Policeman takes five years to tackle $1m renovation himself

This property at 139 Rode Rd was renovated over five years for $1m.

This property at 139 Rode Rd was renovated over five years for $1m.

Five years and $1m is how much it cost a Brisbane man to do his own renovation of a 1947 post-war cottage, turning it into a very different modern family home.

Owner Shane Scott and his wife Nilda Scott began a five-year renovation project after they bought the Wavell Heights property at 139 Rode Road in 2017.

As a former carpenter turned police officer, Mr Scott carried out most of the work alongside his son who is also a carpenter.

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The house’s very dated single bathroom before renovation.

After renovation the house has four bathrooms.

Mr Scott, who is the son of a builder, has worked on a number of DIY renovations with his wife drawing on his upbringing and traditional skills.

“That’s the best thing about doing a trade because you still get to benefit from the trade even after you’ve changed jobs,” he said.

While juggling his day job and the renovation, Mr. Scott said he found the process challenging.

“I was working out of the state and would save my leaving up to come back and work at the house. I did 10-12 hour days,” Mr. Scott said.

Before renovation the kitchen was closed in.

Mr Scott turned the kitchen into an open plan airy space.

Total costs of the renovations are valued at $1 million with Mr Scott’s labor included.

“It is hard to equal the labor that you’ve done yourself. I kept a spreadsheet of the materials which is at $770,000 but that’s not including the $250,000-$300,000 labour,” Mr Scott said.

As the owner builder, Mr. Scott was able to choose where he wanted to allocate his time and money.

“You get to make all the decisions when you are doing it yourself. Most builders try to cut the costs but I could spend a little bit more on the fittings,” he said.

The original home, which had three bedrooms, one bathroom, and a makeshift laundry, is unrecognizable following renovations, with the upgraded property now showing five bedrooms, four bathrooms and a five-car garage.

The back of the house before renovation.

After renovation, more options for use were added to the backyard including a new granny flat and an in-ground pool.

The home now has open plan living and dining areas, and a media room among its amenities.

Mr Scott put in a stylish alfresco area with an outdoor kitchen overlooking an in-ground swimming pool.

He also added a separate granny flat with renovated bathroom and kitchenette at the rear of the property to make the most of the 810sq m block.

The house also has a 30kW solar electric system and ducted air conditioning.

Before renovation the interior was drab and dated.

After renovation, lighter colors, an open plan and more light in the living space.

Real estate agent Nick Murdoch of Place Ascot who listed the property with colleague John Allen said he had received a lot of positive feedback.

“People have said it is a beautiful home and we’ve received lots of good feedback on how it looks in terms of presentation,” he said.

The home is listed for sale at offers over $1,899m.

Before renovation the house had three bedrooms.

After renovation there are five bedrooms, with a lighter feel to them too.