structure, investing nearly three times the purchase price into renovations over the course of several years.
The exterior remains mostly untouched, save for skylights running the length of the roof. Inside, the owners took a similar approach. Restoration is more prevalent than renovation, with original stained glass windows throughout, and repurposed church fixtures abound. Much of the original seating was refinished and placed throughout the home, and unused wood and building materials were fashioned into a dramatic staircase leading from the main living space to an upper-level library.
The choice to live in a church is an unorthodox one, but this home’s owners managed to salvage a structure that might have otherwise been doomed to deterioration and abandonment. (Source)
5. The man who turned his house into a feline fantasy
A man with 18 cats decided to turn his home into a feline paradise, adding in colorful ramps, walkways and tunnels for the animals to play on.
The unidentified cat lover, whose house is located in Goleta, California, spent a whopping $35,000 on the renovation, which included the addition of a spiral walkway, tiny stairs leading to various kitty ledges and climbing poles that double as scratching posts.
More importantly, he also installed a new ventilation system to ensure that the air is regulated—a necessity for a home housing so many animals.
Despite all the cat accouterments, the house looks surprisingly normal from the outside; a pretty stone patio decorates the lush backyard, which is surrounded by palm trees. (Source)