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

The Avocado Smash Project By: Bernadette and Hannah Janson

If we wanted our 4 kids to have the same opportunity as we did to buy a home in a decent suburb, we needed to employ some leverage.

We have used renovation to solve a range of problems that we face as a family, this was just another opportunity.

We’ve never been in the habit of handing out cash to our children, they have made their way in the world very competently and we are not so arrogant to think they won’t make it without us.

We figured that there were a lot of upsides to doing a project with each of the kids to help them without it coming out of our pocket.

The Solution

So we came up with the Avocado Smash strategy – where we pool our resources with each of the kid, do a renovation together and split the profit. It’s a win/win in that we give the kids a decent chunk of money towards a home.
We committed to each of the children being $100k better off so we needed to decide on a strategy and a property to deliver that.

The first cab off the rank was Hannah – our eldest

We decided on an apartment flip with her because we were both time-poor so it needed to be something close to home that I could do with my eyes shut.

Generally, we work on a 10% profit for an apartment flip. And we always like to do more than a purely cosmetic renovation so that we really up the value.

Hence, we bought a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment in Moore Park Gardens.

Here is a list of the Improvements

Value adds

Master Suite

Created a master suite by sectioning off one bedroom and bathroom from the living room with a huge barn door and building a walk-in wardrobe.

Second Bedroom and ensuite

Replaced and relocated the wardrobes to frame the window and added a master suite.


We removed the existing breakfast bar that cut the room in two and replaced it with an island bench for a more open plan look – making the area look more spacious.


Reworked the cabinetry to create a more functional utility room.

Heating and Cooling

Installed a reverse cycle split system in the living room and timber ceiling fans in the bedrooms.


We concealed the A/C compressor with slatted timber to create an area for the barbeque and we laid click together decking over the dated tiles.


  • Placed new joinery in kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, and laundry.
  • New composite stone benches, waterfall, and splashbacks to kitchen and laundry.
  • Installed new appliances including a wine fridge.


  • Both bathrooms completely renovated and tiled to the ceiling.
  • Replaced bath with a double shower in master.

General cosmetic improvements

  • New ceiling in some areas to allow for repositioning of lights.
  • Installed new lighting throughout.
  • New Powerpoints and light switches throughout.
  • Placed new floor coverings.
  • Put-up new curtains throughout.


The main challenge was the time it took for strata to approve our plan. We were able to reduce the cost of holding by furnishing and renting on the short-term market.

The Profit Split

We made more profit than expected. And so we split the profit: $100k to Hannah and kept $55k for our retirement.

The Figures

Renovation Cost

Purchase PriceBuying Cost*Holding Reduced**Renovation CostSelling Cost***TOTALSOLD PROFIT
$910,000$39,020$ 28,320$79,374$38,495$1,095,209$1,250,000$154,791


Hannah LoanUS
*     Stamp duty, etc.
**   Interest rates, utility, etc. – Holding costs reduced by short-term letting while waiting for approval
*** Stamp duty, styling, etc.

In under 12 months, we had Hannah on her way to finding her first home.

After a few auctions and months of looking for the right property, I am pleased to report that she has just settled on her first family home and we couldn’t be happier.

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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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