SOUTH Australian renovator Michael Lynch turned a small budget into a big win on the finale of The Renovators last night.
Lynch won the $100,000 grand prize on the Channel 10 reality series last night when his property, a fibro cottage in Blacktown, fetched a whopping $68,012 profit at auction.
His closest competitor, Gold Coast carpenter Luke Pollock, earned only a third of that on his inner city terrace - the most expensive of the six properties.
Lynch, who captained the navy blue team, had the smallest budget to work with but managed to add a large extension to the cottage and put in a swimming pool.
"That's he thing I'm most proud of. Because I had the smallest budget, we didn't have any spare money to spend on tradesmen," he said.
"I worked it out that we spent $47,000 on materials. All the labour was done by Jarrad (O'Connell) and myself…. everything you see there we did."
The 27-year-old builder believes the feeling of space and the quality of workmanship impressed the buyers at his auction.
"We had the water feature running, had the new furniture I'd won, it felt like a resort," he said.
"It felt like you were in the Whitsundays. It had an amazing feeling through it."
That resort feel is a long way from when Lynch first saw the property more than six months ago.
Despite more than a dozen renovations to his name, he intially found the cottage an intimidating prospect.
"I didn't know Sydney at all. I didn't know where Blacktown was and my initial reaction was how tiny it was," he said.
"It was like a cubby house, I couldn't believe it. I thought it would be twice the size it was, and all the asbestos sort of scared me off. I knew how much it would cost to get rid of it."
Lynch said he is going to put his winnings straight back into the renovation of his own home in rural South Australia.
"I started my own reno and then got chosen to go on the show, so I've got a half-done house of my own," he said.
"Instead of borrowing money from the bank I'm going to pay for it with the winnings. In a couple of months' time I'll be able to show everyone what I won on The Renovators."
As one of the country's most frugal renovators, he also has a few top tips for anyone doing up their own home.
"I think the biggest secret of what I did was I bought my materials at auction," he said.
"I was able to get some things for a quarter of the price.
"Another thing is doing as much as you can yourself, even if it's demolition. Labour is expensive these days."
Last night's finale was the top rating program of the night, with a peak audience of 1.46 million viewers.
Channel 10 has already confirmed The Renovators will be renewed for a second series.
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