We got the keys to our new Emmaus Salford Emporium in Swinton towards the end of March. The day we got in there the place was an absolute mess – uneven floors, rotten and damp. Once we got the heating repaired and gave the surfaces a clean the damp soon disappeared.

We started by stripping the old carpets out and they had about 10 ton of carpet glue under them so it took us about three days. Underneath we found a stone floor which we originally planned to take out but then decided to keep as a nice feature.

The stone flags needed cleaning and repointing so we set about doing that. For me this was probably the most difficult part of the transformation but also the most rewarding. There was also some wooden flooring underneath some of the carpets so we cleaned and polished it up.

After the flooring I set about doing all the filling, smoothing and painting of walls, ceilings and window frames. This was quite a big job as there were holes everywhere and plenty of uneven surfaces.

Ian made a start on the skirting boards, door frames and upcycled door wall. We had a load of old cupboard doors of different sizes so we decided to reuse these and create a feature wall. We made use of bits of furniture that would have probably been sent for recycling. It looked so good that we decided to do another feature wall in this style.

We found some old large wooden doors going to waste so we created a fitting room out of these. All the door frames were also created using scrap wood.

Some of the floor still needed carpeting so we had some carpet tiles going spare and made use of those. Jed and Steve came up and installed those, along with some thick underlay to help even up the floor.

Our shop counter was donated so we just varnished it up and placed it in position. All the clothes rails and our bespoke shelving system was created from donated clothes rails. The metal rails were modified to suit our need and we added some MDF shelving to them.

Pretty much everything we used for this transformation was sourced from items that had been donated to Emmaus Salford. We did buy in some paint and a few other bits so there was some cost but the majority of materials were free. When you look at the quality of the finish you wouldn’t realise that though.

After we finished transforming the space it took a week to fill the shop with stock and we opened as promised, dead on time. Since then we’ve had lots of positive comments from our customers about the shop and the work we’ve done.

Luke, companion at Emmaus Salford