Cherie Barber's renovating secrets

The renovation queen's guide to making makeover dreams come true
Cherie Barber's renovating secrets
MARCEL AUCER

There are avid renovators and then there's Cherie Barber –  a queen amongst men and women in the field on flip. Over the past two decades, the property expert has honed her renovating prowess, tackling more than 50 of her own projects.

With her premier US series, 'Five Day Flip' and a new 'Interior Design for Profit' online course in the works, we ask the DIY doyenne for the secrets to her success.

Whether renovating to add value or to enjoy for years to come, keeping a close eye on the bottom line is always smart. This is the gospel according to Queen Cherie.

Before

A classic Home Beautiful before...

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After

... and after

JOHN DOWNS

NEVER pay too much for the property to start with – it will be almost impossible to claw that money back and still make a decent profit. Purchasing at the right price requires research and due diligence checks to come to understand what properties are worth in the suburbs you’re sizing up.

WATCH OUT for remedial works at the time of purchase. These can turn out to be costly fixes. A building inspection is your best friend here.

AVOID overcapitalising on a home – pouring more money into your renovation than the property is worth. As a rule of thumb, don't spend more than 10 percent of the current value on cosmetic renovations. 

Before

A favourite HB reno from tired...

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after

... to terrific

MARCEL AUCER

ALWAYS get three quotes for jobs – it’s the only way you’ll be able to properly evaluate the true cost of works.

SHOP around to make sure you’re buying all your materials at the best price possible.

FACTOR IN delays and plan for disasters. Weather, unforeseen defects and overbooked tradies can cause work to drag out. As can materials that fail to to turn up on time.

DIY where you can. A fresh coat of paint in a modern colour palette can give you a three-or fourfold return on investment. And the best thing is, you don’t need to hire tradies, as long as you have the time, skill and patience to do it yourself. 

Remember, a poorly executed renovation is likely to actually devalue, rather than add value, to your property.