When Corrie C and her husband John bought their weatherboard bungalow in Victoria’s Bentleigh East, they had grand plans to renovate, but – like many of us –limited funds.
However, fast forward a year and a half and Corrie, pregnant with daughter number two, decided it was now or never; so together, they went hammer and tongs to finish the reno before the new bub arrived. “We started in April 2014 and finished August 2014,” says Corrie. “Being heavily pregnant, working and juggling a toddler, there were definitely moments of regret during the renovation (usually in the middle of the night when visiting the toilet via a thin plank of wood while we had no floor!) but we’re now over the moon with the results.”
With John being a plumber – as well as a Jack-of-all-trades – they were lucky enough to do a big chunk of the work themselves, with the help of an excellent carpenter. Renovating the main bathroom, kitchen (to include a butler’s pantry) and laundry, and then adding a bedroom, ensuite and rear deck; the home went from a three bedroom, one bathroom house to a four bedroom, two bathroom, three living area (including an indoor/outdoor living space) property.
With the kitchen and deck being their favourite spaces, they were – and remain to this day – blown away by the transformation. “I love all of it but the kitchen and deck are definite favourites of both John and I. The addition of our rear deck has created a really awesome place for the kids to play, for us to entertain and a great place for my hubby to watch the football/cricket on the flat screen TV!”
While the home did include some bargains, including the deck’s bi-fold doors bought via eBay and the kitchen cabinetry from IKEA, Corrie admits her greatest challenge was sticking to budget. “My biggest learning would be that no matter how tightly you manage your budget there are always blow outs! Inevitably you always end up spending more than planned on things. My advice would be to shop around and always ask for a better price on everything! There is always room to move if someone wants your business.”
With the renovation costing $100,000, the property, which was purchased for $600,000 in 2010, now has an estimated value of $900,000, not a bad effort for first time renovators! As a result, the couple has most certainly caught the reno bug. However, while they would love to do it again, they are happy to call their newly transformed house, their forever home. “I’m super proud of my hubby for what he achieved with this reno and the blood, sweat and tears (and long nights) he put into making it as beautiful as it is. Above everything, we’ve created a lifestyle that we love with open plan, indoor/outdoor living, space for the girls and a lovely retreat for us in the master bedroom.”