Renovations were a top priority for a number of people in 2020, with many spending time on furlough or between working from home doing up their homes.
This Australian couple did a whole lot more than putting up a few shelves, though, spending the year of the pandemic completely revamping their formerly run-down house.
Amanda Kayser, 39, and her husband Dan, 42, originally bought their Perth home almost four years ago, initially planning on demolishing it and turning it into smaller units.
However, after living there while they saved up to complete the project, their minds changed and they decided to keep the original structure intact.
Amanda, who works as a teacher and runs an interior design business, used her experience for the look of the property, while Dan looked to the knowledge he gained in past building works to deal with structural issues.
‘We basically spent all of 2020 renovating – I designed the whole house while Dan and my Dad, who’s a retired builder, helped with the construction,’ Amanda told FEMAIL.
‘We employed a builder to construct the top storey, otherwise the majority of the renovation was done ourselves.’
The house was completely transformed, going from a one-storey property to a thwo-storey haven with a terrace overlooking the nearby river.
At 1,012sqm, the home was originally built in the 1940s, and now boasts four large bedrooms, three bathrooms, a granny flat towards the back, two garages, and a massive garden with a pool.
Amanda and Dan had previously bought, renovated, and sold on property (known as ‘flipping’) so were able to work out how to complete the project on a budget – while still keeping it looking high-end.
Using items from Bunnings and Kmart, the pair did as much of the work themselves as possible to save money.
Everything from the lawn to the staircase was bought at Bunnings – a household hardware chain in Australia – with Amanda saying that they halved what they would have spent if they’d hired tradesman for smaller jobs they couldn’t complete.
‘It was a huge project because we did nearly everything – build the top level, gutted the house and completely renovated inside,’ she said.
The family did hire a plumber to help with pipes and a tiler to complete the flooring, as these jobs needed to be completed by specialists.
They spent around 20% of the home’s value on the works – which would have been closer to 40% had they not cut costs through doing their own construction.
Dan, Amanda, and their two children lived in the small granny flat – with no kitchen – in the garden while the work was being completed, having to stand their mattresses on the wall during the day to save space.
‘We laugh about it now, but it was crazy all living in such close proximities while my daughters were learning online and we were working from home on our laptops,’ Amanda said.
The sacrifice paid off, and the family now have a stunning home that looks like something from the Hamptons with its white and coastal interior.
It even has a ‘man cave’ for Dan, which he uses to work from home – as well as to brew beer and wine – and a ‘bar’ in the garden for entertaining.
Amanda says that her advice to anyone else planning a big project like this is: ‘Always have a plan of what you want and like, and make sure everything flows,’ she said.
‘Doing your own measurements and research will also save you a lot of money in the long run, even though it’s more time consuming.’
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