Perched on a lush coastal outcrop in Beach Haven, this home was hiding a lot of potential. Discover the renovation journey of this quirky little abode
It took time to discover the hidden potential of this Beach Haven home
– Bridie, what’s the best lesson you’ve learned during the renovations? Being patient. The house keeps evolving as time and money allow.
– What would you never do again? Buy a vanity for the bathroom – not worth the money unless you have a huge budget.
– Any DIY disasters? Our beautiful, warm and soft painted cork floors. They were accidentally washed by our cleaner when the varnish was still curing – they did not come out the other side particularly well and now need to be resurfaced.
– One thing you would change about your home if you could? A wider hall – I don’t know what they were thinking! I hate narrow hallways and there was room for it to be wider.
– Most memorable experience in your home so far? We have the ultimate party house – it’s always full of friends and family. There have been some goodies!
How much did you spend on your home?
Bridie: It’s hard to put a number on it as we renovated as and when we could afford, but the kitchen came in at just under $25,000, which included everything right down to flooring, plumbing, wiring, appliances and paint. The bathroom was around the $8000 mark, which included all new flooring, walls and plumbing.
How did your budget compare to your actual spend?
Usually always spot on – good planning!
What areas of your home did you splurge on?
The wood used to build our deck was very expensive, but it’s beautifully finished and will last for a very long time. The fact that Tony can build means our costs were cut in half.
Do you tend to buy high-end homeware or seek out a bargain?
I’m always seeking a bargain, but I try not to buy too cheap. I think you can spend a little more on things you love, as some of the really cheap replicas can end up falling apart – a false economy in the end. But we are also very fortunate to be a little crafty, which means we can hunt second-hand stores and find amazing pieces that just need a little love.
Best advice when it comes to spending money on a home?
Always get multiple quotes, and don’t be scared to give it a go; you may be surprised at what you can achieve yourself. But also remember that sometimes your time is worth more. For instance, we tend to get in a professional gib stopper for the big areas – it saves time and stress and achieves a fantastic finish for painting. We also had the exterior window frames painted. Again, it was a question of time and stress reduction.
How did you keep track of costs during the renovations?
Tony is the spreadsheet king – and I tend to have a small panic attack if I see too many big dollar signs (unless shoes are involved). The key is to look critically at what your budget is – do you need to have everything new, or can you use what’s there already and give it a twist? Some of our favourite light fittings in the house are the original ones, others we are slowly replacing as time goes on.
Words by: Tina Stephen. Photography by: Helen Bankers.