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It took time to discover the hidden potential of this Beach Haven home

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.

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