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  • Writer's pictureKel Jones

SIDE HUSTLE: @renolovers Renovations

In my 20's, I started to become a little property-obsessed. Being so lucky to live in Victoria, Australia - the term 'safe as houses' really described my interest in investing in residential property.

With my plumbing skills, my brother as a builder, and dad an all-round handyman, I bought my first home in Bendigo in 2013 - starting my renovation obsession. I always had a love for period style homes as growing up we were also living in and renovating old houses.


My other partner-in-crime, not mentioned above, was my girlfriend who loved designing the floor-plan and choosing colours, she also picked up a paint brush every now and then.


The Victorian Miner's Cottage had seen better days and as a family we wanted to give it a new life - from stumps, to a new roof, new chimney and extended the footprint to add an open plan kitchen/living/dining space and additional master bedroom with walk in robe and ensuite. This reno ended up taking a little over two years as we only had the weekends and a few hours after work during day light savings to work on it.


I always tell people that this was the house that YouTube built. Anything I didn't know how to do I simply watched a video on YouTube and then gave it a go myself. As my dad always say's "you pay for education" and many lessons were learnt throughout the first renovation. The most notable feature of the house is a bright yellow (Morning Sunrise) front door which started the trend and is always a talking point for friends and neighbors.


House 2

Mothers often say they forget the pain of having a baby and go ahead and try for a second and or third. I feel I may also fit into this mind set as within 6 months of finishing the first renovation I was back under the floor, re-stumping the second house. This house was a Californian Bungalow that had been neglected for a lot of years and should have been deemed "unlivable". After the lessons we had learned from the first renovation and a self imposed tight time frame (before the footy season starts) we started.


Having already relocated to Melbourne we only had the weekends and public holidays to work on the house so a lot of 12-14 hour days followed. We managed to finish the house in 6 months while returning it to its former glory and into a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom family home. We painted the door a bright orange (Candy Corn) which contrasted well to the grey walls and white trim.


House 3

"The Family Home"

Third time's a charm, the charm for us was to get something for ourselves to live in. We had been living in Melbourne for 2.5 years in a 1 bedroom apartment and needed more room and a yard with the hope to get a fur baby. This house began a lot of first's for us, the first property bought at auction, the first brick house, the first reno while living in it, the first planning approval with the council and the first less than ideal neighbor.


We ended up getting a 1936 single fronted Californian Bungalow Clinker see pictured. The house was very dated but had good bones and we quickly began renovating the front of the house while living in "the shoe cupboard" out the back. The front of the house transformed starting with a teal door (Lake Como) with 2 bedrooms, a laundry and a shiny new bathroom. We also installed a new roof and landscaped the front yard for some curb appeal.


We are currently awaiting an April 2020 VCAT hearing regarding our planning approval issued from the council. The plan is to demolish the rear of the property and add a double story extension consisting of an open plan kitchen, living and dining and a full parents retreat upstairs. Further updates to come.......

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