After losing money due to the GFC and Brisbane floods on a million dollar project, we decided to change our strategy and renovate small run down properties that had subdivision potential, rather than take on large projects. Renovating like this is a great strategy with lower outlays and therefore lessor risk factors.

Our agent called us about this small deceased estate home that was just listed (and I mean small – take a look at the kitchen benches, they came up to my thigh). Owned by a little old lady, the home had seen better days but was on a medium density zoned block, which suited our plans to renovate and subdivide.




Renovating by putting in new front windows, front door, opening up the verandah, new landscaping and a beautiful new paint job transformed the old cottage completely.



Back Before

Back Before

New sliding doors were installed, to open up the back of the house and let more light in. We cut off the back yard about 3 metres out from the house, to subdivide, creating another block of land for development later on.


Larger window let in light

Larger windows let in light

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before




We ripped out the kitchen and reconfigured the layout, opening up the back verandah room and totally relined it with a lovely stepped cornice to blend in with the rest of the house. Enhancing what is already in the home keeps the new sections in style with the old and is a winning strategy when renovating.
Opening up walls in the kitchen and new lounge room

Opening up walls in the kitchen and new lounge room


New Kitchen

New open plan kitchen with island works well

Installing lovely timber shelving adds warmth and is a budget renovating option compared to upper cupboards, which cost more.  We used a beautiful feature tile as a splash back.
Style The Kitchen Too

Style the kitchen too

kit shelf 2


Simple But Effective Styling

Simple, budget decor = effective Styling


Back Room After

Back room after

Next was the bathroom renovation. I chose marble look tiles for the floor and white wall tiles for the walls, to make the bathroom look larger
On The Job

On the job renovating for profit


New Bathroom

New bathroom renovation

Slapshback feature tile to match floor

Splash back feature tile to match floor


Lounge Before

Lounge before



Preparing the walls properly makes a huge difference to the final finish.  We always renovate properly, never poorly. We used Sugar soap and bleach to remove mould, patched dings and cracks.  We needed enamel undercoat to seal the nicotine stains and three coats of final paint colour – Chalkdust by Wattyl. Low sheen for the walls, semi gloss for the doors and architraves, ceiling white for the ceilings and ‘painters white’ for the bathrooms.
My son helps prepare the walls

My son helps prepare the walls

We turned the lounge room at the front of the house into a bedroom and added an ensuite, using a partition wall so not to lose the beautiful framing of the cornice.
Lounge After

Lounge after renovating = bedroom + ensuite

IMG_4342Renovating is definitely not glamourous!! BUT it is so much fun!!

Serene colours create a beautiful look that buyers fall in love with and getting it right is so important!!
And It Is Worthwhile

It is worthwhile renovating 


We Sold The House In 4 Days!!

We sold the house in 4 days after one open house inspection…..for our asking price!!

We made $200K – keeping the block of land for future development. Renovating is so much more gratifying than house work and I truly love creating beautiful homes on a budget!!

Belinda Westblade

If you have something to add, please do so in the comments.  Happy renovating!