Werine Erasmus is fast becoming a trusted source in all things renovation.
The Toronto-based flipper and author of ‘The Happy Renovator’, has turned almost two dozen homes from drab to delightful since she purchased her first property in 2002.
Driven by a fear of being tied to mortgage repayments for the next 30 years, she has transformed houses, townhouses, villas, units and caravans, for individual clients, retirement villages and holiday parks.
She now renovates for herself, making between $50,000 and $250,000 profit per project.
Her fading South African accent can be heard across radio airwaves offering tips and hints to help others make their renovation projects easier, quicker and more profitable.
“I’ve been able to make a profit by purchasing affordable property in the right suburb for the right price,” she says.
“My aim is to add value through effective renovation in the right areas.”
In her latest flip, in Booragul, Werine spent $50,000 on renovations which netted her more than $200,000 in profit.
The task took 14 months to complete.
“I’m not a traditional fast flipper,” she told Newcastle Weekly.
“I think quick turnaround flips are just too much pressure. Instead I’ve created my own work-life balance.
“First I juggled renovating with working full time, which was exhausting. Then I tried quitting my job to renovate full time, which drained my savings. Then, finally I found the happy medium and my part time work-and-renovate strategy was born.”
Currently Werine is transforming what she describes as “a messy, ugly patio into an outdoor entertainer’s delight” with a budget of $21,000.
This week she downed tools long enough to share what she says are the top five trending features in home renovating.
“They come in an array of different sizes and prices, and can be cut to fit any space in a home that needs extra natural light.
“Skylights make a remarkable difference,” she says.
“They can also help ward off mould, so they’re particularly helpful in bathrooms.”
Werine adds that the unique feature does however come with a warning.
“You do need to check your insurance policy as skylights may need to be specified as an extra item to be covered for hail damage.”
“People have the barbecue and they have the pool, a pizza oven then completes the trio nicely,” Werine says.
“Pizza ovens bring people together and they are especially good for kids – they can build their own pizzas and get hands-on helping with dinner.”
“Barn doors are another popular feature,” she says.
“They are easy to install, you can make your own, and they help separate a room without a solid wall.”
“Where shower niches were once very popular, renovators are now preferring shower ledges,” says Werine.
“The longer shelving offers more space and is a more modern touch in the bathroom.”
“There’s no reason why you can’t have a feature wall in a wet area now.
“VJ panelling, or vertical joint panelling (also known as tongue and groove panelling) adds interest in a bathroom,” Werine says.
“Easycraft has an ultra-high moisture resistant VJ panelling for wet areas which is ideal for bathrooms.
“It’s not only more affordable than tiling but it’s easier to use, less time consuming and can really help soften the look of a bathroom.
“And they allow you to change the colour of your bathroom easily.”
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