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Should we take on a project?

(9 Posts)
RaspberryBlonde Wed 05-Aug-15 10:05:34

I've just been reading the work grumble thread and wanted to ask how feasible it would be to do fairly significant building work with a toddler and neither me nor DH working locally?

We've been struggling to find a new house and the main contenders all need some degree of work doing. The houses are liveable in but work would need doing in the short term to give the space we want. We are looking at new boiler, kitchen extension, possible extension upstairs to give an extra bedroom and possible rewiring.

Can anyone who has done it and come out the other side tell me how easy it is to deal with when you are working over an hour away? The biggest project we have dealt with previously was refitting a kitchen and bathroom, so not really comparable! Better to compromise a bit more for less work, or worth the disruption to get what we want in the long run? This house will probably be our final move and last 20 years plus, so I'm leaning towards short term pain, but DH is less sure!

We wouldn't be doing anything ourselves other than basic stuff like painting.

etoiledemer Wed 05-Aug-15 10:42:04

Watching with interest as we're in the same boat although working locally but with two small kids.

Lambzig Wed 05-Aug-15 14:12:58

I am on the grumble thread, but wouldn't have done this any other way. We bought a project 22 months ago that hadn't been touched since the 1950's.

Our phase 1 when we first moved in was putting in a few new ceilings, removing a fireplace, removing a vey nasty porch and rebricking a new front door and removing an asbestos water tank. Not too bad.

We are now in the end stages of phase 2 which is an extension, moving the boiler and completely reconfiguring the downstairs layout and changing all the guttering and drainage.

Phase 3 (in a couple of years) will be easier with a double height extension and reconfiguring the bathroom spaces.

DH is overseas for work a lot and I work 3 days a week and currently spend my other 2 frantically project managing the build. I have two children, a 2 years and 8 months very lively toddler and a 5 year old.

I have to admit this phase has been quite hard, but you do adapt. I don't mind the mess downstairs, but I have struggled with how cluttered upstairs has been. It is also quite hard having to be out of the house every day to keep DS out of the builders way. We only moved out for a week when the ceilings came down and the wiring and plumbing went in. Its a struggle for the DC as they don't understand why the house is inaccessible in parts and why they cant play in the garden right now.

I think you need to be quite laid back about people in your home all the time, that you live in dust and things are a bit dirty for a while. It was certainly easier when we did this before having children.

That said, I feel incredibly lucky to be designing the house I want, with all the décor that I want rather than inheriting it all.

I also think the key is finding fabulous builders. I had to wait 16 months after getting planning permission to get these guys (they did our phase 1) and I wouldn't have wanted to work with anyone else.

Lambzig Wed 05-Aug-15 14:13:19

Gosh, sorry that was long.

nikki1978 Wed 05-Aug-15 14:16:02

I am doing this at the moment albeit with 2 older children but yes it is worth it and I would do it if I were you. We could never have afforded what we are going to end up with. We are doing a lot of work ourselves which is very stressful. I wouldn't advise this with little ones but if you have a builder and you work out of the home I can't see it being too bad.

RaspberryBlonde Wed 05-Aug-15 18:14:27

That's our main aim nikki, we live in an expensive part of the SE and this would avoid having to make some fairly big compromises.

I don't think the work would be quite on your scale lambzig but hadn't thought of that around DC not understanding. I am fine with mess but Zdh is a bit more squeamish!

bestmunchkinsever Fri 07-Aug-15 12:31:38

we are on our second big project. first one took 3 years due to high needs baby second one we are six months in. it is hard and family time has to be sacrificed. one of you will be alone with the children a lot while the other grafts from. dawn til dusk. but it is worth it. we have saved many tens of thousands of pounds and made a good bit of money. all I will say is that my husband can do pretty much anything himself despite being a normal professional at work. we have just laid a concrete drive extension together while the kids watches us through the porch! we did it all for under 500 quid materials. our resin gravel overlay will cost us under 600 materials. cost to have it done by a company - many thousands.

so hard but worth it. you need skills though or you'll be paying so.eone else to do it all and won't make your money.

we are always busy because but schedule in holidays and family days. after the drive we are installing multifuel stove. I did the building control notice this morning withy coffee! next year we will start a two storey side and one storey rear extemsion. we will dig out own founds, hire a brick layer etc. oh is a technical director so cad drawings etc are part of his job anyway.

if that doesn't scare you then go for it. so much satisfaction doing it yourself! sorry for crap typing I am on phone while 3 year old hogs laptop!

bestmunchkinsever Fri 07-Aug-15 13:23:03

just rtft and saw you aren't doing it yourself. in that case you will probably find you don't get back what you pay out on the extension. gas et. should be done by gas perso s anyway. if you are staying there 20 years then resale value won't be an issue. it is so doable with tradesmen. it will be very messy, dusty and expensive but you will keep your family time.

RaspberryBlonde Sun 09-Aug-15 06:43:13

Thanks munchkins, sounds like you are both pretty handy! Would love to be able to do more myself but free time is fairly short as it is! Adding value isn't a major concern; doing the work would just be a way to afford what we want longer term.

Unfortunately though we did a second viewing this weekend and decided we didn't like the house it could be enough to go through all of the back to the drawing board again...

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