First-time buyer transforms ‘atrocious’ mould-covered home

A first-time buyer has revealed how she completely transformed her ‘atrocious’ mould-covered home into a chic property – adding £45,000 to its value.

Amberley Rainey, 37, from Wirral, spent £18,000 on the extensive renovations and is now reaping the rewards, with the home now worth £220,000.

The officer manager says the three-bed house was a ‘real do-er upper’ with a kitchen covered in damp and mould, with uneven floors.

The décor wasn’t to Amberley’s taste either, with 1960s-style powder blue anaglypta wallpaper and salmon pink curtains in one room.

Having bought the property in December 2016 for £175,000, Amberley has lived there for three years while slowly chipping away at the makeover.

First-time buyer Amberley Rainey, 37, from Wirral, has revealed how she completely transformed her 'atrocious' mould-riddled home into a chic property – adding £45,000 to its value. Pictured is the kitchen before the transformation

She spent £18,000 on the extensive renovations and is now reaping the rewards, with the home now worth £220,000. Pictured is the kitchen after the renovation

First-time buyer Amberley Rainey, 37, from Wirral, has revealed how she completely transformed her ‘atrocious’ mould-riddled home into a chic property – adding £45,000 to its value. Pictured is the kitchen before the transformation

The living room fireplace is perhaps the most impressive transformation, which started out featuring a dated black grate with a mahogany mantelpiece and cream patterned tiles (pictured)

The dated living room was transformed into a chic space, featuring a stunning cream mantel with a black coal fireplace at the base

The living room fireplace is perhaps the most impressive transformation, which started out featuring a dated black grate with a mahogany mantelpiece and cream patterned tiles (pictured)

Having bought the property in December 2016 for £175,000, Amberley has lived there for three years while slowly chipping away at the makeover. Pictured is the bathroom before

Amberley completely transformed the bathroom with modern touches and a new white tiles. Pictured, the finished bathroom

Having bought the property in December 2016 for £175,000, Amberley has lived there for three years while slowly chipping away at the makeover. Pictured left, is the bathroom before, and right, after

When the UK went into lockdown in March last year, she was furloughed and finally had enough time to focus on the house.

The ‘glow-up’ of the home included merging the kitchen and dining room into an open-plan space and redecorating the bedrooms, lounge and bathroom, as well as working on the garden.

The kitchen was completely ripped out and replaced with fresh white units – bought second-hand on eBay for £400 – with wooden floor replacing the old black and white patterned floor tiles.

The living room fireplace is perhaps the most impressive transformation, going from a dated black grate with a mahogany mantelpiece and cream patterned tiles to a stunning cream mantel with a black coal fireplace at the base. 

Before the renovation the tired-looking kitchen featured grey cupboards and old fashioned tiles and was in desperate need of a modern makeover

Before the renovation the tired-looking kitchen featured grey cupboards and old fashioned tiles and was in desperate need of a modern makeover

The kitchen is pictured during the renovations, which the savvy homeowner started during the first lockdown last March

The kitchen is pictured during the renovations, which the savvy homeowner started during the first lockdown last March

The kitchen and dining area is pictured during the renovation last year - and the savvy homeowner has told how she is delighted with the finished results

The kitchen and dining area is pictured during the renovation last year – and the savvy homeowner has told how she is delighted with the finished results

The 'glow-up' of the home included merging the kitchen and dining room into an open-plan space. Pictured, after the transformation

The ‘glow-up’ of the home included merging the kitchen and dining room into an open-plan space. Pictured, after the transformation

The kitchen (pictured after) was completely ripped out and replaced with fresh white units – bought second-hand on eBay for £400 – with wooden floor replacing the old black and white patterned floor tiles

The kitchen (pictured after) was completely ripped out and replaced with fresh white units – bought second-hand on eBay for £400 – with wooden floor replacing the old black and white patterned floor tiles

The living room fireplace pictured before it was ripped out and replaced with a more stylish black fireplace inside a cream mantel

The fireplace in the new living room looks stunning, along with other touches such as a vase of flowers and candles (pictured)

The living room fireplace pictured before it was ripped out and replaced with a more stylish black fireplace inside a cream mantel

The living room had a dated pink sofa in it and cream and green walls before the changes were made

Amberley estimates the renovations would have taken two years' worth of weekend work had it not been for her being furloughed. The living room before is pictured

The living room had a dated pink sofa in it and cream and green walls(pictured left) before the changes were made (right)

Amberley (pictured) says the three-bed house was a 'real do-er upper' with a kitchen covered in damp and mould, with uneven floors

Amberley (pictured) says the three-bed house was a ‘real do-er upper’ with a kitchen covered in damp and mould, with uneven floors

The bedrooms are also unrecognisable after Amberley completely redecorated two of them with on-trend wooden furnishings, with the third box room converted into a work space.

Meanwhile, the garden was transformed using fresh paving slabs and pebbles leading to a seating area – right in the middle of a summertime sun-trap.

Even the garage got the golden treatment, going from a standard storage space to a stylish laundry room.

Amberley estimates the renovations would have taken two years’ worth of weekend work had it not been for her being furloughed.

Thanks to her efforts, the property value has increased by £45,000 

‘I was drawn to nothing but the fact the house was so light and bright with good-sized windows,’ Amberley said. 

‘Everything else was atrocious and, being a first-time buyer, I had no idea what lay ahead to improve it.

‘I lived in the house for three years just trying my best to bear it by painting walls ‘for now’, but after saving some money I was able to start renovations – starting with the kitchen wall knock-through, which was done by a professional weeks before lockdown.  

The bedrooms are also unrecognisable after Amberley completely redecorated two of them with on-trend wooden furnishings. Pictured is the master bedroom before the transformation

The master bedroom is pictured after the extensive renovations with white bed linen and wooden picture frames

The bedrooms are also unrecognisable after Amberley completely redecorated two of them with on-trend wooden furnishings. Pictured is the master bedroom before the transformation

The master bedroom had blue and white wallpaper and purple bedding before the chic transformation

The master bedroom after the impressive transformation now features cosy touches and wooden furniture (pictured)

The master bedroom had blue and white wallpaper and purple bedding before the chic transformation

The bathroom after. It now has a modern shower and practical storage units for the savvy homeowner to use

The bathroom is pictured after the work was completed - and boasts new white tiles and tasteful finishing touches

The bathroom after. It now has a modern shower and practical storage units for the savvy homeowner to use

The home was full of dated and old furniture before the impressive renovation got underway. Pictured, the living room before and after

The home was full of dated and old furniture before the impressive renovation got underway. Pictured, the living room before and after

Pictured, he garden before the makeover

Pictured, the garden after the renvation

The garden was transformed using fresh paving slabs and pebbles leading to a seating area – right in the middle of a summertime sun-trap (left before and right after the renovations) 

The hallway before the makeover

The hallway after the makeover

The hallway of the house is pictured left, before the impressive transformation, and right after the work was completed

The dining room was full of old furniture and a brown sofa before the DIY fan decided to transform the house

The dining room was full of old furniture and a brown sofa before the DIY fan decided to transform the house

The dining room is pictured afterwards with a stylish leather sofa, house plants and tasteful furnishings

The dining room is pictured afterwards with a stylish leather sofa, house plants and tasteful furnishings 

The dining room looked dated and even had pink curtains in it before extensive changes were made to the tired-looking property

The dining room looked dated and even had pink curtains in it before extensive changes were made to the tired-looking property

Although she had to battle damp walls, cavity problems, faulty electrics and uneven flooring, Amberley (pictured in the kitchen) described working on her home during lockdown as a 'huge blessing in disguise' that kept her mind preoccupied

Although she had to battle damp walls, cavity problems, faulty electrics and uneven flooring, Amberley (pictured in the kitchen) described working on her home during lockdown as a ‘huge blessing in disguise’ that kept her mind preoccupied 

‘After lockdown happened, I was stuck with all the time in the world and knew I had to sort my act out, and got planning the rest of the renovations. It really kept me busy to say the least.

‘My family are based in Devon and abroad so I didn’t see them at all but I used to call them for DIY tips and used YouTube a lot for decorating advice.’

The structural work was the most expensive part, setting Amberley back £2,500 to have a steel bar fitted for the kitchen/diner knock-through, but she was otherwise able to cut corners.

She said: ‘I knew the kitchen would take up a lot of my budget and didn’t want to spend a fortune on units via a high street brand which I’d be paying off each month.

‘I researched my options, which took forever, but in the end found a second-hand kitchen on eBay which belonged to a local family in Wirral who were upgrading their own kitchen. 

The structural work was the most expensive part, setting Amberley back £2,500 to have a steel bar fitted for the kitchen/diner knock-through, (pictured) but she was otherwise able to cut corners

The structural work was the most expensive part, setting Amberley back £2,500 to have a steel bar fitted for the kitchen/diner knock-through, (pictured) but she was otherwise able to cut corners

The kitchen is pictured during the renovations (the damp and mould are circled in red)

The kitchen is pictured during the renovations (the damp and mould are circled in red)

‘I made the purchase for 15 units for £400, which was a really risky move and meant having it fitted was challenging and the hardest part of the renovations – but so worth it in the end, and it means I’m not in kitchen debt.’

Although she had to battle damp walls, cavity problems, faulty electrics and uneven flooring, Amberley described working on her home during lockdown as a ‘huge blessing in disguise’ that kept her mind preoccupied.

‘Pre-lockdown, my life was all about work and seeing loved ones – then suddenly it became all about buying Polyfilla and drills,’ she explained. 

‘Until 2020 I didn’t know I would ever be capable of any form of DIY or decorating, it’s really been a matter of sink or swim.

The second bedroom is pictured before the renovations and featured orange walls and a grey duvet cover

The second bedroom is pictured before the renovations and featured orange walls and a grey duvet cover 

It was then transformed into another stylish room complete with white bed linen and brown furnishings

It was then transformed into another stylish room complete with white bed linen and brown furnishings 

The garden before the transformation was covered in grey gravel and damaged paving stones - and desperately needed some TLC

The garden before the transformation was covered in grey gravel and damaged paving stones – and desperately needed some TLC

To give the garden a new lease of life, the first-time buyer fitted new paving stones and added potted plants (pictured)

To give the garden a new lease of life, the first-time buyer fitted new paving stones and added potted plants (pictured)

‘The very fact I didn’t do it before lockdown shows how little time I had and how much of my life was taken up by other things. It’s now become a hobby as I refine the finishing touches.’

Amberley now plans to take a well-deserved break from renovating.

She added: ‘There’s always something to do and the list keeps growing, but for the most part it’s all done.

‘After a year of renovating I don’t want to pick up a paintbrush for a while, but my future plans are to convert the loft space into an office.’

You can follow her journey on Instagram (@raineysresidence).

The garage before

The garage after

Even the garage got the golden treatment, going from a standard storage space (left) to a stylish laundry room (right)

Pictured: The living room afterwards complete with cream furnishings and tasteful decorations

Pictured: The living room afterwards complete with cream furnishings and tasteful decorations

The box room before

The box room after

The box room was just a storage room before (pictured, left) but was transformed into a study with a sofa (pictured, right)

The dining room before was separated from the kitchen with a wall that was then knocked through

The dining room before was separated from the kitchen with a wall that was then knocked through

The dining room now features a stylish table and white wooden chairs - ready for the first-time homeowner to have guests round when possible

The dining room now features a stylish table and white wooden chairs – ready for the first-time homeowner to have guests round when possible

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