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Renovating a 1930s semi

(20 Posts)
Rippedjeans Thu 04-Jun-15 14:29:21

Hi all, we have had an offer accepted on a 1930s semi detached house. We have established that we will need to rewire, replumb, new boiler, plaster everywhere, new kitchen, new bathroom, re instate a fireplace and treat woodworm!
We were hoping to do a small extension but I think this seems unlikely. We have a budget of 70k in an expensive part of the south east (not London)
Those that have done something like this, is our budget realistic and how long do you think we should allow for the work, we won't be living there?

christinarossetti Thu 04-Jun-15 14:36:47

Does the 70K include rent on somewhere else whilst this work is being done?

It's not a huge budget for the amount that needs doing tbh. Do the kitchen and bathroom need doing immediately for it to be habitable, or could they wait a year or two?

Other things, maybe aside from the fireplace, sound pretty urgent.

Rippedjeans Thu 04-Jun-15 14:43:09

No we will be staying with family. Yes the kitchen and bathroom are not liveable. I forgot to mention we also need to do the windows! It's not looking good. I'm prepared to project manage the trades, rather than pay a single builder to manage the lot. It's just a bit worrying as we don't want to run out of money 6 months down the line with not enough to finish it.

AnnaLP Thu 04-Jun-15 15:08:56

We are 2 years down the line in a similar'ish situation and we have run out of money! What we have found is that quotes vary enormously and it is really hard to get good, affordable builders (also living in the South East 25 miles outside London). Get plenty of quotes - not just 3 - we ended up getting about 10 but it was worth it.

We did at last find good builders but nothing is cheap here and all the essential renovation work took most of our money leaving little for the cosmetic bits.

As an idea we paid about £3,500 for the new boiler (re-sited to another part of the house), £8,000 for a new bathroom, £6,500 for chimney/roofing repairs, £500 for 1 new small window - a new kitchen is just a dream!

Rippedjeans Thu 04-Jun-15 16:11:25

Thanks Anna, that's the situation I'm worried about, also the house is actually too small for us, but we are rather stuck in that we need to be within quite a small area for school catchment, it's rare for things to come onto the market within that area, anything in good condition has lots of people fighting for it.

christinarossetti Thu 04-Jun-15 20:53:19

I think it's not viable to be planning to plough more money than you have into a house that's already too small for you just for a school catchment tbh.

Does it really have to be this particular school?

Jellytussle Thu 04-Jun-15 21:10:43

We bought a 3-bed semi in similar condition about 18 months ago, also in an expensive part of the South East. So far we have done (figures from memory so probably a bit off in some cases):

New central heating and boiler £4.5k
New bathroom £4.5k
New roof (that was a nice surprise...) £8k
Decorating maybe £14k inc carpets
Kitchen (and a small one at that) £9k
Electrical work £2k
Damp-proofing, woodworm treatment, some replastering £4.5k
Exterior rendering £5.5k
New doors, minor building work £2k ish

plus a fair few smaller costs.

So, it is probably doable on your budget, but no way will you have enough to extend.

poppet131 Thu 04-Jun-15 23:18:42

£3k for boiler and central heating
£3k for electrics
£5k for kitchen (fitter was £800)
We managed to do it for less than £35k in the end and we're based in South East London. We did shop around lots - ended up getting several quotes for jobs but it paid off as the quotes were quite reasonable and our tradesmen were lovely. Rated people and checkatrade has been great for finding people!

Rippedjeans Thu 04-Jun-15 23:35:54

Thanks, I think we are going to go ahead, we'll have to try to do what we can ourselves, get all the basics done and move in then save for any future work. I've just been looking at rated people, never used it before but seems like a good concept.

poppet131 Thu 04-Jun-15 23:58:08

I think people normally prefer checkatrade as they vet all their tradespeople whereas rated people doesn't. Saying that, we lucked out and found some great people through both! Good luck, sounds very exciting! :-)

kali43 Sun 14-Jun-15 16:13:07

rippedjeans - keep us posted - our situation sounds very similar to yours and if it all goes (due to exchange shortly) it would be great to have a 1930's renovating thread to post on and share experiences (and costs!!)

1930sHousewife Sun 14-Jun-15 19:19:09

I would definitely love to get a 1930s renovating thread going, my husband and I have been in our 1930s semi (do-er upper) for 4 months and Mumsnet has been a great source for advice throughout.

So far we have done little with our renovation plans, except talk about them (a lot), but we are hopefully starting to pick up the pace from now on.

The biggest frustration so far is finding decent and reliable tradesmen to quote for jobs, who knew it would be so hard to give money away?!

Our tasks so far have been:

Stripped woodwork in 2 bedrooms
Sanded woodwork in 1 bedroom
Sealed old conservatory (will replace next year)
Tidied mature and overgrown gardens

We haven't had heating or hot water since moving in save for a basic electric shower and our new CH system quote has come in at almost double what we had budgeted - 10k!! Ouch.

Here is the beginnings of a long and painful 18 months or so..

Any tips and/or advise is welcome.

LadyKooKoo Mon 15-Jun-15 00:16:38

We are near Birmingham and have been in our 1930s semi for two years. We have spent 90k to finish it off. We have built a bedroom and ensuite over the garage and kitchen (which had already been extended behind garage). We have built a ground floor extension across the width of the back of the house with 6 metre bifold doors. We have a new bathroom, kitchen, central heating, underfloor heating downstairs, woodburner, we moved the stairs forward to put in an understairs toilet, we have stolen a third of the garage to add a utility, we took down the old 1980s porch, we have a new roof, we have plastered the entire house, we had a new patio built out the back and a new fence down one side and across the back (about 140ft long). We have redecorated everywhere and have a combination of porcelain tiles, carpet and wooden floors.

LadyKooKoo Mon 15-Jun-15 00:19:16

The price above includes the kitchen which was £15k (plus the cooker) so a cheaper kitchen could really bring the overall price down I think.

JesseandCeline Mon 15-Jun-15 00:34:23

Doable. We've spent about a £100k on a 1930s terrace: loft, double garage, electrics, boiler, plastering and painting, woodfloor throughout, two bathrooms. Some trades were better than others and some finish are better then others. My dh project managed it. All done in about two months.
You can do it. Lots of research before hand needed though.

(Now, 7 years on, it looks a mess again but you don't want to know that.

TeddyBee Mon 15-Jun-15 00:49:53

We spent about £150k on our thirties semi - big extension, loft conversion, three new bathrooms, new kitchen, new utility, new windows, shutters, rewired and re plastered a fair bit of it, stuck in a log burner, put in a big deck, turned garage into an office, changed all the doors and light fittings. We went from three bed one bath to five bed, three bath and an extra loo downstairs in a utility room. I'm not sure I could get an extension out of your budget as well as everything else, but we were quoted £45k + vat for a single storey extension across the back. Loft conversion gave us an extra bed and bathroom (hip to gable plus dormer) and cost about £35k inc vat but not the bathroom. It was the kitchen in the original house that pissed me off though, lived with it for five years and always hated it. Stupid pointless galley cupboard of a kitchen.

shovetheholly Mon 15-Jun-15 09:23:51

Your programme of work sounds almost identical to what we have had done. I reckon you'll have £30k spare change from your budget, so you may need to top up a bit for that extension, but perhaps not that much.

Older houses that need a lot doing are a money pit. It's worth researching to see if the market makes the extension worth it in your area, or whether you'd be better off moving. Unfortunately for us, DH bought our house at the top of the market the week before Northern Rock floundered, and the crash and flatlining of prices in the area since means that we've essentially just thrown away everything we have spent on the house. However, in the south-east, you may be more fortunate.

The work associated with things like new central heating, rewiring is also very disruptive, however good the tradesmen are. If you can possibly do it, by hook or by crook, get those big messy jobs - rewire, central heating, plastering - completed before you move in/before you unpack. I know it's an expensive time and it might use up every last penny of your savings, but it will be worth it!

kali43 Sat 27-Jun-15 08:43:44

Rippedjeans - do you mind if we just keep adding to this one as we all (hopefully us to be included soon) get on our renovation journey?

Ladykookoo - that sounds very similar to the amount of work we are looking at but had discounted two storey over existing single as footings prob not strong enough. Were your footings sound or did you need to do other things. Would you recommend your builders? Did you project manage or get them to do the whole lot?

plus3 Tue 30-Jun-15 14:53:55

Hello - we also have an everything needs doing 1930's project and in the South East!
There is a fairly standard extension that will add £££ to what we paid, but not sure where to start really. Before we even start to think about extending we need to rewire, replace doors & windows and Replaster.
So we are not sure whether to just do everything in one go, or to start with the front of the house (the extension is side & back - adding downstairs loo & utility room, bigger kitchen, rerouting bathroom & boiler and adding extra bedroom & ensuite ...!) ie rewire everywhere, windows & front door, then replaster front 2 bedrooms then regroup financially then do the extension.

We haven't even started getting quotes yet and I have absolutely no idea to what to expect this to cost.

I think this thread will be very useful grin

kali43 Sun 26-Jul-15 15:49:21

We've finally exchanged so will be visiting this thread a bit more in coming months! Good luck everyone with your projects!

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