renovate for profit

5 things I learned from my favourite TV renovator

Do you love property developer Sarah Beeney’s show Property Ladder? I do! Each week Sarah visits people who are determined to renovate for profit and equally determined to ignore any and all advice that Sarah (a successful, professional developer) has to give them. It’s one of those shows that literally has me howling at the TV! I’m not sure if it’s still being made but there are always re-runs on Foxtel. Ask me how I know!


Over many years of, ahem, research, here’s what I’ve learned about how to renovate for profit from Sarah Beeney.



Easter projects? Hop into it!


The Easter long weekend is my favourite weekend of the year – four whole days off work and no pressure to host big lunches or spend time with family. I love getting projects done over Easter – cooking, sewing and jobs around the house. Here are three awesome projects, that don’t take too much planning that you could get done this Easter long weekend and that would really make a big impact on your home.


Repaint the grout

lovely links

7 lovely links


I know. The last couple of posts have been pretty dry – what can I say, building is serious stuff sometimes! Sure, throw rugs and cushions are great fun but you’ve got to get through the approvals and the dirty work first!


So, here’s some pretty things to remind you of why you’re planning that next building project – and a few other things as well.


Loved this post about granny flats. Peter Stutchbury is amazing.


This cute couple have called in the professionals to finish off their staged renovation of an old house. Plus, puppies!

council approval

Do I need approval for that?


Some days, it can feel like you need official approval for everything – parking, pets, parties and of course, building works. For a larger project that’s a bit out of the box, obtaining council approval can take up a considerable amount of time and money. However, the good news is that there are now a number of projects for which you do not need approval – these are called exempt developments. Yippee!


You can get the full lowdown here, but here are some highlights for those of you living in NSW.


Christmas renovation

Why you won't be in by Christmas

No matter what time of year you start your project, a major goal is pretty much always “we want to be in by Christmas”, or words to that effect. We hear you! Everyone wants to be in their own home for Christmas Day – especially if it’s a home that’s got a shiny kitchen and a new ensuite or some new doors and windows and a nice deck.


As I’ve said before (and no doubt you’ll hear it again), building is all about scheduling and logistics – getting the right people and products to the right place at the right time while coordinating with a number of other people who are trying to do the same thing at other people’s houses at the same time.

What to do when someone else's poo comes up your shower drain

First things first – call an emergency plumber because having poo floating around the bathroom (whether it’s yours or anyone else’s) is not a good look.

My alternative title for this post was (the much less eye-catching) “Why buying off the plan is not always a good idea”. It’s a cautionary tale that involves my sister and the house she purchased recently as part of a fresh start after her divorce. On the face of it, this place (one of eight new terraces) looked great – plenty of space inside, three outdoor areas, in the right catchment for the high school she wanted her sons to attend. It even had a lock up garage. Tick, tick, tick.

Why does a bathroom renovation take so long?

When you start thinking about a bathroom renovation, it all seems relatively simple – choose some new tiles, get rid of the mouldy shower curtain, replace the taps and vanity that were last updated in the 1950s and you’re good to go, right? Well, turns out that although it’s often the smallest room in the house, the bathroom can be the room that requires the most trades. Everyone gets a piece of the bathroom action (especially if you’re moving walls and the location of plumbing), from plumbers to waterproofers, to renderers to tilers, electricians and builders. In fact, up to 10 different trades could be involved in even a mid-range bathroom reno (let alone the spa-style retreat you’ve been dreaming about). A lot of trades mean a lot of coordination, scheduling and waiting and it’s important to work with a builder who has access to professional, licensed tradesmen he uses regularly (if you need more convincing, read this post about my sister’s bathroom. Nightmare!).