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I flip houses and here's the before and afters to show how you can add value to your home for cheap

Emily Clohesy has found the key to making maximum profits when it comes to DIY.

As the cost-of-living crisis continues to be felt across the nation, those looking to spruce up their homes are using clever DIY tips to keep their renovations within budget and make some serious cash when selling their property.

Renovation-focused social media accounts are using everyday items from thrift shops, or cheap Facebook Marketplace finds to style homes with unique ideas that everyday renovators can then use themselves. And it's making those who dare to dream a pretty penny.

So, what does it really take to become a house flipper who get the best prices up-cycling and adopt cheaper methods to nail DIY renovations? Yahoo Finance spoke to South Australian couple Emily and Mitch Clohesy who are doing just that, and reaping the benefits. They've shared their top 7 tips so you can do the same.

A dark room with blinds drawn
BEFORE: This room had the bones to be something really special, but appeared dark with blinds drawn. (Supplied)
Before and after
AFTER: Bathed in natural light, breaking open a wall has given this space new life. (Supplied)

'In our blood'

For the couple, renovating was always going to be part of their story because it's in their DNA. The couple from the Adelaide Hills watched both of their parents transform houses while they were growing up. Mitch also has three trades under his belt.


Their current project in Aldgate, South Australia will continue their approach of taking an unusual approach but creating a home you can fall in love with at first glance.

Here are Emily's top tips on how to pack a real punch when it comes to DIY by using cheaper materials, social media and what's right in front of you.


Emily's top 7 tips for renovating cheaply and quickly

Before and after photos of a bathroom renovation.
Emily loves to find unique pieces in the house and on Marketplace that can be reused and recycled. (Source: Supplied) (Supplied)

1. Give it a go

"If you have no experience renovating but you want to renovate your house, my biggest tip is to just give it a go. Jump on YouTube, watch a video on how to rip a bathroom out and prepare it. It's not as hard as you think.

"If you stuff it up, you'll always learn something in the process and know better for the next time, and all you have to do is rip it out [and] start again. Don't let fear of getting it wrong hold you back."

2. Shop around

"To make it cost-effective, Marketplace, Gumtree - those types of sites - are your best friends. It's pretty rare that my husband and I would actually buy something brand new for our renovations. You can almost find everything that you need, material-wise, like timber or tiles or tap fixtures - depending on what style you're going for - but pretty much anything you want, you can find on a marketplace these days. And those prices are always negotiable so never pay what someone is asking, always negotiate.

Composite of a renovator couple on their wedding day, and an older-style kitchen
The renovators look for older homes to give some love to. (Source: Supplied) (Supplied)

"I generally start by offering half of the asking price. This gives you plenty of room for negotiation on the price. And be prepared to walk away from an item if it's not within your budget - there will always be something else that pops up. Patience is key."

3. Old is new

"People are more conscious of the environment and I also think people love reclaimed features in homes. If you look at a lot of new homes these days, they are pretty clinical, they are boring, there's no character. If you incorporate some reclaimed items - like, for the current one, we're doing the silo [that] came out of the Holden factory, these things create character, create talking points and make them stand out from the crowd without spending a fortune. And, again, you can find all these things on a marketplace."

4. Paint is sometimes all you need

"A really quick way to spruce up a space is just to paint it. Painting is cheap, it's quick and anyone can do it and it really freshens up an entire space. Painting can change the whole look of a house so, even if you have an outdated cream brick house, just painting your bricks white will bring it into today's modern society.

"Get rid of those blue and pink kids' bedrooms. White is a blank canvas for people to put their own touch on."

Before and after photos of a renovated room
The couple say sometimes all a room needs is some paint to give it a bit of a refresh. (Source: Supplied) (Supplied)

5. Spend money on the important things

"When renovating for profit, you need to think, not of your own personal style, but what is going to appeal to the most amount of buyers. Keep your designs, selections and colour palettes simple. Bring in pops of colour here and there in your home styling. Put your money into areas that sell homes, like updated kitchens and bathrooms."

6. Styling is key

"Styling your home for sale is a huge one. Work with what you've already got and you don't need to go out and spend thousands and have your house styled. You may be able to borrow [from friends and family] cushions, blankets, paintings - these types of things - to elevate your house while you are presenting it for sale. That's a really quick and effective way to make it look fabulous."

7. Furniture selection

"Furniture is a big consideration. Make sure it is the right size for a space and [that it's] placed in the best position to get the most out of the room. If you have a view from a window, are you utilising that?

"And make sure it isn't too big or small for a space. If it's too big ... it'll overpower a space and make it feel smaller than it [is]. Too small [and] it'll just look wrong."

A labour of love

Emily and Mitch are now onto their third project and plan to continue to renovate homes around the Adelaide Hills region. The stunning Mount Barker property below was done cheaply but the couple made sure to spend the cash on what was important, such as the bathroom and kitchen.

A freshly renovated kitchen
Emily says she has used plenty of social media videos and even Bunnings staff to help her achieve impressive results during renovations. (Supplied)

"Mitch and I say our inspiration purely comes from what is standing in the house and the era it may be from. We then can figure out what is going to elevate it into today's way of living."

She suggests jumping on YouTube and utilising places like Bunnings and social media videos to help teach yourself DIY skills needed.

"Watch a video on how to rip a bathroom out and prepare it and do it again. It's not as hard as you think," she said.

"If you stuff it up you'll always learn something in the process and know better for next time. Don't let fear of getting it wrong hold you back."

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