How to renovate for profit in 3 weeks

How to renovate a whole house the right way, is a popular question.

This is one of my investment properties in Sydney’s west, in a suburb that demonstrated great capital growth potential when I purchased in August 2016 – and has continued to gain in value.


Importantly, this was the kind of rough diamond that also ticked all the boxes for me to renovate as a renovation project, as I saw an easy way to reconfigure the layout to add an extra bedroom and to create open-plan living. With a few tweaks to the layout and a better connection to the generous outdoor area at the rear, I knew I could tap into the full potential of the existing three-bedroom brick home.


The sprawling assortment of living spaces gave me scope to lay out a new bedroom in the centre of the house. By closing off the arch in the entry foyer and stealing space from the large living room, I created a new bedroom, opening off the hallway. Two ventable skylights compensate for the absence of a window. It’s now a four-bedroom house in an area favoured by families.

  • Cosmetically refresh the existing kitchen with new kitchen doors, end panels and benchtops.
  • New kitchen appliances.
  • Cosmetically refresh the existing bathroom and WC.
  • Change wall structure in lounge room and foyer area to allow for a new 4th bedroom.
  • Install new floorboards throughout the house.
  • Paint house internally throughout including all walls, ceilings, doors & trims.
  • Paint house externally including the walls and roof spraying.
  • Install new pergola to front of the house to create a sense of entry to the property.
  • Install new window furnishings.
  • Structurally install new bi-fold doors which open onto the deck from the dining area.
  • Install new lighting & ceiling fans throughout the property.
  • Install new mirrored robes in three of the bedrooms.
  • Install wallpaper feature walls in strategic parts of the house.
  • Paving paint the driveway and back deck.
  • Install new landscaping (garden beds, turf & plants) in both back and front gardens.
Creating open plan

The jumble of living areas offered abundant space, but no open-plan flow. By removing a gyprock wall between the traditional lounge and dining area, the new L-shaped living space is now a free-flowing, light-filled gem that spills into the back sunroom and kitchen.



The rear of the house was blessed with an abundance of windows, wrapping around two sides of the sunroom, offering a restful, leafy view. However, the addition of new bifold doors off the living area and sunroom, which fold right back, now creates a seamless indoor/outdoor flow onto the large verandah and sprawling deck beyond.


The patchwork quilt of flooring left by the assortment of old rooms certainly couldn’t stay. Durable laminate floorboards in honey-coloured “Chestnut” now unify the whole house. They’re a fraction of the cost of hardwood floors, yet still provide the warmth of timber.


Kitchen reno on a budget

Putting in a completely new kitchen would have totally blown my target of completing the full renovation, inside and out, for as close to 10% of the total value of the property as possible. That’s my recommended budget for any cosmetic renovation, but it was an ambitious target in this case, as there were also structural changes, like the bifold doors. By keeping the cabinets and merely replacing the fronts and bench top, I was able to complete the kitchen – including new appliances – for around $3000, plus labour.  Opening up the wall to the adjoining sunroom gives the kitchen an unfettered view of the back garden.



Colourful paint palette

Now for the wow factor! I decided to marry the beige tones of Taubmans “Penguin March” with a blaze of punchy blue wallpaper. The entire length of the living area and one wall of the long hallway are now ablaze in “Lines” wallpaper. The large master bedroom at the front basks in the luxurious blue of Taubmans “Shindig”.

“Lines” wallpaper from Annandale Paint & Paper in the living area.

A modern paint scheme, including a punchy bright yellow front door, and modest landscaping was all that was needed to completely overhaul the unruly exterior.

The punchy yellow front door is Taubmans “Fuzzy Yellow”.

Property Value (Before Renovation):      $550,000

Renovation Spend Total:                       $67,500

Renovation Timeframe:                          3 weeks

Property Value

Gross Profit:    $72,500    




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1 Comment

  1. Love the blue wallpaper! Highly recommend in any before and after pictures to match the exact same layout and to pull back to frame each room. I can tell the results were beautiful but the photos didn’t do the transformation justice.

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