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How much to make it liveable?

(10 Posts)
DoItRight Sat 10-Nov-12 10:15:10

I have been househunting for a while, and a property has just come on the market which is an absolute bargain. It is a bargain because it is a dump - it needs the full works. Rewiring, new central heating, new kitchen/bathroom, some double glazing etc. Roof looks sound enough, obviously haven't done a survey yet but hopefully won't need anything too structural done. Kitchen and bathroom would be ikea type kitchens so not looking for high spec there.

Can anyone help with a rough estimate of how much it might cost so I don't get too excited about it in case we won't be able to afford to do the work? We have 2 young DC so would try and do the basics before we move in.
Any guidance gratefully received!

FishfingersAreOK Sat 10-Nov-12 10:42:27

Whereabouts are you as costs can vary. And are you planning any structural stuff (moving walls). Will the ceilings need re-doing as well?

Isabeller Sat 10-Nov-12 11:04:01

Can you make arrangements to live elsewhere for a considerable period of time? I bought my home two years ago with a similar logic to yours.

I am in the middle of the second big repair/improve phase and learning all the time.

The first phase was the essentials you describe, basically making sure the place was safe re gas and electricity. It took several weeks of floor boards up before I could move in and save up for the next bit.

Phase 2 is further essential structural repair and improvements that fit in with that. This time the house might be virtually unliveable for nearly 3 months. There will need to be a phase 3 when I can afford it...

The survey was very helpful but there have still been other problems uncovered as I expected. The surveyor said do X before you move in Y within 2 -3 years, Z within 5 years and gave some rough estimates for the costs involved.

The which? website also has good information about how much it costs to rewire a house of various sizes.

It's not an easy option - good luck!

FishfingersAreOK Sat 10-Nov-12 11:45:03

Hopefully I will have a static caravan for sale in a couple of weeks as we are finally looking at being able to move in after 7 months on the front drive.

Very glad we did it this way - access to the house/builders during the whole process (rather than renting elsewhere) has been essential. If we had had to rent it would have cost us about £1000 a month - at least - and then if I needed to get DH to look at something/decide something when he got home from work we would not have been able to look together apart from at the weekends (he gets in after DCs are ready for/in bed).

Before you proceed you really do need to get a builder round to give you an idea of what would be involved and how you could approach it. Plus an idea of costs.

I would never do it again. But I am glad we have done it. We have an amazing house we are (nearly) living in- and a house which has been done to suit us. I keep trotting down the front garden and wandering into the house just to look. And stroke things blush.

Oh and get a quote/idea of re-roofing if you are getting a builder round....just so you know....we were not going to do ours....but have ended up having to.

LFCisTarkaDahl Sat 10-Nov-12 11:53:26

I'm in the south east and did all that for 30k ten years ago.

My friend has done it recently and it cost her double that. To fit an ikea kitchen (which cost about 8k for units/some appliances) cost 6k - very precisely fitted, lots of making good/plastering. It's very expensive now to have work done.

LFCisTarkaDahl Sat 10-Nov-12 11:55:18

That last bit sounded critical - I should say the costs are properly reflected where I am, roughly £1500 a week for 2/3 people working on building/electrics/carpentry.

DoItRight Sat 10-Nov-12 14:38:15

Thanks for replies. I'm in the midlands so prob not as expensive as the SE.
At the moment we're not planning to move walls, but I can see us possibly changing our minds when it came down to it.
We'd have a budget for around 30k depending on sale price but I do worry that it would be more than that as we just couldn't afford it.

We're in rented at the mo so could possibly overlap for a while.

Hmm, lots to think about...

R2PeePoo Sat 10-Nov-12 14:57:16

We completely redecorated (bar the upstairs landing which is still unfinished two years on), stripped out and reinstalled the bathroom and the boiler (£3500 for the plumbing work, £800 on tiling and tiles, £500 on bath, sink, toilet, taps, shower screen etc), replaced all the windows and the front door (£2000 for 6 windows and £800 for the front door), changed the fuse box (necessary as it was dangerous and outdated - £400), hired skips (£200) etc. We had a budget of £14,000 and 6 weeks and we got it all done in that time before we moved in, completely ate through our budget. We needed a plasterer and also employed a roofer to check the roof thoroughly (I think the plastering was £300 and the roofer £200).Our property is a small three bed terraced house with a small bathroom and a large kitchen in Essex. We priced up a kitchen at about £2500 but ended up keeping the old one.

There are lots of small things left to do and we discovered lots of extra things once we had started pulling up carpets and removing the bath etc that added extra costs. Things that added up were the cost of tools and extra materials like paint, light fittings, light switches, plug sockets, carpets, laminate for downstairs, fridge/furniture, shelves, door handles, doors etc. Little things that also took a long time as well e.g. it took DH half a day to hang a door and another couple of hours to put on the handle, plug sockets take two hours or so, wall preparation took several days in the big lounge/ diner.

We went with a local window company rather than Everest or Anglian who did high pressure selling and then contacted us every few days to drop the price. They were very very good, as were the plumbers who were the most expensive quote but turned up everyday at 8am and worked solidly until 5pm. You need quotes and you need to plan like hell to make sure everything happens in the right order and nice and smoothly. You will also need some contingency if you discover any damp or wood worm or you discover some bodges by the previous owners (yes, yes and yes in our case, all of which were not picked up by the survey). Its really hard work but its lovely to see it all come together at the end.

R2PeePoo Sat 10-Nov-12 14:59:12

Just wanted to add that the £2500 for the kitchen was for the units etc only, we were planning to fit them ourselves with the help of parents (have done it before in our old house), but it didn't include appliances, tools or extra materials. Or worktops, taps, drains, electricity etc.

DoItRight Sat 10-Nov-12 15:15:32

Thanks R2, that's a great summary. We have no experience which does worry me slightly but from my limited knowledge -from grand designs- a large contingency fund is always good grin

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