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House renovation - where to start?

(20 Posts)
Hkay1981 Mon 26-Jan-15 13:45:51

Hi I have been a lurker for dome time and hoping someone could give us some good advice really. We have bought a house a couple of months ago that we are living in which requires some renovation/modernisation. I have made a list of things to do and just wondered what order would be best to do them in. We had planned to change the boiler, and remove the chimney first and then go from there.
1) change from conventional boiler to combi boiler
2) remove chimney which houses old boiler (from kitchen to bathroom and into roof)
3) new windows and doors
4) possibly cavity wall ties need replacing
5) sandblast stone work and re-render
6) upgrade all exterior pipes and fascias etc
7) board loft for storage purposes
8) plaster and redecorate room by room

We are novices at this but the house is in a great area and is liveable, just a bit ugly looking!

OnePlanOnHouzz Mon 26-Jan-15 14:14:22

Good for you for taking on a project !
When we've done this ourselves - priority was always one bathroom to be useable at all times and the children's bedrooms habitable and safe first then we'd try to start from the top inside when decorating - with major things like outside work it's a good idea to go through your list with the relevant trades and see which has a knock on effect on the rest and work out the best way taking that into effect !

These guys do this all the time - so usually know the best sequence !!

Have fun !

Marrou Mon 26-Jan-15 14:23:55

Ooh, exciting! We are doing the same and due to exchange today. We are renting at the moment and will have about six weeks to do work before we move in - our list looks a lot like yours! We have four children so are aiming for two working bathrooms, a working kitchen, plumbing for the washing machine, the damp treatment to have been done and the roof to be sorted. Everything else will be done after we move in!

Marrou Mon 26-Jan-15 14:25:01

Sorry, I didn't do well at giving advice there, hopefully someone who has already done it will be along soon smile

SmellTheGlove Mon 26-Jan-15 15:01:15

Ooh I am doing very similar! Have you already applied for building control for the chimney removal and served your party wall notice (if applicable). That's going to be my first job as it might take a while to get a site visit etc organised. While I'm waiting for all that I will also be getting new boiler and central heating installed. There may be some rendering needed to be done too as there is a bit of damp in the walls and I think the render may be to old is your house? Ours is Victorian, about 1890 I think. Your ordering looks similar to mine, except I want to board the loft as soon as the chimney is out so I can store stuff up there. I think you are meant to work roof down, and prioritise getting the place watertight, so definitely roof and gutters early on...

HopeClearwater Mon 26-Jan-15 15:06:19

Why a combi? You'll lose your airing cupboard, and with that a warm space to store linens and dry out damp stuff.

Hkay1981 Mon 26-Jan-15 16:12:40

Aww thank you for your replies, and good to hear we are in a similar position to others.

Ours is a 1930s semi with lots of space compared to our first house, which was a maintenance free new build. Should have said new kitchen and bathroom are also on the list, as well as sorting the utility which currently has no dpc and is at outer ground level.

Reason for changing to a combi is there are only three of us in the house (me, husband and toddler) and we are out all day at work. I'm not sure if it is just this system? but you can't turn the heating on without warming the water too which is a waste as we don't use loads in the time we are home. We are planning to have a second child, but think we should be ok with a 30 kWh combi? Once the utility is sorted we will put back the hanging bars (name?) that we inherited to dry washing on.

Hkay1981 Mon 26-Jan-15 16:15:42

Sorry just realised, haven't addressed all the questions.

Haven't applied to the council yet so will definitely get on with that - does it have a time limit on the application as ideally we want to get started around March when the weather should hopefully be better?

And the plan is to knock through the separate toilet and bathroom to create a bigger bathroom to include a walk in shower.

All very exciting but quite scary too... Have some money set aside to begin work but may need to resort to the Bank of Mum and Dad!

didireallysaythat Mon 26-Jan-15 18:59:29

Insulate your attic to the max. Board it out. Sure it's not a glamorous job but when you put your new boiler in you will not be losing heat hand over fist. Plus you won't want to do it once you're replaced the carpets smile

GeorgeHerbert Mon 26-Jan-15 19:51:42

You don't need a combi boiler to have hot water and heating separately- you should be able to program them for separate times. When we moved our heating and water wouldn't work separately but that was because it was knackered!

Hkay1981 Mon 26-Jan-15 21:06:43

The system we have inherited seems to have a little programmable box next to the boiler that you can set the timer on. At the bottom there is a switch for water only or heating and hot water. Think it was probably put in some time ago so just might be easier to start from scratch with a new system?

Also heard about those Hive thermostats and definitely fancy one of those!

Marrou Mon 26-Jan-15 21:11:57

I have had a combo boiler and it wasn't as great as I thought it would be. There is also a thing about the boiler you have and the type of showers you can have. If you want a decent high pressure shower just make sure a combi boiler will cope with it.

There was also a thing on radio 4 a couple of weeks ago about over insulating your house. If you insulate you can cause issues - you need to install suitable ventilation as well otherwise you can end up with damp problems. Old air needs to get out and new air in. The piece was on You and Yours.

hangoninaminute Mon 26-Jan-15 21:30:43

If you like the sound of the hive look in to a nest thermostat and their smoke alarms which link together. We put in a new boiler with nest thermostat when we moved in to our new house. We then installed a log burner ready for the winter months.

Now we have to start thinking what to do and when as lots of jobs have a knock on effect. Certain rooms need renovating in order too as the house needs rewiring.

I suggest you make a Gantt chart - great having everything out of your head and on paper and in the correct order.

Jellytussle Mon 26-Jan-15 22:12:59

We recently had the render on the outside of our 1920s house replaced. The plasterers pointed out that we really should have done the windows first, as it's hard to replace windows without damaging render. Aaargh.

Knocking the old render off was a huge job. It was like concrete, and under it were all sorts of horrors that had to be fixed -- turned out there was no lintel above the back door, for instance.

I'd agree that there's no point rushing into getting a combi boiler if the old one is in decent shape.

Blueundies Mon 26-Jan-15 22:37:07

You can put new thermostats on old boilers. We have a remote one we can move round the house. It's awesome. Leave the boiler for now and just get new heating controls

Blueundies Mon 26-Jan-15 22:41:28

When you do change the boiler do research on capacity etc - esp if you want powerful showers. Work too down starting with loft. Look at what jobs you can bunch together eg get electrician in to put extra sockets in every room and new lights is better than piecemeal. However also tackle each room as a project with a time chart of what has to be done first eg sockets then plaster then refit lights

cathyandclaire Mon 26-Jan-15 22:48:17

We've had sandblasting and it is seriously messy and gets everywhere, so do it early when there's less to trash!

marshmallowpies Mon 26-Jan-15 23:07:48

Echo what Blueundies said: get a second opinion on what type of boiler you can have.

We were told for a 4 bed 1930s semi a combi boiler wouldn't be powerful enough: we still have our hot water tank which means we have a nice warm airing cupboard (big plus) but in order to have enough power for a decent shower we had to add a really noisy pump (big minus). Then a second plumber who was doing some other work for us said 'oh you could've had a combi, you know, then you wouldn't need that pump...'

But I do love the airing cupboard so losing the hot water tank would be a shame, I think.

We replaced the boiler first as it was 35 odd years old - nearly as old as I was when we moved in! - and electrics and a new fusebox were the second job. Basically the two most dangerous things had to be sorted out first before we got electrocuted or poisoned by carbon monoxide. We haven't tackled roof or gutters yet & I think that's the next big job...

HopeClearwater Tue 27-Jan-15 22:47:34

Be careful boarding the loft - leave the edges under the eaves unboarded, or you could get problems with damp in there. (speaking from experience)

Blueundies Tue 27-Jan-15 22:55:39

Haha we have a 1930s semi 4 bed with crap insulation (being improved) and an old combi boiler. It's fine!!! House is roasting when it's on. A remote thermostat is a great investment - it can be moved round the house. On cold nights we put it in the coldest kids room - so heating kicks in when that specific room gets below 15. Even if downstairs is warm, the heating comes on before the kids wake up cold.

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