The Biggest Obstacle for Women Renovators

Success Stories

The School of Renovating

Take a look at past and current students’ successful renovation and Airbnb projects

Our Giving Project By: Bernadette Janson

I think that by being born in Australia to decent parents, we won the jackpot. There is so much poverty and sadness in the world that I feel we have a duty to share our good fortune.

We have always made a donation from our projects to a cause that cares for people who were not given a good start. This year we took it up a notch as we were planning to do a 500 km charity ride in Thailand and taking a team of 10 – family and students – with us.

Each rider was required to raise $5000 to be able to ride.

We always say:

  • Got a wedding in the family?  Do a reno.
  • Want to go on a big holiday?  Do a reno.

So now we needed to find $50,000, it was time to put our money where our mouth is and  DO A RENO!

The profit from this project enabled us to donate a profit of  $120,000 to  The Hands Group who provide homes, education, and love to children who have had a traumatic start to life. One of the reasons we love this charity is that 100% of the money we give goes directly to the care of the children (0 admin costs)

The Project:

Studio Apartment with Balcony and Car park in Surry Hills, Sydney.

The apartment was tiny and right on Elizabeth Street but we got it at the right price. Normally, we would anticipate about $50,000 profit (10% purchase price).

As always, there were a few little challenges. Getting Strata approval took time.

Taking a studio to a one-bedder required a Complying Development Certificate (CDC), and we needed strata approval before we could apply for the CDC. So while waiting for approval, the property was listed on Airbnb. And it was returning $1000/week most weeks – which was great!


Create a bedroom

  • Build a wall to create a separate bedroom and section off with a wall to ceiling sliding door.


  • Strip out the existing kitchen and relocate.
  • Build a new flat pack kitchen in the new location.
  • Install all new appliances.

Heating & Cooling

  • Create a study nook with built-in desk.


  • Replace the bathroom door with a barn style door.
  • Fully renovated the bathroom keeping everything in the same location.

General Cosmetic Improvements

  • Installed laminate floating floor throughout.
  • Patch and paint walls, ceiling and timberwork in a lovely contemporary colour scheme.
  • Installed new curtains throughout.
  • Installed a gallery picture hanging system
  • Install new cabinetry in the bedroom and study nook.


  • Installed new light fittings.
  • Put-up new light switches and power points throughout.
  • Installed data wiring.
  • Installed a wall-hung television.

The Figures

Purchase PriceBuying Cost*Holding Reduced**Renovation CostSelling Cost***TOTALSOLD PROFIT

(We rounded-up the profit to $120,000 when transferring it to the Hands Group.)


LoanBernadette & Stephen
*     Stamp duty, etc.
**   Interest rates, utility, etc. – Holding costs reduced by short-term letting while waiting for approval
*** Marketing only, Belle Property Surry Hills donated their commission
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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
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    “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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