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Come and talk to me about renovating a wreck

(7 Posts)
mrsfassbender Fri 10-May-13 19:37:26

Seen a house and have fallen in love but it needs a heap of work. I've never done this before. The main issue seems to be the roof leaking and causing a hole in the ceiling (you can see bits of plaster and wood sticking out) as well as a lot of damp and mould.
It also needs new carpets, kitchen and bathroom and plastering/ painting.

Anyone know how easy it is to patch up big holes like that? I know it's looking like I'll need to get a professional in to give a quote but would be interested to hear people's experiences on cost and timescale of this sort of repair.

greenformica Fri 10-May-13 22:49:28

We have done two doer-uppers but aren't that practical really. We can decorate, strip, paint, make a garden but everything else we leave to builders. No ideas about costs for your work but we spent 20k on a tiny 2 bed sea side house in 2000 (electrics, kitchen, damp proofing, total stripping and decoration, garden make over) and about 65K on our large new city house (work involved everything including moving the kitchen).

crazyhead Sat 11-May-13 19:05:59

We're doing one at the moment (good sized 3 bed 30s house for your comparison) for the first time and have done enough of it to be clear on final costs and times.

The place was fundamentally sound but horribly neglected. We have had to do kitchen and bathroom knockthroughs and replacements, adding a cloakroom, loads of work to garden, add a fireplace, rewire, replaster, repair hole in ceiling decorate every last thing, rehang every door, loads of minor bits.

It will have taken us the best part of a year - you could do it more quickly but planning, lining up trades, getting enough builders it at the right times takes ages. We will have spend £50k (our planned budget). My thoughts are:

* We are living here for cost reasons while we do it. It is very hard work and pretty draining at times and takes the time of an extra job (however, we have a toddler and I'm pregnant with a full on job so not easy circs) - unless you're really into that kind of thing, be realistic about it taking over your life and not being a laugh a minute!

* Is the house unique or are there done-up comparables? Cost control on a neglected real doer upper is a massive thing and is a lot about the drip drip costs (especially if you have a taste for nice things) from radiators to tiles to shelves to light fittings, as well as the major works. We're searching ebay for best prices on every tap! Unless money isn't much of an object, try to think through the costs for absolutely everything and then compare with done up houses

Personally, I didn't want a doer upper but it was all we could afford here. It will be worth it I think just because we will have definitely saved 50k through the process and this was the only way we could live in this area. I'd always need a solid reason like that to do it I think!

Hope this wasn't too negative....

mrsfassbender Sat 11-May-13 19:17:24

Wow thank you both for these extremely helpful answers.

I think realistically we would be looking at £50k; luckily the heating is fine and it has newish windows but pretty much everything else needs replacing!

In terms of time frame I am pretty shocked to be honest, which shows how naive I am, about how long it will take. crazyhead we would also need to move in and we also have similar reasons; the house is on at about 65k less than others in the area and is the only way for us to do it.

Your replies have given me food for thought, I've contacted a builder for a quote so hopefully will have a decision made sooner or later. If we don't go for this we may end up going for a new build, which is about as different as you can get!!

Many thanks to you both

MrsTaraPlumbing Sat 11-May-13 21:24:17

You can definitely have a nice house to live in with a £50k budget.
Actually the first property I bought was like your description - complete with hole through ceiling to the sky.
I was lucky, the cause of the problem was not too serious.

Many years later I met my husband (a plumber) and our business does house or room renovations all year round for home-owners like you.

The first and most important thing you should do is get 3 quotes for the roof repairs. Not from general builders but from established local roofing companies - with good reputation and decades of trading history. Get these ASAP.
Then if the house is empty you MIGHT be able to get access to do the roof repairs after contracts exchange but before completion.

You might need timber treatments in the loft, perhaps repairs/replacement... so could be any price - you need experts to look at it.

This all needs to be done then you know what you've got left to spend on everything else.

Repairing the ceiling - replace it, plaster it, paint it. No problem for the professionals - not a DIY job (the painting can be).

Prices: for a complete bathroom refurb all done by professionals (like us) it should take 2 weeks and typical price is £8-£10k. You can cut this down a little depending what you want but equally you can easily double this price with lovely fittings, lovely tiles etc. Similar applies to kitched refurb.

Again look for companies that specialise in this work.

If the property is empty you can't really test heating until you move in. If it is an unknown quantity if will be worth asking a heating engineer to check out the heating system when you move in (A Home owners gas safety inspection - could cost about £60-£80). The boiler might be newish but if the rads are pre-2000 it is definitely worth replacing them with the best newest (Stelrad). New rads are designed differently have less water and are cheaper to run. you might not necessarilly need the same size rads - so talk this through with reputable & experience heating engineer.

If you can afford to pay one company to get on and do the work it could take just weeks (perhaps 4-6) depending on how big the house is and how many bathrooms?

mamapants Sun 12-May-13 08:22:16

I would try and do as much work as possible my self. Save a fortune in labouring costs!
If you can gut it ready for professionals it makes a huge difference.
We are planning on taking 6mths on a complete renovation of a 3 bed detached house at the moment. We'll see how that goes. We are not living on site though and have factored in rent costs in our budget.
We previously took 4mths doing up a 2bed and that was mostly in the evenings and weekends. We have more holiday leave this time! A bigger budget so can pay more people so hopefully we'll make it in time.

mrsfassbender Sun 12-May-13 22:01:47

Mamapants I can't really afford the time, you see. Work full time, DCs etc and am studying in the evenings too (!)
If we were to take the plunge, would have to get professionals to do it.
taraplumber that is fab advice; I've got two sets of details to ring tomorrow, I am nervous of getting the quote, then them going in and finding it is far worse IYSWIM, just trying to weigh it all up. 4-6 weeks would be the ideal timescale. Luckily the heating is fine, but that's about all that is! It needs rendering as well, new gutters etc.
another house has come in that isn't in as nice a neighbourhood but is ready to go. It doesn't have the wow factor that this house could have tho with a bit of TLC!

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