5 Lessons from Petra to renovate a home and create an amazing space for family living

Petra is one of our amazing DevelopHer’s and her and her partner are absolute Queens and Kings of the renovation for profit game! What they see that others don’t is potential! Potential not for the biggest most extravagant project, but for reusing the bones of a home and creating an incredible space that people will love the second they see it!

Now, Petra, like so many of us that renovate and develop property, does not see herself as a ‘property flipper’ – this is a passion of hers and one she clearly is adept at!  Her latest project took a nice, but drab, rabbit warren of a property which she turned it into a gorgeous family home. They purchased this property in 2020, right in the middle of the covid restrictions, when there was limited stock on the market. It came up off market and they jumped at the opportunity!

‘When I walked into the house, I could immediately see how it could easily be improved for family life. The home screamed potential, with original plaster ceilings, oak architraves, and beautiful leadlight windows. However, the floorplan was awkward.  We only added an additional 30sqm of floor space to the existing footprint of the house but rejigged a number of doorways to achieve a much better flow.’

How do they do it though?

Petra and James always build homes that can withstand the rough and tumble of family life! They know that buyers, especially those with younger children, are looking for this too.  They aim to present the perfect home for a purchaser – one where they can walk straight in without changing a thing! And in the current climate where trades are busy those little jobs can be difficult, long and time consuming, so they make sure they resolve their home for the purchaser perfectly.

Lessons from Petra’s project:

  • Petra and James brought off-market and understanding the sales process they understood how to buy when there was limited stock. They know how to unlock a home’s potential, and just needed to find the right home to work on.
  • Focus on relationships, with a 15+ year career in Human Resources this team understands how to manage people, and they have the confidence to switch it up when a relationship is not working.
  • Face actual challenges as they arise!  Petra notes that ‘it was a tricky time for the building industry, with worker shortages and rising material prices. This did cause us anxiety, but I decided to stop doom scrolling through media reports and face actual challenges as they arose.’
  • As always, your team is incredibly important! Petra has a builder that she trusts and works well with! ‘If you are working at odds to your trades, then life gets tricky’ said Petra
  • A little something in the design flair department – this home had hours poured into how to maximise the space and provide a home that had a little something. Details like the fireplace and servery window from the loungeroom create #buildhermoments that you cannot walk past!

Renovating a house can be hard if you don’t love the process, Petra’s advice is to lean into it and find the enjoyment every stage.  ‘Obviously, I find picking tiles more interesting than the design of storm water drains I but I think it is crucial to keep up your enthusiasm by celebrating all the milestones.’ 

How do you get that confidence?

When we asked about what gives her the confidence to invest and to back yourself into another project, as we understand the importance of each project along the way, Petra responded, ‘Oh the self-doubt is still there, and I am not sure it will ever fully go away…. However, you begin to trust yourself and your abilities more each time. You also begin to understand the rhythm of a build.  When hurdles arise, you can rely on the knowledge that you have overcome past challenges. And finally, having built up a good network, I trust the people around me, which in turn builds my confidence.’ 

We visited Petra and James over the Christmas period when the two of them were grafting! It was a 30+ degree day and it is not a stretch of the imagination to picture another place they would have preferred to be! But some of the process is less than glamorous, and we love the P&J team that get stuck in, adding value in every instance they can!  Whilst gap filling may not have been her favourite, the bit she loves the most is taking a house which has beautiful albeit tired original features and restoring those so they can be enjoyed for another lifetime. And it is all part of the process.

So, where to from here? Petra is retraining as an Architectural Designer. She notes that ‘this will take years to achieve, but so far she is really enjoying the journey!’   We have already seen some of her skills in play when she presented plans for the renovators delight that she plans to develop for her family as her forever home. Exciting times are always on the horizon!

We’d love to hear from you!

BuildHer Note: Petra is a member of BuildHer Collective and a DevelopHer. Her experience is unique to her and her and James’s skills are incredible – this is the third home she has worked on in Australia, and we love being part of the journey. If you want to find out more about becoming a DevelopHer or how we can help, please book a call here!

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