Designer and home renovator, Laura Cusack has educated herself to become an all-round DIY guru, and now she endeavours to empower other women to do the same on her blog, Boss Girl Renovations.
“I began my home renovation back in 2016 and found that when I sought out information, more so, whenever I googled ‘how to…’ I found that more often than not I had a middle-aged man showing me how to get ‘said’ job done. Don’t get me wrong these men were lovely and insightful but it left me questioning where are all the females in the home improvement industry? I took it upon myself to be the change I wished to see and decided to create Boss Girl Renovations.
Boss Girl Renovations is a blog and a community for my female readership to reach out about any home related queries. It’s a place where you can browse insta-worthy homes, but also a resource you can visit from time to time. You’ll find tutorials on Boss Girl Renovations such as ‘how to bring your lawn back to life’, because we’re currently in the process of renovating our lawn and I must say it’s making some impressive headway. BGR aims to build up the confidence of women, of all ages and ethnicities to perform home improvements, by offering some coaching and support on how to do so.
I’m upfront and honest that prior to my home renovation, I had the bare-minimum of ‘Do-It-Yourself’ experience but I had an immense passion for creativity and design! With this alone I found the task of completing an entire home remodel (interior and exterior) somewhat overwhelming. I’d never operated a lawn mower before! But I’m living proof that it is possible. You do your groundwork on how to carry out a task whether it be through YouTube, Google or now Boss Girl Renovations and you can accomplish anything. And if you fail the first time around, you learn from your mistakes, brush yourself off and try again.
I’ve capped the expenditure of my home renovation to £15,000, and am keeping track of my finances to avoid selling my renovated house for a loss of profit. You’ll find that the bones of my 1950’s weatherboard are still going strong and it’s on a nice sized block of land (680 sqm) so there’s possibilities to subdivide or to transform the backyard in an entertainers delight. I’d like to point out that I’m now not the sole renovator of the property. I met an outstanding man named Rick, who is now an integral part of the Boss Girl Renovations team. We’re both living among the renovation and are sharing the labor fifty-fifty. Rick and I are both first-time home renovators and definitely have our work cut out for us with countless cracks in the walls, a salmon pink bathroom to remodel and outdated fixtures in every room.
I hope I’ve shed some light on what it’s like to renovate a home and inspired you to go forth with your own renovation. Please take comfort in the fact that if I can do it, you sure can too! My home renovation is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, but also one of the most rewarding. I’ve accomplished things I’d never have thought possible (cutting timber with a jigsaw, removing tek screws with a power drill, painting an entire room by myself) and my confidence is growing in leaps and bounds. I can’t stress enough the importance of giving home improvements a go. I guarantee that you’ll surprise yourself!
I’d like to leave you with my top five tips for a successful home renovation:
1. You only learn from your mistakes, so don’t be afraid to make them.
2. Research your market you don’t want to over capitalize on your return from your renovation.
3. Work with what you’ve got, for example it’s a huge money saver to keep the existing layout of your plumbing in the bathroom. You can just update the fixtures to make it more modern and contemporary.
4. Make sure you don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get your renovation done ASAP. First and foremost, you need to take care of your wellbeing and schedule in down time around your renovation time. It does take time, but it is always worth it.
5. Shop around for for products. I found my splash back tiles for a fraction of the price on Gumtree and have picked up a number of landscaping items from buy, swap and sell Facebook sites, sometimes for free!