renovating flat(9 Posts)
Hi all, need your advice/inputs-
we are in the process of buying our first home - a small flat and think we are likely to complete by end of the month (keeping my fingers & toes crossed!).
Just started looking around to see what we can afford as we need to renovate the flat before we can move in. its small around £61 Sq M built around the 50s but has had very little improvement work done over the years - tenants living here for over 20 years.
on the whole, flat is in a run-down state but structurally fine so needs quite a bit of work done to get it to a decent living state. we may have to rent for a month until all work is done (if it means it will be done quickly).
We estimate we will be left with £20K after the purchase is completed and will use this for the renovations. we may also be able to get a loan of £10K from parents if it is necessary but would prefer not to take this as need to return this money in a short time.
as per my limited knowledge, the following will need to be done (in order of importance):
1. replace boiler (radiators (5) also if possible);
2. replace doors (2) & windows (5);
3. check the wiring in the flat (may ditch this if too expensive)
4. Re-lay the floor - its a top floor flat and existing floor is laminate on concrete and not in good shape;
5. get house plastered & painted - to deal with mould and damp issues;
6. get a new kitchen with appliances as existing is dirty & caked with grease;
7. bathroom - replace the units and if money left over, get it re-tiled.
can anyone tell us if how much we can realistically get done with our time and budget? i know it is not possible to predict accurately but we will not be splashing out and where-ever possible, look for a cheaper option.
First of all, check with your solicitor which items are your responsibility and which are dealt with by the management company. Replacing windows might be just one such item.
Don't skimp on getting the electrics checked - have you had a survey done?
Damp - no point re-plastering and decorating until the cause is identified and put right. Again, this might not be your sole responsibility as it is likely to be related to the fabric of the building.
Oh and if money is tight you can clean a dirty kitchen. If it is in good nick but some sugar soap and clean it and the appliances up.
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Getting the wiring done is a horrible, messy job but an important one. It is almost certain that it will need doing if the rest of the flat hasn't been touched for the best part of 60 years and it would be a million times easier to do it while you aren't living there so that, with the new heating (again, potentially messy if you have to lift floorboards, dig out floors), would be my priority. There is no point putting in the finishing touches if the hidden problems haven't been touched so don't think about decoration until you have dealt with heating/wiring/damp. As you are on the top floor, it is likely to be caused by either condensation or water coming in through faulty brickwork/leaky roof/leaky gutter. If you can rule out condensation, speak to the freeholder about investigating those last three as they are freeholder not leaseholder responsibilities.
I think it would be very unlikely that you could get all that work done in a month - I'd give it two and, if you shopped very carefully, you might bring it in for £20k (basing this on London labour costs) with Ikea kitchen, second hand appliances, lots of decoration undertaken by yourselves.
Agree get the damp sorted before you do anything else. If you are doing some stuff yourself (eg stripping wallpaper and painting) that will save a lot. Our rewire was about 3.5k on a small semi (2 beds), new central heating system inc boiler 4.8k (but there was no central heating before). We used DIY kitchen for new kitchen, small galley, was 2k units, 2k fitting inc tiling, 2k appliances. Our new windows were timber sashes so massively expensive, but upvc will be cheaper, still very expensive though. Look for small local company for those. Plastering is approx £400/500 per room. Bathroom refit varies massively. Ours was 6k but that included moving it upstairs. Replacing like for like will be less. Tiling is very expensive! We just tiled shower cubicle and above bath and sink, not whole room. I would suggest not getting a company in to do the whole thing, as that will be very expensive, but will of course be much simpler! We saved a huge amount (45k vs 70/80k) by project managing ourselves, but it has taken longer (5 months) and been quite stressful. Couldn't afford to do anything else though! These are outer London prices BTW, quite an expensive area. good luck!
If you are changing the windows you may need planning permission in a flat- please do check this. You may be ok if you do strictly like for like (materials, style etc).
Thanks all. you have made us rethink on quite a few things. will try to answer each one of your questions.
yes, we had a homebuyers survey done - no critical issues found; mostly said needs updating. That was what gave us the confidence to go ahead in the first place, despite the flat needing so work done.
Cause of the damp, is likely to be the roof - building society says it plans to re-roof soon (didnt say when though!). other similar buildings in the area are having work done on their roofs; so maybe its a matter of time when this building's roof is checked. Hoping we are next in the line!
another factor for damp could be gaps around the windows where mould is the most prevelanet. The windows are double glazed but its an aluminimum frame and rather thin with condensation everywhere. Hence our plan to replace them and re-plaster to remove gaps. we may even just decide to paint the whole place white/cream for now.
oh btw, building society only cleans/maintains the roof and exterior walls - replacing windows is entirely owners responsibility (we checked).
thanks for the heads up regarding checking the wiring and electrics. agree that is better to get this done now when the place is empty and then go for decorating and flooring.
Kitchen, we are thinking either IKEA/Wren/Howdens. as for appliances, will stick with basics. the kitchen will be probably be our single biggest expenditure of all.
Bathroom, not identified anything but we have no plans to change the layout - just replace the old suite. As for tiling, didnt realize tiles and tiling were so expensive. we may have to re-think on this and might be the thing to leave for another day and time.
"Kitchen, we are thinking either IKEA/Wren/Howdens"
I'd check out the Wren thread on here before you chose them...
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