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Case Study: An Amazing Transformation

Author: Belle 1 - The 2 Belindas
Source: Oohm.com.au

Case Study
Martino Cottage

Purchase Price: $414,000 (plus stamp duty and legal fees). 
Year Purchased: 2012.
The House: A derelict 1912 timber cottage.  


My husband and I had just been involved in a large project that had been held up in council for over a year – our property’s value had been effected by the Brisbane floods, which cost us dearly. We decided to downsize and buy a smaller home for us to live in. Being specialists in traditional home renovations, I looked for a home that met this criteria.

This home had been on the market for some time and was in such a bad state there weren’t even any inside photos advertised. It was dark and dingy, with peeling paint and poor facilities. However, being a solid timber home inside and out, we could see its potential and its redeemable features.

The main draw card for this home was that it was in a good area and the land was zoned medium density. We knew that we would not recover the costs of renovating this home alone unless we could add value by subdividing. Everyone in town thought we would bulldoze the shack and build 3 brick townhouses, but we preferred to save the old home and return it to its former glory.

Related Artcile: How to Renovate a Property for Profit

Project Plan

Due to our renovation experience, we had a rough idea on how much it would cost to renovate the original home. We allowed extra funds in case we went a little over budget, which is typical in most renovations. This home would be a live-in renovation project.

Subdividing the property – We looked at the cost of subdividing the block and building a new home. We also explored the option of buying another old house and moving it onto the block, then renovating both the front and the rear houses. The second option worked out best as we could save money doing much of the renovation work ourselves.

House 1 - Original House

Renovation Cost Breakdown

Strip inside of the house, open up verandahs and remove internal walls to let the light in and give an open plan space.
Work was done ourselves to save money.

Rubbish Removal Cost: $800

House Extension
A builder was hired to extend the house, adding an en-suite, bedroom and garage

Heritage Garage Cost: $28,000
Extension Cost: $16,000
En-suite Fit-Out Cost: $800 
We used a large white tile at $27 per metre and a stone floor tile at $88 per metre
Tile Fittings Cost: $1,600 
Tiler = $3,300
Bathroom 2 Fit-Out Cost: $2,000

Total Cost: $51,700

Window Replacement
All windows were replaced, but the original French doors were kept.
Cost: $7,500 

New Roof
Cost: $11,000

Kitchen Renovation

We used Bunnings flat pack gloss white cabinets with Ikea upper cabinets in timber veneer, and had a kitchen company install a few custom cupboards and a stone bench top. Appliances were bought from a shop display.
Cost: $8,500

New Plumbing
Cost: $10,000 

Electrical and Fittings
Cost: $5,400

Solar Hot Water
Cost: $3,000

Floor Sanding
Cost: $2,700

New Timber Rails
Cost: $1,000

New Paint
We did the labour ourselves
Cost: $1,000

We did the labour ourselves and put in some established trees and plants to enhance the cottage look
Cost: $2,000

Cost: $1,000

Laundry Renovation
We used the same cabinetry as in the kitchen and used the same floor tile as the bathroom
Cost: $1,400

Paths and Driveway
Cost: $3,000

Council fees, surveyors fees, agents fees, legal fees, stamp duty and mortgage
Cost: $50,000


Total Renovation Cost, House 1: $159,200

Sold Price: $475,000

House 2 - Rear Property

Purchase Price: $85,000 (plus stamp duty and legal fees). 
Year Purchased: 2013.
The House: Long, narrow Queenslander.  

Project Plan

Position the house sideways and create a new front of house and entry point.

Replace the roof and horse hair/plaster walls – when we purchased this home it was in quiet good condition, but unfortunately while it was stored it suffered the effects of the Brisbane storms. The roof tarp leaked and water damage ruined most of the ceilings and the horse hair/plaster walls.

Revamp the kitchen and bathroom, added an extra bathroom by reconfiguring the spaces, divide a room and extend one side to create a garage.

Add decks.  

Renovation Cost Breakdown - House 2

House Purchase Price, Transport, Re-stumping and New Roof on to site
Cost: $85,000

Removal of Walls and Plaster was done ourselves
Cost: N/A

Rubbish Removal
Cost: $1,000 

Extension and Re-plastering Damaged Walls
Cost: $36,000

Electrical and Fittings
New wiring and lighting
Cost: $12,000

New Plumbing
Cost: $10,500

Bathroom Renovation
We kept the original bath and floor in the existing bathroom and put in new wall tiles, fittings, a vanity and a cupboard
Cost: $1,200

Kitchen Renovation
We reused the kitchen cupboards and added some open shelf units and a stone benchtop
Cost: $4,000

New Paint
We did the labour ourselves
Cost: $1,000

New Bathroom and Laundry
We used plain white wall tiles with a more expensive terrazzo tile to match in with the original floor in the main bathroom. New fittings ‘on Sale’ items were purchased at a discount
Cost: $3,800 

Cost: $4,500

Floor Sanding
Cost: $2,200

We did the labour ourselves
Cost: $1,600

Paths, Fill, Drains and Driveway
Cost: $4,200

Council fees, civil road works (widening of the laneway), surveyors fees, agents fees, legal fees, stamp duty and mortgage
Cost: $66,000


Total Renovation Cost, House 2: $233,000

Sold Price: $450,000

Renovation Spend/Profit Summary

Property 1

Purchase Price: $414,000
Renovation Spend: $159,200
Sold Price: $450,000 

Property 2

Purchase Price and Renovation Spend: $233,000
Sold Price: $450,000

Capital Gains Estimate: $13,000

Total Costs: $819,200
Profit = $105,500

For the top tips on DIY projects to improve your home, view the 
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The 2 Belindas





Published: 13 February, 2015.