Renovation project-advice needed!(15 Posts)
If I were looking at buying a house that needed lots of work i.e knocking through kitchen/dining room to make big kitchen diner, new bathroom, en suite, new windows throughout, new kitchen, probably a new boiler and radiators and decorating throughout-where on earth do I start?
The house is a four bed detached approx 30 years old. Not been updated since but has massive potential. I would be paying someone to do the work and have approx 30k to play with. Never considered doing anything like this before but DH all for it. We would be in rented whilst the work was carried out too.
Any thoughts on ball park costs, time scales and where to begin?? As you can tell u clueless!!
Get a builder in to quote for the works and then you will know how much it will cost.
Start with the necessary first to make it liveable and then do the rest when you can.
We renovated a similar house, though 50 years old.
I'm assuming the electrics are ok?
Our new boiler and central heating cost £10k. Kitchen/utility £23k. Each bathroom was between £5-8 k but I'm sure could be done cheaper (ditto the kitchen).
Each window cost £450 to replace.
Don't forget flooring. We spent 5k on Amtico and 4 k on carpets. And that's without tiles for the bathrooms.
You may need to factor in replastering and decorating.
Whatever happens, you need a 10% contingency. It really will cost 10% more than you budget for (I've done it twice, the last was 15% more) so when you budget, assume you have 27k not 30k
And be wary of VAT. Often you will find prices/get quotes that do not include VAT. Some do, some don't. Which can be a nightmare - so make sure you know which is which as 20% on top for VAT really hits painfully.
Great advice thanks. I would like to think we could do it but the thought just seems so overwhelming! The finished product could be amazing though, think I'm a bit scared
I'm in the middle of a similar project - it is going to cost near £35k. This could have been less expensive, but we didn't go overboard generally and I did shop around for the best prices. Get builders around to quote and make sure you understand exactly what you want before they come (extra sockets, moved sockets, radiator placement, whether you want pipes boxed in, etc). Otherwise you will have a thousand other little things that soon add up. Living in rented is definitely the way to go. We lived here. It's been bad.
If you are going to gut out the house and start again, I think £35k is very unrealistic. As mentioned by Jabiru, you may need a new boiler, plumbing, rewiring (you might as well, do you really want to use a 30 year old wiring for all your appliances?), kitchen, bathroom etc.
If you are not sure where to start, rather than asking the builder to come round for a quote, why don't you employ an Architect to help you to unlock the potential of your house.
I have said in other posts, the Royal Institute of British Architects is currently running a charity scheme in association with Shelter called Architect in the House. A qualified Architect will visit your house and give you an hour of free advice in return for a donation to Shelter. See
Even if you haven't bought the house and only floor plan, your architect can still advice you on what you can do.
Thank you all for your advice. This is something that I don't want to go into blindly and want the best for the money we have. I have always been risk averse but also recognise the potential of being able to have a home that was designed by us, for us.
I think the idea of having an architect is good and vey sensible. I also think that we need to consider rewiring too-I want to do it properly.
I really appreciate your comments, thank you.
Sorry, this is going to sound completely thick but what does rewiring involve?
Basically replacing all existing wiring in the house, probably a new consumer unit to satisfy latest building regs and will be safer for you. So if you are buying a new house and thinking of gutting it and start again, you may as well get it done as it will be a nightmare job to do it 5 years down the line.
Also it will give you the opportunity to install new sockets or additional cabling such as sound system, computer network system etc.
ours was 5k rewiring, 5k new plumbing with new boiler, 5k kitchen, internal walls/rooms moved/rejigged/plastered 15k (much cheaper if you are just knocking one wall down though), windows 7k, floors, new bathrooms and decoration another 7k.
I agree with architectming ( great name!). We actually extended our property but the final price was something closer to £180k. Even without the extension, I can tell you that other issues we had to rectify included:
Below-par water supply (supply pipe old and too narrow to support today's water demands) - £850 to replace
New gas supply pipe (gas board insisted on it) £600
Replace internal glass to standard safety glass £500
Re-roof (tiles only) £3.5k
New garage door £2.7k
New front door £500
New driveways and patio (existing were crumbling) £7.7k
New burglar alarm £800
Rewire with new consumer unit and chrome fittings £5k
New internal doors and handles £1700 plus fitting.
Cost of renting another property for four months £4k
Also, the big things led to lots of little things. For example, the rewire led us to need new TV aerials all through the house. The replastering led to new curtain rails. All of these little things add up. Or house was literally stripped out, there was no doorbell, no coat hooks, no toilet seats.
We've been in for about 15 months now and we still have a long list of jobs to be completed. We have one window left to replace; 3 rooms with No curtains, 4 rooms without light fittings. We need to returf the lawns (quote £2000), we have no wardrobes in our bedroom. And this is before you even start on the fact thator 'old' furniture doesnt quite fit into the new house ( we have extra bedrooms that need filling!).
It's been a long hard slog and its knackered us financially in the short term (just getting better now). For the money you describe, I think you will get the basics done, and if you are happy to save up for the rest of it, yes it looks as though this house is a great opportunity. You just need it be sure that (if you are increasing your mortgage) you can afford the other things on top of the new mortgage.
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