LET'S be honest – most of us only ever really turn to YouTube tutorials when we're searching for a make-up guide or maybe even some cooking inspiration.
But for first-time buyer Amberley Rainey, they were an integral part of her home renovation process.
The office manager, 37, from Wirral, spent £18,000 renovating the dated and mould-ridden property to turn it into her dream home.
Amberley says the three-bed house – which she bought for £175,000 in 2016 – was a "real do-er upper" and had damp and mould in the kitchen as well as uneven floors.
For the first three years, the DIY fan lived with the dated salmon pink curtains and powder blue walls before slowly making renovations as and when she could afford it.
"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."
Early last year, Amberley hired a builder to start her kitchen renovation and knock down a wall to make it bigger – but then lockdown happened.
As she was unable to work from home, Amberley was furloughed and spent months giving her house a "glow up" – and now her efforts have added a whopping £40k to her home's value.
She ripped out her old kitchen and installed white units she bought second-hand on eBay for £400 before replacing the black-and-white tiles with new wooden floorboards.
While the garden was transformed using fresh paving slabs and pebbles leading to a seating area, Amberley revamped the living room fireplace with cream tiles.
Amberley believes renovations would have taken two years’ worth of weekend work if she hadn't been furloughed – but she was able to complete the transformation in a matter of months.
"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," she said. "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."
Unsurprisingly, the structural work was the most expensive part of the renovations – and Amberley had to spend £2,500 on a steel bar to connect her kitchen and dining room.
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.
"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 said the extensive home renovations were a "huge blessing in disguise" while in lockdown.
She said: "Pre-lockdown, my life was all about work and seeing loved ones – then suddenly it became all about buying Polyfilla and drills.
"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 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. 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 Amberley on Instagram here.
For more amazing home transformations, this woman completely changed the colour of the grotty patio she hasn’t washed in SIX years using £2 The Range spray.
And this abandoned ‘crack den’ covered in graffiti transformed into a plush family pad as owner shares jaw-dropping makeover pics.
Plus this woman was quoted £1k to replace ‘outdated’ floor does it herself by painting tiles which were ‘ready for the bin’ for £100.
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