The Biggest Obstacle for Women Renovators

The podcast for women who want to create income and a life they love through renovating

Join serial renovator Bernadette Janson as she explores the ins and outs of renovating for profit!

Bernadette has over 30 years of experience in the renovating for profit business. She’s a registered nurse, a renovator, a mum, and a teacher.

127 – Your Kitchen Installation Guide 

On today’s episode,

The School of Renovating (TSOR) student Amanda “Alley” Jurcic bought, renovated and sold her first property shortly after graduating from our online renovation course. 

Follow along here to see Alley’s renovating adventure with her husband David, and how they work together as a team. Using the skills they learned in TSOR Online Renovation Course they increased the value of the property and achieved a $100,000  profit in only a few months!

Listen to Episode 127: How The Online Renovation Course Leads To Fast Profits

How The Online Renovation Course Leads To Fast Profits


  • [00:00:41] The renovator’s power of intent 
  • [00:03:02] The fastest renovator to achieve a profit from the online renovation course
  • [00:04:22] How Alley’s renovating journey started 
  • [00:05:38] The big renovating goals 
  • [00:06:17] How the online renovation course helped Alley overcome renovating challenges 
  • [00:07:06] An ideal property to renovate
  • [00:08:10] How Alley renovated the property 
  • [00:09:21] Bathroom renovation transformation 
  • [00:10:08] Clear focus for the first renovating project
  • [00:11:05] Lighting and opening up the spaces produce a profit
  • [00:11:48] The war with the wardrobes – a low-cost renovation winner
  • [00:12:51] Why it’s better to sell a property after Christmas  
  • [00:14:48]  A renovating couple with vision
  • [00:16:36] A good renovating team 
  • [00:18:26] The biggest triumph of a renovator 
  • [00:20:41] The artistic renovating player 
  • [00:23:01] The numbers of the property 
  • [00:24:56] A review from one of the She Renovates podcast’s listeners

How The Online Renovation Course Leads To Fast Profits


The Power Of Intent For Renovators

Alley has not long completed our Bootcamp (TSOR Online Renovation Course) with her first profitable project under her belt. Now she’s into her second project and is moving forward with confidence.

Bernadette Janson shares: “the thing that I really love about Alley is she has demonstrated the power of intent. She was completely focused on the outcome she wanted. She’s working together with her husband, David, and they are champions. And I think that you’ll find this story very inspiring.”

The Fastest Renovator To Profit Using The Online Renovation Course!

It has never been a better time for renovators and it’s smart to be making hay while the sun shines, which is exactly what Amanda and her husband are doing.

Alley to Bernadette Janson…

“I have to say it is a very surreal moment for me. I started listening to your podcast (She Renovates) back at the beginning of this journey so to be here talking to you today is really special to me. I do remember getting very interested in your bathroom series. I really loved that. I listened over and over again.”

How Alley’s Renovating Journey Started 

Alley shares… 

I’m a mom first and foremost. My husband and I have a five-year-old and an eight-year-old so we’ve got our hands full. We also live on a smaller property just North of the ACT. Got a little 30 acres there, so not much, it keeps us busy on the weekends.

I also work full-time in Canberra. I’m a public servant here as well. And as Bernadette said, my husband and I like to renovate primarily in Canberra.

I’ve asked myself a few times and we’re probably not your typical renovators, but we’re interested in the interior design side of things. I love a beautiful space and a beautiful renovation, but I don’t think it’s what drives me with renovation. I think it’s more the end game.

Going through the process, solving problems, doing the renovation, and coming out the other side with this property that you’ve created is really what drives us forward.

-Amanda “Alley” Jurcic

The Big Renovating Goals 

Bernadette Janson: What are your big renovating goals? 

Alley Jurcic: Currently we’re focusing on home units. Two-bedroom units, but that’s definitely not where we want to stay. We want to move into the houses here in Canberra. And then probably like everybody else, we want to look at subdivisions and to move forward in that space as well. We like to take small steps. For us, we like to learn our lessons early on so that we don’t make big mistakes down the track. So that’s why we feel where we are now with the two-bedroom units really does suit us quite well.

Subdivision is what we’d like to do. Our property probably can subdivide down the track as well and build on that. So there are many different things ahead of us. We just have to see where that takes us.

How The Online Renovation Course Helped Alley To Overcome Renovating Challenges 

Alley to Bernadette Janson…

“I remember a very early conversation I had with you, we were talking about what we wanted to start with. I mentioned units and the small, affordable end of the spectrum. You did highlight very clearly there are challenges there and we certainly encountered them. 

I believe it is harder to make a profit especially here in Canberra with the two-bedroom units. As part of the way my mind works, I set that as a challenge and I felt if I could do it in this format, in the two-bedroom units, then it will make it easier and easier as we go forward. It’s worked out well for us so far”

A First-step Property For Renovation


Alley Jurcic: The first property was a two-bedroom, one-bathroom and carport unit in the northern suburb of Canberra called Watson. I clearly remember the day we actually found it, It was raining and the kids were impatient getting schlepped around from unit to unit. This one just had something different. It had the highest ceilings, it had good light and it was just different to all the others. We felt it was something special and something unique.

It is in a good area, it ticks all the boxes Bernadette Janson talks about in her online renovation course module, the gentrification. And the property hadn’t been on the market for a particularly long period of time.

The area was good. The suburb of Watson is starting to become cool and trendy with young people who are our target demographic group for selling this particular property too. So it really felt it met all the criteria and we really could turn it into something special.

How Alley Renovated The Property 

Bernadette Janson: What exactly did you do to it? How did you improve it?

Alley Jurcic It was a ‘full gut’ – an extensive renovaiton. We took everything out. We first had to reconfigure the kitchen. So the kitchen was what I called down in the little back area. We remade it as a new kitchen up one side of the wall. This involved a lot of plumbing and electrical changes. We actually built a little wall out from the existing wall, just so we could hide all the plumbing and electrical in there. 

Bathroom Transformation 

How The Online Renovation Course Leads To Fast Profits

Alley shares…

“We did a full bathroom change too. We didn’t change the location of the shower or the toilet. What we did was take out the bath. Replaced it with a straight shower with a glass shower screen. We changed the orientation of the toilet just to make the flow in the room a little bit better. New tiles plus underfloor heating was incorporated into the unit as well. This is a plus in Canberra. This morning, it was minus 5 degrees so under-floor heating is appreciated at this time of the year.

Clean lines and black tapware really did improve the space and make it feel like it was much bigger than what it was. The bathroom also had the right feeling as well, which also adds to the feeling of space.” 

As A First Renovating Project, It Was Critical To Learn As Much As We Could

“One of the important criteria I had was the bedrooms had to be able to fit queen size beds comfortably in both rooms with bedside tables, either side. This is our first project, so I needed to make sure we maximised the opportunity to make the profit we needed. Ceiling fans were added and painted all the usual things. We changed all the door hardware.  

The budget wouldn’t stretch enough for us to replace the wardrobes completely but I think we ended up with a fairly nice outcome. We kept the wardrobe doors, which are mirrored. So this actually worked well to open up the space because the mirrors worked really well.”

Lighting And Opening Up The Space Of The Property

“We changed the lighting throughout the unit. We put in downlights to make cleaner lines for the ceiling and to open up the space. I painted everything the same colour just to try and blow out those margins to make the space feel light and bright. Of course, a white kitchen also helps as well. Overall there was a number of significant changes all up in the unit, a lot to be done. And it really did come together in the end.

The War With The Wardrobes – A Low-Cost Renovation Winner

Bernadette Janson: It was great to visit you when I took a trip to Canberra to look at the project when you’d finished and you can really see created a very good design. I loved what you did with your wardrobes.

Alley Jurcic: Those wardrobes nearly killed me, Bernadette. We had a couple of access appointments early on in the settlement period, just to do some more measuring up. I figured out that they’re not very deep so we really did have to find an alternative solution and we were pleased with the solution we came up with.

The Renovation Grand Tour – Bernadette And Alley



Why It’s Better To Sell The Property After Christmas 

Bernadette Janson: Did the project go as planned?

Amanda Jurcic: The plan was to finish the project before Christmas but unfortunately we got caught up with a few delays such as trades, supply delays and also because it was our first project, we just didn’t really quite have a grasp of the whole project before we started.

My husband does all the renovations himself. We use trades for electrical, plumbing and for waterproofing. Apart from that, my husband does all this himself so we didn’t really have a full appreciation of how long some of these particular tasks might take. We then had to slow down a little bit over the Christmas period and then pick things back up afterwards. 

I became much more informed about management the next time around, so I definitely know how to factor in a bit of extra fat in the schedule, just to make sure we can make that up if we need to.

Bernadette Janson:  The thing is, if you’ve finished before Christmas, you don’t really put a property on the market before Christmas because, in that period, it sits in the market for two or three weeks. 

Amanda Jurcic: Yes, it actually all worked out in our favour. 

A Renovating Couple With Vision  

Bernadette Janson: And for the benefit of other renovators reading this or listening to the podcast, Amanda’s husband, David worked on the project pretty much full-time. Is that correct, Amanda?

Amanda Jurcic: Yes. That’s his job. He works on the project full time, so he does the renovating. He puts the floor down, installs the kitchen, everything and anything in that unit he does. I’m the planner and the organiser. I love organising things. And I should say in a way controlling things, which is part of my nature. 

I do paint. That’s one of the things I do onsite – painting is my job. For everything that happens offsite, if it’s finance, if it’s to do with the lawyers, the insurance, the real estate agents all that side of things is what I take care of.


It’s very hard to be down in the trenches doing the work and also negotiating the deals and making sure that you’re on strategy and keeping to the plan.

                                                                  – Bernadette Janson

A Good Renovating Team 

Alley shares…

“It worked quite well for us. We’re a good team. We both have our roles. We both like to play in the design space. We are both involved in a lot of the decision-making essentially, but we both are very similar in terms of what we like, what we don’t like, what our plan is for the unit, what we’re targeting in terms of the market. 

“We were both driven towards the same goal and achieving the same outcome. So in that regard, it works really well.”  

The Biggest Triumph Of A Renovator 

 I feel like it’s a day by day challenge. You’ve got to constantly make decisions and solve problems. It just feels like when you’ve achieved the end goal and you have this beautiful property in front of you it really is a big triumph for us.

– Amanda “Alley” Jurcic

I suppose the icing on the cake was, when you get a sale price that you certainly didn’t expect and it exceeded your expectations,  it’s a really fantastic achievement for us. Starting from nothing and then moving all the way through to actually delivering what you set out to deliver. 

Now we’re moving into our second one and we’re going to do this next one better. And the next one after that, we’re going to do it better as well. 

The Artistic Renovating Players 

Doing your project from good to better is the fun part of renovating. You improve your process and you take pride in the way you work, then you build confidence as you go.

-Bernadette Janson

Bernadette Janson to Alley..

“We notice with the people in our renovators’ community is we really enjoy the creativity and passion we bring to ourselves and our projects. I can definitely see you and David as artistic players. In this project, you found a property with extra ceiling height to give the apartment a sense of space. This can be hard to find; it’s impressive how you brought your vision to life. The other thing I loved is when you did your own wall art.

Alley Jurcic: That was born out of no budget left, Bernadette. When you have no money left to spend, you’ve got to come up with a solution.

Bernadette Janson: That is very much you, it’s what you do and I’m pretty sure you could have sold those paintings a few times.

The Renovation Numbers For This Renovation Property


Amanda Jurcic: We bought it for $275K and we sold it for $420K. The renovation costs were about $35,000. 

Bernadette Janson: You obviously did a lot better than I would do in that renovation. Given that you’re doing all the work yourself that’s pretty good. 

Amanda Jurcic: Yeah, not too bad. We’re pretty happy. It was a really nice feeling.

A Review From One Of The She Renovates Podcast’s Listeners 

Practical and honest advice, hands down, the best renovation podcast there is. There’s no scams or tricks here and Bernadette provides honest and practical advice you can actually apply to your life. There’s also great insights into the property industry, not just renovating, and Bernadette’s simple approach gives you tools to mitigate risk and fuels confidence to start your own projects.

-Luke Marland 

The Wonder Women Program

This episode is sponsored by The School Of Renovating Wonder Women program, where we provide training, mentoring, community, and joint venture opportunities for creative women wanting to replace their income with renovating and Airbnb, either now or at retirement.

How Women Are Replacing Their Income With Renovating 

If you would like to know more about what’s available to you with renovating, Bernadette is presenting a workshop at the Caroma flagship store in Alexandria in Sydney on June 3rd. Please come along to this event to discover more of our step-by-step approach on how to turn your passion for beautiful homes into an income and a life of freedom. It’s completely free and Caroma does a beautiful job of hospitality. It’s catered and the bubbles are flowing, which is always very important. 

The School Of Renovating Events 

I’d love to meet you face to face. If you’re in Sydney, go to our events page on and grab yourself a seat. Otherwise, you can download our Wonder Woman Magazine here

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    Amazing Free Content!LeaLea707 via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 05/22/22
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    “I have been listening to this Podcast for a few years now. I love how Bernadette freely shares her experiences and knowledge of renovating and how to create wealth through property. There are many people out there doing a similar things but Bernadette is the real deal. Her down to earth approach reasonates with me and I’ve learned lots from her. I’d highly recommend She Renovates!”
    Just brilliant!fbegeng via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 03/16/22
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    “I've been binge-listening to this podcast for the past week and it's absolutely brilliant. Bernadette has amassed so much knowledge and wisdom about renovating and she shares it generously and in a really easy to understand way that's inspired me to give it a go. Her advice is practical and I love that she approaches renovating in a really ethical and open-hearted way. Every episode honestly is gold. I also love that each episode is quite short and addresses a specific topic without any waffle. Thank you so much for this podcast!”
    Practical and honest adviceLuke Marland via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 05/12/21
    Read More
    “Hands down best renovation podcast there is. There’s no scams or tricks here and Bernadette provides honest and practical advice that you can actually apply to your life. There’s also great insights into the property industry (not just renovating) and Bernadette’s simple approach gives you tools to mitigate risk and fuels confidence to start your own projects.”
    Amazing insights and adviceJennaBrad via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 03/22/21
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    “Bernadette is an inspiration. Warm, open and a fountain of wisdom and advice. I’ve learned so much about everything from renovating to selling to creating an independent future from this podcast. Look forward to every episode!”
    Practical Magic For All RenovatorsJames’ Inspiration via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 12/15/20
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    “If you need to break through any of your limitations to find the joy and success in renovation, Bernadette is your inspiration and advisor with decades of experience. Her down to earth, practical style of sharing what works and how to keep control of any renovating project is worth tuning in for - week after week. I have done a few renovations in the (distant) past and now feel motivated to go again, this time for a change of pace and new horizons. This podcast shows the way. Thanks Bernadette, James Burgin”
    My Guilty Pleasure..Tanned Greek via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 10/26/20
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    “Just dropping by to show my support for your podcast Bernadette. I look forward to each episode and I am never disappointed with the content. It’s such a generous offering and compared to many of the other property podcasts I subscribe to, yours is the clear winner. Perfectly suited to people embarking on a new renovator journey but equally suited to more experienced folk like myself - there’s something for everyone. Keep up the great work. Your honesty is so refreshing! I look forward to future learning and hearing more student success stories. Best, David Michos (And yes... a bloke) 😉”
    You would have to be crazy to miss this !!Lifestylepp via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 10/15/20
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    “If you have any interest at all in renovating, you would be crazy not to listen to every episode! As someone who has done many courses and a project manager by trade, i learn something every time. Bernadette is so genuine and generous and totally relatable. Do yourself a favour and subscribe now !”

    Want more?

    If you want to meet up with a group of savvy renovators. I would say come over and join She Renovates Facebook Group. It’s a completely FREE Facebook group and it is growing at the rate of knots. We hit over a thousand members just recently, and now it seems to have picked up momentum. They are all savvy renovating women and men working their little hearts out to live a better life through renovating.

    The only membership you need to grow your renovation business…

    Wonder Women is a combination of live sessions and pre-recorded content to help you get what you need, when you need it. I know that you’re the expert and you’ve got all of your subject knowledge nailed – now it’s time to build the business behind your renovation projects and stop being the worlds best kept secret. 

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