Apartment Renovation

Two sisters face the challenge of renovating their nest egg before putting it on the market.

The time has come for sisters Allison and Kylie to face up to the state of their investment apartment, and put in the hard work to prepare it for sale.

Four years ago the girls paid $160,000 for their one bedroom, 3rd floor inner city apartment. It's in a stylish 1920's building, but after four years of tenants, it really needs some work.

The girls have set themselves a challenge: a budget of $10,000 and four weekends to transform their nest egg, and keep their friendship intact. They recently had the apartment valued at $200,000 but they're confident that a bit of elbow grease will see them reach their target sale price of $230-240,000.

Their plan of attack is to allocate a budget to each room. Already they've decided the kitchen and bathroom need the most work.

The girls haul in Dad and Kylie’s boyfriend, and hire some tools to help rip out the kitchen and bathroom.

Here are the girls’ tips so far on DIY renovation on a strict time and finance budget:

  • Hiring tools ensures you get the right equipment for the job, and the salesmen are usually only too happy to give you tips and suggestions
  • Get a clear list of everything that needs to be done before you talk to a tradesperson
  • Safety is important. Use glasses, masks and gloves to protect against concrete dust, and ear plugs are a necessity for very noisy power tools
  • Drop in a letter to neighbours warning them of impending noise and disruption

Already the girls have spent or committed to spend:

  • $300 in rubbish removal

  • $3,700 on the kitchen

  • $200 on tool hire

  • $700 on tiles

  • $1,100 on fittings

They’re confident they’re on track time-wise, but will they get it done within their budget?

The girls thought they had saved themselves money by jackhammering off the old tiles in the bathroom themselves. But now they learn that the render can’t go on the old surface, and so they have to go right back to the brickwork to make perfect walls. And they discover that there are layers and layers of tiles and paint to get through!

At the end of the weekend Kylie and Alison have spent $9,380 of their $10,000 budget.

But they haven’t paid the plumber or the electrician, and haven’t carpeted or painted, and have no lighting, or a door on the bathroom……

The plan next is to sand and prepare for the painting, start painting and start to install the bathroom fittings. With concrete in their undies and paint in their mouths, it’s not a lot of fun!

But they’ve had some wins along the way. The girls wanted a stainless steel basin for the bathroom but at $1,000 that was way beyond their budget. But some serious scouting around by this determined duo uncovered just the thing, for only $120. These girls are born shoppers!

The girls know their tastes are costing a bit more, but they’re sure that potential buyers will appreciate their sense of style.

The renovations took five weekends and cost $16,000. But the girls are confident that the extra expense of quality fittings, together with new plumbing, wiring and carpet will see them reach their target price of $250,000.

Their real estate agent has convinced the girls that rather than going to auction, the property should be put on the market for sale at $270,000 negotiable.

It was a nervous wait but finally the girls got the phone call they were hoping for – an offer of $260,000! Crack open the bubbly! And could that be Kylie looking in the paper for another property to renovate?

Equipment and Suppliers
Kennards Hire

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