Woman shows how she renovated a small and dark 1930s house

Woman reveals how she transformed a damp 1930s home that was being eaten away by mould into a chic modern property for £20,000

  • Sue Hore, of Plymouth , renovated a house from the 1930s with her family
  • Bought the house for £240,000 after a bidding war, due to the beautiful view 
  • Spent £20,000 on renovation so far. Took down walls in order to open house up
  • House looks unrecognisable now, with a fitted kitchen and stylish living-room 

A proud homeowner has revealed how she transformed a damp and mouldy 1930s house into a chic modern living space for £20,000. 

Sue Hore, from Plymouth, bought a house for £240,000 in November 2019 following a bidding war after falling in love with the view overlooking the Tamar River. 

The building, which dates back to the 1930s, was in dire need of renovation, especially the back of the house, which had mould eating away at the windows and walls.  

Sue and her family started working on the house the week after Christmas and have spent the last seven months remodeling it, spending £20,000 so far.  

The house now looks completely different, with a bigger and stylish living-room and a modern fitted kitchen as well as a terrace overlooking the Tamar Bridge to Cornwall. 

Sue shared pictures of her progress on the DIY on a Budget Facebook group and told Femail how she achieved such a dramatic transformation. 

Sue Hore, from Plymouth, bought a house for £240,000 in November 2019 following a bidding war after falling in love with the view overlooking the Tamar River. She shared her amazing house transformation after spending months renovating it. It has taken £20,000 so far to renovate the house, which was falling into ruins and was eaten away by mould. The living-room was small and needed a style update

‘The house is located in Plymouth very near the Tamar Bridge. We had a house in a village before which was beautiful. We’d lived there for 20 years but felt we wanted a change,’ she explained, adding her children, now grown up, needed something to do. 

‘We sold our house quickly and then started to look around for something we liked and hoped for a view.’

‘This house came up and when we saw the view we just couldn’t resist. Although it has been tough and we’ve had days where we thought, “OMG what are we doing?”, it’s been great as well. 

The family bought the house in November 2019, and quickly took to the tools to kick-start the renovations. 

Before the renovations (pictured) the kitchen was separated from the dining-room and quite small, with green tiles on the floor. The family had a new kitchen professionally fitted. The old tiled floor was also replaced with stylish a laminated floor

‘We moved in in November last year and more or less started the week after Christmas started by knocking the wall between the small kitchen and very dark dining room to open up the space,’ Sue explained. 

‘The back of the house was the worst part: a semi extended area with a plastic roof water pouring through and rotten doors and windows.

‘You could put your finger through the wood in the windows,’ she added. 

‘So we had a new roof put on that part and fully insulated the walls in that area also we replaced all of the windows and doors to make it into a usable dining room.’

Sue explained the back of the house was damp due to a plastic roof which had aged badly and had let humidity and mould in the house. The family took down walls to open up the space and replaced the roof. Pictured: the old dining room, which is now part of the living space comprising the lounge, dining and kitchen areas of the house

The family house’s living-room, which leads to a patio, is now much bigger and brighter thanks to Sue’s tweaks. This part of the house used to be a damp veranda which was turned into an extended dining-room with storage space 

The extension at the back of the house had water pouring through the roof and rotten doors and windows (left). The family had builders change the roof and installed new flooring to create a stylish dining area (right)

The house was carpeted throughout before the renovation, and each room was dark and damp They took down the walls of this carpeted dining-room (left) in order to create a bigger living-room and dining-room area (right)

The family also turned a damp downstairs toilets into a small utility area which now holds their washing machine and tumble-dryer. 

Sue explained they family had to move out with her husband’s family for two weeks while electricians completely rewired the house – the house old wiring was indeed dangerous, due to the build being so old.   

Once the rewiring was complete, it was back to business for the Hores. A local company took care of the kitchen fitting and the rest was down to the family. 

Sue’s husband replaced all the floors himself, her son took care of the boiler, and they took down all the walls themselves 

They had a builder in to put in a support as per building regulations and had a plasterer in to plaster the walls.

‘The other wall we then took down was the wall between the dining room and lounge, opening up the whole area so you can stand at the other end of the house now and look right through to the Tamar River.

Sue’s adorable balcony, which overlook the Tamar River and Tamar Bridge. Sue said she liked to unwind on this side of the house in the evenings

Sue furnished the living-room with stylish and trendy pieces to update it. The family painted all of the walls themselves 

One side of the living-room leads to a balcony with a faux grass that overlooks the Tamar River and Tamar Bridge. The Hores took down the wall between the dining-room and lounge so that light would be coming into their new living-room from both ends of the house

‘We’ve had every wall rendered and plastered. We’ve moved the boiler into the cellar which was a very big job luckily my son is a boiler engineer so he did this for us bless him,’ Sue said. 

‘The flooring right through is the vinyl click together which my hubby laid, we’ve done all the painting and decorating ourselves and tried using our local independent furniture shop for our furniture. 

In spite of the house costing £20,000 in renovation and countless hours of hard-work, Sue, who can now enjoy a night cap on her balcony overlooking the river, said she does not regret her choice.  

Another look at Sue’s new kitchen and laminated floor, next to a snazzy dining-room area with a white table and chairs. The kitchen used to be a separate room and much smaller, with little cooking space 

A look at the house’s old door, which Sue said was rotting away due to damp. The family have now changed their door

‘Through all of this work and at times it’s been tough but never regretted it when we get a bit tired of the work we stand on the balcony and look at the boats on the river and smile,’ she said. 

Sharing her pictures on Facebook, sue said renovating the house had been a ‘massive slog.’

The before and after pictures highlighted how much work had already been accomplished on the house.  

Sue said she fell in love with the view from the house and engaged into a bidding war with another family to snatch the house away

People loved the family’s hard-work and complimented Sue on her stylish kitchen, living-room and balcony, noting how different the house looked. 

‘Wow, absolutely stunning, well done,’ one said, while another said it looked ‘amazing’.

‘Love the transformation and the colours,’ one wrote, while a fellow enthusiast added: ‘What a beautiful home.’  

People loved Sue’s transformation after she shared it on Facebook. Some said the house was stunning and made a ‘beautiful home’

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