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Help me prioritise! New house, lots of work to do!

(15 Posts)
JingleBellsJuliet Tue 27-Jan-15 10:20:25

Moved into new place 12 days ago, and there's many, many things that need doing! I have £500 coming back from the deposit on the rented place that I've just left, and about £250 per month "spare" income, so on a very tight budget at the moment (until I get myself a better job, which I'm working on!). I'm trying to make a list of what to get done, in what order and I'm getting overwhelmed.

Bathroom - there's a hole in the bath which has been filled with silicone confused so we're taking showers as I don't trust it to hold a bath full of water as well as the weight of a person. It's clearly leaked in the past, as there's a small amount of water damage to the ceiling in the hallway below the bathroom (the hole was covered with a bath mat when we viewed). Toilet doesn't flush properly, and has had a crack repaired in the cistern, sink is cracked. So basically, it needs a new bathroom. I can get a new suite cheap enough, and I have a friend that will fit it for free, but also got to factor in tiling and flooring etc.

Kitchen - knackered, basically! Work tops have burn marks, units are rickety and scruffy. BUT it's useable, if a bit of an eyesore!

Stairs - uncarpeted at present, but also very creaky and a lot of the treads need replacing. I could whack some carpet down, but reluctant to pay for that without doing a proper job and fixing them first.

Electrics - come off the ark I feel grin There's a serious lack of plug sockets (none under worktop level) so I have extension plugs everywhere. They also trip out quite regularly. BUT there is a relatively new and modern fuse box thingy, which is a good thing I suppose!

Front door - old, wooden and very draughty.

Windows - UPVC but old and only single glazed, but none of them leak or have any damage.

Driveway/front of house - small strip of concrete, just wide enough to park my small car on, but the rest is a mud bath, which is driving me crazy as it's impossible to get in and out of the car without trampling through mud.

On a plus point, it has a new boiler and a very effective central heating system, a brand new UPVC back door and a gorgeous open fire. Oh, and a partially converted loft, which just needs the access re routing and plastering, so that's a project for the future. The back garden is recently done and is just lovely.

Help me prioritise please! smile

Marrou Tue 27-Jan-15 13:01:37

You could buy a very inexpensive bathroom suite at Homebase at the moment - they have a massive sale on if that helps. I'd say though that the electrics should come first as they are a safety hazard. Sort anything dangerous out first then go onto doing things because you'd like to. I'd do kitchen and bathroom second.

Apatite1 Tue 27-Jan-15 13:05:19

I'd sort the bathroom ASAP, as it's causing water damage. You need to get your wiring looked at quickly too: why is it tripping? I'd move onto driveway next as you're tracking in mud, leaving kitchen till last as that will be the most expensive (unless there is something majorly wrong with the electrics....)

Or wait for PigletJohn and do exactly as he/she says. smile

JingleBellsJuliet Tue 27-Jan-15 16:27:34

Thank you smile right, wiring and bathroom as first priorities! The tripping thing seems to be caused primarily by the cooker and living room light, so I'm not using either at the minute. I've got a new cooker coming at the weekend, so will get an electrician to connect it and check the wiring over at the same time.

Do you reckon I could do my bathroom on £500? It's a seriously tiny room, so not much in the way of flooring or tiling to do, and I'd be more then happy with basic white tiles and vinyl flooring to keep costs down.

TeddyBee Tue 27-Jan-15 16:35:58

Well I could, how handy are you? Plain white tiling is easy enough to do yourself, as are vinyl floor tiles. Suite for a couple of hundred and the rest should be easy enough. I would definitely do the bathroom first!

Quitelikely Tue 27-Jan-15 16:39:25

Yes bathroom first! Look up metro tiles for your bathroom. They're lovely up especially with silver/grey grout and don't cost the earth.

JingleBellsJuliet Tue 27-Jan-15 16:46:01

I'm happy to do the tiling etc myself. My friend has offered to fit the suite and my dad has a brand new electric shower sat in a box at his house which he said I can have to replace the old, yellow nicotine stained one that I have here!

wonkylegs Tue 27-Jan-15 16:57:56

Bathroom is doable for £500 if you can get it fitted for free & just want new & clean, nothing fancy.
Basic white bathroom suite - £217

Then white tiles & a cheap vinyl floor (you might get a bargain in the sales) - we had this stripy one fitted in a small bathroom quite reasonably recently and there are much cheaper options out there

Electrics - get looked at ASAP - if it needs any rewiring or even just new sockets adding , this can be a messy job and is best done before fitting floors or decorating.

JingleBellsJuliet Tue 27-Jan-15 17:07:09

That bathroom suite is just what I'm after smile

I'm going to get an electrician in this weekend if possible to have a look at everything. My dad seems to think it's the cooker that's faulty and the light that's not been wired up properly, and that the general electrics are ok, if a bit old!

specialsubject Tue 27-Jan-15 17:41:42

regarding the bath - don't even think of using it. Have a look underneath to see what it is sitting on. If it is chipboard and has been damp, the odds on going through the ceiling are quite high!

make sure your pal knows about this, knows how to support the bath properly (legs, wall battens and expanding foam underneath) and that the correct procedure for sealing it is to fill it with water,then seal,then wait 24 hours before emptying.

if it is a small bathroom, a £25 offcut of vinyl over hardboard will do the trick.

I'd also prioritise the electrics but you are (very sensibly) already on the case of that. Make very sure you don't overload extension leads.

buy a rubber mat with big holes (for want of a better description) and put that where you get out of the car for now.

longer term; everyone is replacing open fires with stoves because the latter are much, much more efficient. If you are going to use it, make sure the chimney is swept and inspected first.

JingleBellsJuliet Tue 27-Jan-15 17:49:57

It seems dry underneath as I've had the bath panel off and had a ferret around. I think it has leaked in the past hence the silicone to fill the hole. At the minute, we're just showering as that doesn't completely immerse the patched up bit in water, but it's not ideal and needs fixing ASAP.

The chimney has been swept and fire has been on regularly, but doesn't kick out much heat so I think I'll be going down the log burner route at some point!

JingleBellsJuliet Tue 27-Jan-15 17:51:15

The rubber mat is a fab idea thank you!

specialsubject Tue 27-Jan-15 21:46:54


Open fires do indeed send most of the heat up the chimney. Logburners keep much more of it in the room. Put a call to your local HETAS people on the list. But maybe not quite yet!

kayessbee Wed 28-Jan-15 05:04:22

Prioritise according to danger/expense if it went wrong. Check why the electricity is tripping first, see if it can be sorted out easily, otherwise get that done - you don't want the place burning down!

And the bath needs to be looked at urgently too - water damage is expensive though not as life threatening as faulty electrics....

Other cosmetic things are down to how much you can cope with them - can you put something over the mud outside and make sure you take off shoes ASAP just inside or even outside the house, carpet might need to wait, it's liveable so put up with with the kitchen.

Have fun!

shovetheholly Wed 28-Jan-15 09:43:06

"Prioritise according to danger/expense if it went wrong"

This, definitely! But with an addition - if you want to do a really proper job, make sure you get basic, underlying jobs done first so that you don't have to do the cosmetic jobs twice, so first

- make sure your roof, walls, gutters etc are leak-free
- make sure plumbing is in place and isn't going to leak (sort that bathroom!)
- making sure your central heating is fully functional (great that you have a new system)
- sort out all electrics - unfortunately, it sounds like your place may need to be rewired from scratch. I know it's money for something apparently invisible, but please trust me that it is SO much more of a hassle to get it done at a later point (I have made this mistake and deeply regret it)
- ideally, you'd get windows done at this point too, but that is ££ and you might have to compromise on something.

Then, after you've sorted those things
- stairs can be sorted (and I would personally think about getting that access to the loft sorted here too)
- new front door can be fitted

- any replastering work can happen (pipes, wires etc are all chased in and tidied up - don't underestimate this as a job if it's a relatively old house. I'm having to work through mine taking every room back to brick and redoing - there are times when I curse the fact that DH didn't get it all sorted before he moved in!)
- carpeting/flooring
- decorating can start (hooray!)

I'd leave the kitchen to the end as others have said if you current one is usable and self-enclosed! Also, you could easily come up with a quick and cheap solution to that muddy front garden with a day's work, a few shrubs, some weed sheeting and a bulk bag of pea gravel.

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