When You Want Something Done - Ask a Busy Woman

By Vivienne Halliday Property Investor, Entrepreneur
Published by Property Women

Well I seem to be that women at the moment   - I have renovated the unliveable house – run a renovation savings club and have started up a business called Travelling Women to cater to all us lovely ladies that want to travel (me) but don’t have someone to go with or just don’t want to travel on their own.. but more about that later!

My renovation story


I saw this property and saw all the do not enter tape on the internet and thought....interesting!!

When I went to have a look you had to sign a disclaimer just to view it, that's how bad it was.

I had to be creative to finance this project because the valuer put in their report that the property was inhabitable  - how dare he! (There was a kitchen and bathroom of sorts!!)   Okay I know there were holes in the floor, the roof leaked, the property was riddled with white ants and it wasn’t really what I would call a bathroom but…STILL! 


This project took 7 weeks and cost $135k  I used trades throughout but the key was organization and being on site all the time to pick up bits – order bits and make decisions.  This was not a small job!

So What Needed to be done?

  • New Roof
  • remove floor in two rooms and reuse in dining room
  • remove white ant damage
  • reline 5 walls
  • totally gut the bathroom and make into the dining room
  • reline and plaster the ceilings in 3 rooms
  • create a WIR and Ensuite from a sleepout
  • New window fittings with locks
  • a new deck and doors onto it
  • New Kitchen
  • new light fittings
  • new stairs to deck
  • new rails and treds to the front stairs
  • new plumbing
  • air conditiioner was add
  • polish the floors
  • paint inside and out
  • on the outside cut down the amazon
  • new lawn out back
  • garden in front and new driveway

A lot in 7 weeks!

And of Course there some downs....

  • Christmas caused a few problems but I settled early January to fix some of that
  • a few differences of opinion as to what was structural and what wasn’t with the roofing company
  • I tried a Grays Stove but couldn’t get parts when the door was broken by the electrician ( I stick to Harvey Norman Commercial through RenoSave now!)
  • Trying to get Tradies during a busy time meant that I had to be flexible and use new guys but that’s ok
  • There was a real lull when I put it to  the rental market – March – who knew?

But there were some ups too...

  • The tradies that I had did a great job
  • The Virtual Staging that I used really helped to present it professionally and I have them forever ( RenoSave is doing Virtual Stage for its clients now too)
  • I reused the bricks from under the house in the driveway and they look fantastic
  • the old flooring that was underneath the house was a god send to patch up the damaged floor (don’t throw it away when you have the initial clean up)
  • the Tree lopper gave me a load of bark later on as part of the deal which saved heaps
  • Tip: Get some property friends through to have a look at the place before you start your Reno – they may come up with  a different way ( Thanks Property Women of the Year – Audra!)
  • I played the Valuer game by engaging my own and giving the results to the bank valuer and I and got the figure I wanted.

Here are the after pictures

Bottom Line


I created 93k of equity in 7 weeks and upped the rent from 0 to $595/wk!  
So now I’m looking for another renovator.....