Ren­o­va­tion reme­dies

Up­dat­ing your home on a bud­get is not so hard, writes

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - STYLE -

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.

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