Chancellors Changing Homes Interview Part Two

Chancellors Changing Homes Interview  Part Two

In Part Two of our interview with Chancellors Changing Homes we learn more about their design must-haves, how they go about managing their budgets and some of the biggest challenges they’ve faced as house “flippers”.

What are non-negotiables for you when it comes to kitchen design?

​For us, the importance of a pull-out double drawer rubbish bin next to the sink is essential. It is the logical place for us, scraping dirty dishes before they go into the dishwasher. A farmhouse butlers sink is “almost” a must-have for us. We are obsessed with them! Not only do they make excellent baby baths, but the white is so much easier to keep clean than stainless steel!

Soft-closing drawers are also vital for us. Having young children it just takes the pressure off slamming doors and fingers. I am personally a huge fan of drawers, and I dislike cupboards for fry pans, pots, Tupperware etc. I find with cupboards the space at the back of the cabinet ends up being unused or collecting dust as you never want to get down low enough to look. Glass overhead cupboards are also important to us as they gives you additional storage without closing in the space too much.

 

What does your dream bathroom look like?

Light, light and more light! We are lovers of being able to see the clouds shift above you whilst you shower or bath. We put Velux skylights in whenever possible in our bathrooms, and have done on two of the three bathrooms in our Montrose project. 

Large format tiles (1200 x 600mm) on the floor mean minimal grout to scrub which is a bonus. Floor to ceiling tiles on the walls. Something light and neutral but with a degree of texture so that you can tap into that when styling. We prefer to keep things simpler and add splashes of life via tapware, towels, plants, bath caddies etc.

What is your process when beginning a large-scale renovation project like your Lilydale projects?

First things first, budget! Thankfully with Mike being a construction estimator, the budget is usually fairly accurate. Then comes the scope and determining what we can achieve for what investment. We then look into what we can sell for, and as a result, figure out what we can spend in order to make the minimum profit we have allocated.  Once we know what we can spend and what we need to achieve a set price at selling time, we can then start allocating funds to each stage of the renovation. This is often difficult as compromises need to be made regularly in order to stick to the budget.

When doing flipping houses, it is difficult to hold back as you often start to create YOUR perfect house. The reality is we need to create a home that will appeal to the broadest ranges of buyers and generate the maximum amount of interest at sale time.

You’ve done an amazing transformation to create your forever home – what was/is on your must-have list for your forever home?

We both wanted chunky timber beams and porch posts, super-high ceilings, farmhouse fencing, stone frontage and open plan living. They were must-haves for us! Mike has also always wanted a large spa…which he got! I wanted the Barn-style garage with my photography studio on top (which is in the works for 2022!). I also have my heart set on a greenhouse made from reclaimed windows. It is all on the list. Yes we have a list and we tick off everything as we go. It is very satisfying!

 

What cabinetry looks are you loving right now?

We will forever be lovers of a classic shaker cabinet. It works for so many styles and from a flipping point of view, we never received bad comments on it. Add in a feature island colour, some gorgeous overhead cabinets and some stunning lighting, and you have yourself a timeless kitchen!

What are your tips for staying on budget?

Have a construction estimator for a husband! Seriously though, if Mike wasn't here the budget would be blown-out of the park as I have a habit of choosing rather high-end finishes. We like to breakdown our spending into a spreadsheet with an estimate of how much we want to spend, versus how much we actually spent. Sometimes it helps to see where and when you overspent so that you can be more conscious of your spending in the future. We are huge advocates for DIY and upcycling. We try and do everything on a super tight budget, and 9/10 we ace it. Switch on your patience, think outside the box, buy 2nd hand and you will be rewarded financially.

It is important to note that we DIY 85% of our renovations and leave only the jobs that have to be legally done by a professional to the trades. This often means that our jobs are slower, and a lot more exhausting, but by doing so we have managed to keep our renovation costs to a minimum which results in a much higher profit margin when it comes to selling time.

 

What is the biggest renovation challenge you’ve faced?

From a personal point of view, the biggest challenge for us was living in a caravan in the peak of summer with a newborn baby, whilst the Montrose house was unliveable. Nothing makes you work faster/harder than being confined to a 13-foot metal hot box for months on end! From a renovation point of view it was most definitely the 2nd Lilydale project. Dealing with a house so run down and downright dangerous initially was a very big challenge for us on many levels.