Architect Stephanie Skyring introduces Renovation Collaborative, her new online learning guide designed to help DIY renovators find their way through the entire house design and construction process.

The Renovation Collaborative website includes 11 Online Courses, podcasts with industry experts and a private community.

Stephanie explains why she created Renovation Collaborative and how it can help you get the best results and value for money in your next renovation or new build project.

1:12 Stephanie explains why she created Renovation Collaborative

3:33 Find out about the courses and resources available.

6:04 Renovation Collaborative is very different to other online renovation courses.

6:48 Cut through the huge amount of info online and provide reliable advice.

8:38 What inspired the Podcasts

9:41 Designed for busy people, concise information is offered in a variety of ways.

11:02 Environmental design ideas, accessible for all budgets are a critical component.

12:58 Find answers to your home design and construction questions

14.26 How to get started.


Architect Stephanie Skyring created her Complete home design guide, Renovation Collaborative to help DIY renovators design and manage their own renovations better in the face of Brisbane’s soaring construction costs, and to inspire a greater commitment to environmental design. Created over the past 2 years, the Renovation Collaborative website contains online courses and other easy to follow, practical resources to help you get the best results and value for money for your renovation or new house project. 

What’s offered on the Renovation Collaborative website?

  • 11 Online courses guide you through the entire design and construction process. Each course can be read in about an hour and contains valuable attachments such as template letters, documents and materials selection advice. 
  • The design courses are supported by a live online classroom where you can ask questions. 
  • The Renovation Collaborative Community allows you to have your questions answered by Architect Stephanie Skyring and a community of like-minded renovators.

Renovation Collaborative also offers a range of free resources, including: 

  • Course 1. Environmental Design: The Common Sense Basics you didn’t know, 
  • Podcasts, and 
  • Practical ideas on social media. 

Why is Renovation Collaborative is different to other online renovation courses?

  • Stephanie has 20+ years of Architectural experience in her practice Skyring Architects. 
  • She shares industry expert knowledge and 
  • The Environment is a core focus.

Renovation Collaborative helps you make informed decisions, saving you time and money. 

The podcasts share industry expert knowledge in a practical, usable format. 

It’s designed for busy people. All the information is put together in a very concise format to save you time and get you the answers you need and the home you want..

Environmental design that is accessible for all budgets is a critical component. The courses and all the resources focus on how to improve climate-responsive design, orientation, natural light, connection to the outside, and energy efficiency. Smart ways to do the simple things and transform your house through design, not through cost. There are solutions for everyone, for any budget.

To find out more: up for the newsletter to get the podcast summary.

In the next episode: Stephanie dives into the cost of house construction in Brisbane in 2024 to help you work out whether to Renovate or Sell.


Renovation Collaborative Social Media

Stephanie is interviewed by Jane Clark from Vie Marketing

Stephanie Skyring:

Are you renovating or building and looking for trustworthy advice or ideas? Find out about the architect guided online courses and other resources available at

Welcome to the Renovation Collaborative podcast where I demystify everything about home design and construction. I interview everyone from the residential design and construction industry - professionals, tradespeople, builders and suppliers to learn the latest industry insider info.

My name is Stephanie Skyring. I'm an Australian architect with 20 plus years of experience helping people create better, more environmental homes on any budget. In today's episode, I introduce you to Renovation Collaborative, my new online learning guide designed to help DIY renovators find their way through the entire design and construction process from start to finish. I explain why I created it and tell you about the courses and resources that it contains to help you get the best results and value for money in your next renovation or new build project.

I'll be interviewed by Jane Clark from Vie Marketing.


Stephanie, you've been an architect for over 20 years, 15 of those running your practice, Skyring Architects. You've designed hundreds of residential homes. Your work has been profiled in The Australian and in many industry publications. You're highly respected in the industry. What possessed you to stop everything and devote literally the last two years to capture all this incredible industry knowledge and expertise? Eleven courses which basically go through the entire design and construction process from start to finish. You've got weekly podcasts. It's huge. So what has driven this? It's been a massive two years to put this together.


That's a lovely lead in and it's a really big question. But I suppose the two really big things that come to mind, which had been in my mind leading up to when I started Renovation Collaborative about two years ago, are the cost of construction in Australia today and the challenges that we all face in environment and the need for people in the construction industry to really stand up and do something about the environment. And talking to clients in initial phone calls in those years leading up to when I changed, and I would be saying to them on the phone, you know, I really just can't take jobs into the office unless they're over about $800,000. And that wasn't about me. It was just about not being able to deliver them a really fantastic house or large renovation under that price. And then I just would listen to myself and say, who's got $800,000? I don't have $800,000. That's crazy. So I could see that the market for architects was moving into a really elite realm. And it really wasn't where I started out. It wasn't what I wanted to do. I wanted to bring great design for everyone and environmental design for everyone. And suddenly I was being pushed into this market where I just didn't want to be. So I thought, well, what else can I do? You know, how else can I keep with my values and bring great design to the middle income people? And this is my solution.


Stephanie, I've had a look at the Renovation Collaborative website. It looks incredible. There is so much on offer. Can you take us through it?


I am super proud of the website. I have just worked with so many fantastic people to put that together. The main thing is the courses. There's eleven courses on there. The first one's free. It's about environment. The next ten courses guide you through the entire design and construction process, from what house to choose or whether to renovate right through to the end of construction. Also supporting those courses, I've got a live online classroom, which is an optional extra if you want more information. After reading the course content, I walk you through the course, answer questions, and demonstrate design solutions live. When you buy any course, you get access to membership. This includes the Renovation Collaborative community, which is a private Facebook group where you can talk with like-minded renovators and ask questions and find answers you need from people on the same journey. In addition to all of that, there's a lot of free stuff that I'm offering. So the podcasts in which I'll be talking to everyone from industry to share Insider knowledge, I've got the weekly Wrap newsletter which will wrap up everything we talk about in the podcast into a concise 60 second summary. I also have social media channels, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, where you can find lots of information, including floor plans of all sized houses showing before and after to help people with ideas.


Stephanie, why are you giving so much away? You are just providing so much incredible information.


I suppose it just aligns with my values. I just believe that design really is for everyone, and I know that there are people out there on a spectrum of budgets. So I'm really trying to help get great design to everyone. And if we can design better houses that don't get knocked down, don't get renovated as fast, that itself is better for the environment. I also know as an architect that it's a really big process. So I can give away heaps of information because I have heaps of information and heaps of knowledge to give. But I still know that it's still really, even with everything I give you, it still takes time and consideration to put it all together. So I'm just trying to give people as much as I can to help them on their journey.


There are a lot of online renovation courses and programs. What makes Renovation Collaborative different?


Renovation Collaborative is different from what is in the market at the moment. And there's three main reasons. I've got 20 years experience as a residential architect in practice. Secondly, I'm interviewing design and construction industry experts and sharing their insider knowledge. So it's really much more than just about my knowledge. And the third thing is that it is really backed up by environment. Smart, cost effective ways to improve your house, make it more comfortable, make it more future proof.


I've renovated before, and you go through the initial process of doing some research online and you find that you read something and think, well, that sounds good. But then the next thing you read, it conflicts the original, you know, information. How do you cut through the huge amount of information out there?


Jane, there is so much information out there. Absolutely. The difference is that you're not in the field, whereas I am in the field because I know that myself. If you're searching anything online and you're wondering, you know, what should I use? The benefit is that I'm in this industry. I've been working in this industry for over 20 years, and so I know what's rubbish and I know what's not. So what I do with all the courses and what the whole purpose of what I'm doing is that I can go through that information and distill it and pull out the concise information and give it back to you as though you were my client. This is how I would work with my clients, and that's how I'm going to work with you and Renovation Collaborative. And that's how the information is put together in the courses. I don't give you endless options. I give you the options that I would use on jobs. I tell you what other options are. But then I say, these are the options I use. These are the more environmental options. So I'm distilling everything all the time based on my professional experience to save you time.


That is so amazing because I'm a working mother and I just do not have time. I work full time. I don't have time to trawl through endless articles and advice, and I just need somebody to guide me. But I also want somebody who's credible and trustworthy because I want it done right the first time. But I don't necessarily have that $800,000 budget. Another thing I noticed is that a big part of this program is you're interviewing a lot of industry experts and providing latest industry information. So explain that.


This is the really exciting bit about Renovation Collaborative, and this is the collaborative bit. In the office, in day to day practice, I would have these fantastic phone calls with everyone across industry. They'd be consultants, they'd be builders, they'd be tradespeople, they'd be product suppliers. And I would have this really interesting conversation because I would be trying to resolve a problem on a project and I would get all this insider information. And I would just get off the phone and go, ‘That was fantastic! I just learned so much’. But then I thought, who actually gained from that? That was just me. So then I thought, wow, you know, I could really give this information back to the public by technically having those phone calls in a podcast forum. And that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm having those phone calls and sharing that information with everyone so everyone can gain from it and use it on their projects.


Another thing I love about the way you've put Renovation Collaborative together is the various options on how to learn stuff. I work full time, I've got teenage boys. I learn while I'm on the move, like I'm driving and I'll when I'm walking the dog. So those podcasts, which are free, are just full, jam packed with fantastic hints and information. So someone who's running around and really busy, it's such a great format. So is that, was that the intent? You're a mum as well. Was that the intent? To. To recognise how busy we all are and just give us different ways to learn to cater with our busy lives?

[10:25] Stephanie: Oh, absolutely, Jane. And you've just said it really well because we're all on the same page. And I know that for most of you listening to Renovation Collaborative and using the program, that you don't want to become an architect, you don't want to become a designer. What you want is a better house, you want an easier life. You know, you just want to sort out your living problems, whether it's adding extra bedrooms or whatever it is, get on with life. So that's really what's driving it in all of the information. I've just made it concise to get you where you want to go as fast as I can get you there.


As a mother, environmentally sensitive design is something that is important to me. I'm just not sure how to go about it. I have this perception that it's expensive. I know that with climate change and the way the world is moving that it's a no brainer, but I just don't know where to begin. How does Renovation Collaborative guide us?


The environment has always been a passion of mine and I think more so since I've had a child. And you really are thinking about the future and what the future will be like for your child and wanting it to be the best that it can be. So with environment, I've really tried to package it up to be accessible for everyone. I've really focused on the common sense elements, which are climate responsive, design orientation, natural light, connection to the outdoors, breeze, all of those sorts of things. Energy efficiency, smart ways to do the simple things.


And I guess, you know, we don't want to be with cost of living, spending a fortune on air conditioning or having to put the lights on because the house has been designed in a way that doesn't capture the natural light. Yes. So it's information like that, which, as you said, it doesn't mean it's more expensive, but you're really guiding us in a way to make the most of the block that you're on, the orientation, and then how to introduce those design ideas to make it more livable.

[12:31] Jane: Absolutely, Jane. That is really the most important part. And the central message is the common sense orientation. All of that solar design makes all the difference in the world and costs absolutely nothing extra. There are so many things like that where you can transform your house simply through design, not through cost. I just think there's solutions there for everyone, for any budget, and anything's better than nothing.


I have been getting quotes to get the exterior of the house painted and they've started to come in. And can I tell you now, the cost of the scaffolding, it's just eye watering. And, you know, the first quote came in and the scaffolding was as expensive as the painting. We've got a two level house and I'm just thinking, am I being ripped off? Like, you know, is the painter putting this massive margin on? And then the next quote came in and it was a few thousand less, but it was still crazy. I just love the fact that I can go to Renovation Collaborative as my trusted, credible guide, to know that I can find that answer there. I can find out, is that what I should be expecting to pay?


There's heaps of situations like that, Jane. And through Renovation Collaborative, they are answered in different ways. So whether it's through the searchable content on the podcast where you can search for answers from past industry experts and also whether it's talking to the Renovation Collaborative community, the private Facebook group, putting on those woes on there and asking what the community in your local area is experiencing. And I will also be on there moderating. So I will talk about those things on there as well, give you advice on how to move forward to resolve your problems.


It all sounds incredible and exactly what I need. How do I start?


Jump onto the Renovation Collaborative website, dot au dot. Have a look around. Everything is there that you need. Sign up for the newsletter it's a quick two minute read summarising the podcasts and any interesting things we've learned during the week.


That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you so much Jane Clark from Vie Marketing in Brisbane for interviewing me.

In the next episode, I dive into the cost of house construction in Brisbane in 2024 to help you work out whether to renovate or sell. As always, thanks for listening to Renovation Collaborative.

For more information, go to Sign up to the newsletter to get the quick podcast summary or download the full show notes from the podcast page. You will also find eleven online courses that guide you through the entire home design and construction process and access to an online learning community.