Are we being stupid? Renovation spend

(34 Posts)
LittleMilla Thu 14-Mar-13 09:04:17

Final costs now in for knocking thru kitchen diner, plus other work to install a utility room and pantry.

All in its going to be £33k. We know the top whack value for our property (only bought it last summer) and this will push us £10k over what we could recoup.

This is the tricky bit. It's our 5-10 year home and we've got no plans to move. We could prob do it all for £10k cheaper if we didn't go for all the nicities - stone floor underfloor heating, range etc. but we're doing this to LIVE in not sell.

Are we being stupid?

HappyGirlNow Thu 14-Mar-13 09:07:58

No not at all. 5-10 years is still a relatively long time and you will be getting to enjoy your life in it more while you're there for the money. What value do you place on that?

Wishiwasanheiress Thu 14-Mar-13 09:13:19

Yes. Bit ott for 5 yrs that might spring longer. Completely ott if ur doing underfloor heating and that level of nice. That's fluff done for either ur long term 10+ or a property sell on ( and only if money can be added).

5yrs is short. Buy a nice radiator instead.

Wishiwasanheiress Thu 14-Mar-13 09:14:16

Range different in my view. If ur wondering

Mintyy Thu 14-Mar-13 09:14:17

In short, yes!

Tizwozliz Thu 14-Mar-13 09:14:33

How does that compare to the value of your house? How are you funding it?

If your house cost 100k as ours does i'd say you were crazy to spend 33k, if it's 500k not so much.

I know you intend to stay long term but can you afford to write off some money if you find you have to move?

LittleMilla Thu 14-Mar-13 09:25:03

Bought it for 380k. Using 15k of savings and borrowing remainder from family. It's a 3 bed (with potential for fourth bedroom in loft- next project in a few years!). We've tarted up everything else in house, also rewired everything except kitchen & dining room. Spent about £5k thus far.

Yes, we could go cheaper on the floor. But DH and I really love stone floor. And the feeling is that unless we want to have slippers on the whole time we'd be remiss not to have underfloor. However, it's an old house so there's extra costs re insulating cavity, levelling floor etc.

Looking at recent sales we'd get £415k max back. Este agents say that without fourth room we're limited. But for our family needs right now (ds is almost 2 and ds2 due in July) an open plan living space is what we need.

LexyMa Thu 14-Mar-13 10:43:25

we spent about that on an extension on a 200k house. Also sunk 10k into de-open-planning the living room and creating a small third bedroom out of a very large first bedroom. We may only break even but we have definitely extended the time we can comfortably live in the house and the enjoyment of doing so.

I also utterly LOVE my underfloor heating.

titchy Thu 14-Mar-13 11:03:10

Will you do the 4th bedroom at some point? If that's the plan, you need to factor the cost and net gain of this work too in order to work out whether to spend £23k or £33k.

So if your loft conversion costs £30k but means you could sell for £500k as long as your kitchen was top spec, and a basic spec kitchen would get you £470k, then yes it's worth it. If however your £30k loft conversion will only get you £475k with a top spec kitchen, or £470k with a basic spec one then no it's not worth doing.

LittleMilla Thu 14-Mar-13 15:48:58

Yes, plan to do the fourth bedroom once we've paid back this project! Probably a few years' time and unless something forced us to sell sooner, before we'd move again.

I was probably being short sighted re how long we'll be here. We have three outstanding rated primary schools nearby and so the intention is for DS to do his primary years here. He'll be two in may.

We are first time buyers (having missed the first rung of the ladder) and I think that we've bought fairly wisely. Good area that is certainly getting better with great schools and decent stock of family homes. We don't want to bank anything on prices going up hence being cautious. However, we don't want to compromise so much that we're not happy....

gnoomi Thu 14-Mar-13 18:01:45

Milla, I think some of it depends on whether the space at the end will look right for a 4 bed property. When we sold our last we didn't knock through/extend as we weren't planning on converting the loft. As you plan to make your house 4 bed you should think about whether downstairs will be in proportion. Also if you are going to sell in 5ish years you want things that won't have worn out/look like they need replacing by then, IYSWIM. (I'm not stalking you, honest, we're just prepping the house to sell and I'm getting ideas!)

SwedishEdith Thu 14-Mar-13 18:13:24

Are you actually extending? I'm not sure if that's what you mean about the utility room and pantry. If just renovating £33k seems a lot so assume it's an extension? I'll go slightly against the grain and say that I don't think every improvement or renovation to your house should be seen in terms of whether you'll recoup the cost. So, £10k over recoupable costs over 5 year min term = £2k per year to live in a house you really like. Maybe look at it like that?

AliceWChild Thu 14-Mar-13 18:17:43

It's your home, do what will mean you'll enjoy living there. It's not all about investment.

LittleMilla Thu 14-Mar-13 18:24:29

<waves at gnoomi>. Come over so we can discuss this, please!! grin

Doing what we're doing will create two living spaces. Traditional lounge/sitting room and then open plan kitchen/diner with room for a sofa.

We're knocking down a wall and converting our scullery in to a proper utility room (it's almost derelict at the mo). Also converting space under stairs in to a pantry. And replacing windows in bay for French doors.

So not extension per se, but a fair amount of reconfiguring space. And we'll have two fairly hefty rsjs going in.

SwedishEdith Thu 14-Mar-13 18:27:34

How many quotes have you had? It does sound very expensive for that level of work

Karbea Thu 14-Mar-13 18:29:02

It depends if you are happy to write off the money or not, my parents spent waaaaay over the value on our old family home, they've since moved but it's still a bitter pill, it's hard to understand how someone gets all the lovely stuff you've done for more than free.

cjel Thu 14-Mar-13 18:32:09

Had a 30ft sq. kitchen and underfloor heating was well worth money. I always think house is my home I want to live in it. As long as I could afford it I'd spend what I like. If you feel uneasy about it then cut costs. I wouldn't have a range I can never understand the attraction of bending down to get heavy things from oven.!!

LittleMilla Thu 14-Mar-13 18:51:36

I am in the process of getting another quote as we have been slightly silly in going with one highly recommended builder. We knew from the outset he wouldn't be cheapest but this is now 10k more than we'd thought. But everyone has said that costs will double from initial quotes.

ILikeBirds Thu 14-Mar-13 18:55:41

I don't know the full extent of the work but it does sound expensive. We knocked through, installed an rsj, replaced a window with french doors, installed new electrics (sockets and lights) and moved a gas pipe for about 2k

Have you got a full breakdown of costs, so you can see how much labour is costing versus materials etc.?

LittleMilla Thu 14-Mar-13 19:21:20

I like birds - this includes everything. No new kitchen, flooring, appliances etc.

It's 35 sqm in total. Expense seems to be that we've gone for timber doors and because we're in a Victorian house they're being made etc.

Saying all of the above I AM getting another quote. Whilst we've spent a lot of time with this builder and I don't question the quality of his work, my fear is that we're getting the best of everything and could make savings.

God, it's all so bloody stressful.

wendybird77 Thu 14-Mar-13 19:26:51

I don't know. It all adds up quickly and then there are all the little jobs you didn't anticipate along the way which add to your total bill. We are renovating and what we thought was going to be about 35k (not an extension, not RSJ's) is creeping more closely to 45k. And we've not had any underfloor heating, but have had new (very good) boiler and new rads, kitchen, bathroom, cloakroom, new floors throughout and doorways knocked through. This is our forever home though and we got it for a good price - so we would expect to gain all the money back if we had to sell. It is a tough choice. I don't think I'd do real luxuries like underfloor heating if it wasn't a forever house - 5 years does go really fast. If you are talking about being there for your DCs primary years, then maybe if you think it will add to the quality of your life. I will say we've just had stone floors put in an old house and they are much warmer than the porcelain tiles there before. May be because the house is actually warm with the new boiler and rads!

Yfronts Thu 14-Mar-13 19:38:01

over the top for 5 years, fair enough for 15 years

georgedawes Thu 14-Mar-13 19:57:32

That sounds really expensive! The RSJs should only be 2-4k on their own.

LittleMilla Thu 14-Mar-13 20:15:48

Here's the quote:

Demolition £500
New dividing wall to extension £400
Structural openings to French doors £680
Structural openings to Kitchen only £1650
Structural opening to extension £150
Larder renovation £800
Timber sash windows (bedroom & Kitchen) £2980
Timber French Doors £2450
Floor renovation Comprising: £7544
UFH, Insulation, floorboards to dinning and kitchen area
Tiling to dinning, kitchen and larder room
Laying oak floor from kitchen to WC
Back Door £600
Enlarging opening under staircase (provisional) £200
Block existing kitchen entrance £125
Work to fireplaces (provisional) £450
Decorating Renovated areas including removal of wall paper £1300
Making good to walls, ceiling and skirting
Building regulation fee £309
Structural Engineer fee (one beam) £120
Kitchen units £4700
Kitchen installation including appliances connections £1440
Kitchen worktop £2200
Total cost of Renovation £28,598

We are then spending £2.5k on appliances and we've been quoted £1.5k by sparky to rewire everywhere that's having work (we did remainder of the house when we moved in) and also adding in sockets, light fittings etc.

Any thoughts on this are very welcome and I hope I don't sound like a nobber adding this up! Just really need opinions. ALso got the details for another builder who I;m going to get over ASAP for a second opinion...

SwedishEdith Thu 14-Mar-13 21:41:59

Hmm, it's basically the flooring and the windows isn't it? We looked at timber French doors so I know the price you've quoted there is actually very reasonable. What appliances are you getting for £2.5k <clutches straws>

ILikeBirds Thu 14-Mar-13 22:05:08

The individual bits still look expensive, I know we're generally in a cheap place but I wouldn't have expected such a difference.

£680 for structural opening for French doors?

We paid £900 for similar, of which £600 pounds was the cost of the doors. It took two guys about 4 hours to do. Mind you, the highest quote we had for the same bit of work was £2100

Zavi Thu 14-Mar-13 22:19:08

It's not a lot to spend - if you can afford it.

You have very little equity in your property - less than 5%.

Interest rates are unlikely to go down in the next 5-10 years.

If you expect household income to increase quite a bit over next 5-10 yrs I.e. because of anticipated salary increases above rate of inflation, then I'd say go ahead and enjoy it whilst you're there.

What you don't want to happen though is for house prices to fall whilst interest rates rise because, with only 5% equity in the property, you will be particularly vulnerable to getting trapped in negative equity.

noddyholder Thu 14-Mar-13 22:19:31

It sounds fair. I renovate houses for a living ad would be happy with that

RCheshire Thu 14-Mar-13 22:35:57

Agree with Zavi in that I may come across as very boring/sensible/conservative.

However Zavi said you don't have much equity but I don't think you mentioned how big a loan is outstanding?

If you've loads of equity then I might consider it, or if you are expecting decreased costs going forward (unlikely with a second child), or are expecting major payrises, or are awash with cash.

Am assuming your cash/equity position isn't great given you mention borrowing off family. If that's the case then (to me) it looks a very luxurious set of changes to borrow for. But then, plenty of people take out loans for flash cars etc <shrug>

GrendelsMum Thu 14-Mar-13 22:53:54

I know this is a terribly dull point, but the problem with a stone floor is that when you drop things on it they break.

That's everything from wine glasses at parties to iPhones and iPads.

Then the shards of glass get into the rough bits of stone and the grouting...

RCheshire Thu 14-Mar-13 23:01:37

Children learning to walk bang their heads <nods sagely>

LittleMilla, I don't blame you if you now have your fingers in your ears grin

LittleMilla Fri 15-Mar-13 05:01:31

So I sent quote to another builder (who our go to man is currently working for). He's said it's v high and is coming over later today to quote just to make sure he could actually do it for much less. As in £10k less Although said upfront he couldn't take on any more work for 2 months. I'm due in July so haven't got forever to make a decision.

Anyway, it's 4am and I'm awake stressing about all this! We'd wanted to do all this for £20k at first. That would keep us in check for house price, mean we borrow min from family and wouldn't feel anxious. Builder coming over on mon to discuss as DH is away. I'm just going to stand firm and say that it's got silly. I don't believe us wanting some naice things is to blame too much. I think we have chosen an exp builder and allowed him to add £££. If it comes to it we can pay him £500 for his time (we've been working together for months!) and go our separate ways.

Re equity, we had an ok deposit. Whilst this is our first property, DH and I have been saving for a longtime (he's an accountant by trade) and he's good with money. Ditto why we'd borrow from family and not bank. Because we can, not cause we can't get bank money iykwim.

Thanks all for replies.

LittleMilla Fri 15-Mar-13 12:59:13

Just had another builder over for a second opinion. He's said that in places it's expensive but in others he's concerned that it's not enough! All in he feels that we're getting a fair amount for the £28k quoted. He's also said we should re-think UFH though as his feeling is that with decent insulation we could do without it.

His biggest concern is with regard to the lack of detail in our quote. He's said that we must push for much more - are ceilings coming down, for example? Is the larder being damp proofed (he has said that you can see rising damp out there) etc etc. He's said that as it stands there's just not enough detail in there for a £28k job.

God, I feel so bloody stupid. sad

hotbot Fri 15-Mar-13 13:49:05

Get an architect in o scope th job for you ,and he will gt quotes on your behalf. Ours also project managed it for us, saved us money in the long run as he also set up builders contacts etc. I really would consider doing a 4th bedroom if you can stretch tout as you will have loads of disruption so you may as well get it out of the .way.

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