Updating your home on a budget is not so hard, writes
here are some seriously big budgets being thrown around on television renovations shows, so if you’re coming up short on the odd $300,000 to flip a home, you’re not alone.
Expert renovator Cherie Barber (above) has made a name for herself as a go-to when budgets are tight, transforming dated facades and has-been kitchens into modern beauties.
In her new book Renovating For Profit, she calls for renovators to put down the sledgehammer and to think about how they could save thousands of dollars on a cosmetic renovation by re-using the products they already have, not to mention keeping tonnes of useful materials out of landfill.
Cherie, who has renovated more than 100 properties in her 27-year career as a renovator and is a regular on Ten’s The Living Room, says her first book aims to inspire the DIY renovator into the sprucing up their home to sell or rent for a profit.
“We are talking about cosmetic renovations, probably for properties under $750,000 — that’s where the bulk of Australians are — and as always you need to be sensible with the amount of money you spend,” she says.
“As a good rule of thumb, if you’re doing a cosmetic renovation and your home is worth $600,000, you should spend no more than 10 per cent of that. That’s to transform the whole house, in and out.”
While that may not sound like a big budget, how far you can stretch it will depend on how savvy you are.
Cherie suggests the three key areas to focus on first should be the facade, the kitchen and the bathroom.
“Renovating for profit is different from the average home renovator who can take their time, do a room, save some more money and then do another. You have to do the whole house at the same time, “she says. “We get in and out in the space of six weeks, otherwise you are losing out on rental income.”
As there is often no structural work to be done in a cosmetic renovation, Cherie says six weeks is plenty of time to get the job done, even if you work a full-time job.
“Six weeks is typical, you can do that comfortably because you’re not demolishing the house,” she says. “An apartment is no more than four weeks because you’re not working on the facade. It’s a surface improvement and you can do that while holding down a job. It’s easy and inexpensive and not too time consuming.”
Cherie says structural renovations are a different ball game and should be left to the professionals. They can take about two years to come to fruition from the time you invest in a property, see it through the design and approval stage, followed by the actual build, which is a minimum of six to eight months.