When best friends Lana Taylor, Bonnie Hindmarsh and Erin Cayless tired of their corporate careers, they saw it as the perfect opportunity to go into business together.
Starting boutique renovations company, Three Birds Renovations, their first project — just finished a few short months ago – saw them take on a challenge so daunting, many veteran renovators would have run a mile!
“The house was in terrible condition,” explains Lana. “Every room was filled almost to the roof with rubbish. We even had to guess some of our measurements because we couldn’t get the tape measure across the room. It was extremely dark inside and the front yard was so overgrown that you couldn’t see the house from the street and school kids had to walk out onto the road to get past! One neighbour over the side fence even had the unfortunate view of the same bed sheet hanging on the Hills Hoist for 10 years. Almost daily we would have people honking their horns and stopping their cars to tell us how much they loved what we were doing. It was an unexpected perk!”
Knocking down almost every wall inside the Castle Hill home (in Sydney’s north-west), the end result saw an open-plan design that was light, breezy and modern. Transforming the three separate rooms of kitchen, living and dining into one large space, they also stole centimetres from neighbouring bedrooms to create a luxury master suite. “We knew it was important to create a luxury master suite so we stole space from each of the other bedrooms and the hallway to create a parents’ retreat with ensuite,” says Lana. “This meant moving some walls less than 30 centimetres (which sounds a bit silly) but we were committed to creating the right end result rather than going with the easier or cheaper option.”
Taking just six weeks to renovate, every single item in the house was changed, except for the floors. “Underneath all that stuff the floors were original hardwood, so we decided to sand and stain them. They came up beautifully in the end. And through a stroke of good fortune, the roof was in great condition and was already the exact dark grey colour we wanted, so no update was needed there either.”
Running the whole project themselves, Lana admits they weren’t on the tools too much! “Our intent is to always book tradies to do the work, but when the budget gets tight, it is tempting to put your hand up to do some of the painting or landscaping. In the end, we laid most of the turf (and when I say we I mean our husbands!).”
Having originally bought the property for $808,500, renovating it for $90,000 and selling it 10 weeks later for $1,055,000, they made a gross profit of $155,000: not bad for a two-and-a-half-month turnover! Inspired by their success, they have now completed a second reno — also in Castle Hill — which has just gone on the market. It’s equally, if not more, gorgeous! Check it out here before it gets snapped up.