Hear us roar: Meet the women leading the way in building and renovation

For too long, the home building and renovating industry has been dominated by male voices. Not anymore. A new wave of empowered and gender diverse renovators and builders are making their voices heard – and they are inspiring, educating and encouraging each other along the way. Here are five ways they’re getting things done, and sharing the results.


By getting educated

According to mortgage broker Loan Market, single female first-home buyers are one of the fastest growing home-buyer demographics in the market – which means they’re also driving a new swathe of renovations.

The first step in any renovation is doing your research, and that means starting with the basics. BuildHer Collective is just one example of a female-led organisation empowering this group.

“If you know what you’re talking about, how something’s going to come together and the process behind it, it’s very easy to feel empowered,” says Rebeka Morgan, founder and director of BuildHer Collective.

The group offers online courses that demystify the building process and give women the confidence and knowledge to start their journey.

Another renovating powerhouse, Lana Taylor of Three Birds Renovations, saw more than 17,000 people complete a course via the Three Birds Renovations learning platform in 2021 alone.

What you can do: Simply sign up for an online course. Check out Three Birds Reno School and BuildHer Collective courses (covering everything from kitchens and bathrooms to full renovations). And be sure to share your progress on your social channels; it’s a great way to connect with other renovators (find helpful tips on sharing your project on social here).


By taking control of the journey

“A lot of women can feel alone in the process of renovating and building,” says Lana of Three Birds Renovations. That’s why it’s key to have strong lines of communication with the tradespeople you’ve engaged.

“You need to make your own informed decisions. You’ve got to learn how to communicate clearly and to know when to stand up for what’s important to you.”

Adds Rebeka of BuildHer Collective: “You are the one who leads a project and you need to be invested in knowing what you’re talking about and what’s going to happen.”

Both Lana and Rebeka encourage women on how to get ahead of problems, and to understand and resolve any questions that arise.

What you can do: Do your research and understand the pros and cons of the products you choose. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and push back on the advice of your tradespeople: the quickest or cheapest way isn’t always the best way.


By knowing what they want

The new vanguard of renovators is looking for solutions that marry aesthetics and practicality, especially when it comes to the exterior of their home, according to Cathleya Buchanan, Marketing Director at James Hardie. That means women are the ones considering costs, implications, benefits and all the other factors before investing in products for their homes.

“Durability and longevity are top criteria. They don’t want to have to replace materials or have ongoing maintenance requirements,” she explains.

What you can do: Be confident in your product selections by choosing quality. Find the James Hardie product catalogue here. Try sharing your mood boards and selections with your community via your social channels for instant feedback.


By making money

What makes women successful at renovating for profit and flipping houses? Renovating a home is a creative endeavour as well as a practical one. Women tend to choose products that do the job and look good too – which resonates with potential buyers down the track.

“The material selection needs to facilitate purposeful modern design solutions that deliver not only on aesthetic but also lifestyle needs,” says Cathleya from James Hardie.

What you can do: Start by staying on top of the latest trends. Check out the James Hardie Pinterest edit for exterior style inspiration.


By sharing their stories

Involving friends and family in a renovation or new home build journey is a great way to connect with others, empower them to start their own project and inspire! It’s also an opportunity to bounce ideas and progress off your loved ones and get some feedback. Some of the industry's most inspiring home renovators – such as Dot + Pop’s Eve Gunson and interior design aficionados Heather and Sarah from Oak & Orange – found their audience by sharing their own projects online.

Embracing the progress as part of your story is fascinating and will really get your community invested in your project. Sharing to family and friends is how many online influencers got started.

What you can do: Visit your site with family, share photos on social channels or make your inspiration Pinterest pages public – there are so many ways to connect with other women. Not sure where to start? Check out some other renovators, such as Three Birds Renovations, on Instagram.

For more inspiration, check out James Hardie on Instagram and Pinterest, and look through our product catalogue. Use the #hardiedreamhome hashtag on Instagram to share your project.

Product Catalogue

Hardie™ Product Catalogue is a comprehensive guide for fibre cement products and accessories by James Hardie. The catalogue details the product appearance, simple to follow descriptions, and recommended best usage for building and construction. It contains product specifications across the total range, including accessories to deliver a great result.


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Ready to specify Hardie™ fibre cement products in your next project? Order a sample to help visualise your design decision. Paint samples in any colour to suit the vision you have for your dream home.  

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