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Getting into a pickle about financing renovations

(17 Posts)
TremoloGreen Thu 29-Oct-15 10:26:29

Just bought a house that needs complete refurbishment, mostly cosmetic, but there are also quite a few bits and pieces I want to do to update the energy efficiency of the house. Unfortunately, due to the huge cost of actually buying a suitable-sized house in my area, and maternity leave/huge childcare costs, we only have about £10k for the next 18 months to do as much as possible. Luckily, we are quite handy and can do most stuff (bar proper plumbing and electrics) ourselves, but we do have the logistical issues of two small children preventing us doing some of the more disruptive jobs DIY.

How would you prioritise the following? THese are the things I really want to get done in the first 18 months, but I'm coming up with £15k so something has to give!

Update central heating and insulate £5.5k Praying that some of this can be done through a British Gas scheme!

Revamp kitchen (a couple of new appliances, 2 new units, new doors and handles and floor) and cloakroom, new flooring throughout the back of the downstairs £2k Doing all of this DIY bar electrics. I don't really care about the cloakroom but it just makes sense to do it while reflooring. It will only add on another £300-400.

Clear crap including old greenhouse and sheds out of garden and make child-friendly (but no really landscaping/gardening yet) £500

Rip out all the 70s horror of the sitting and dining rooms (carpets, textured wallpaper, terrible fireplace) and sand floors, restore fireplace, decorate £2k - cost largely because I really don't want to do the dusty work myself, I need to get the kids out of the house for it. I will do all the decorating though.

New main bathroom - £5k I'm thinking this is the one to go on the back burner at the moment, but the current bathrooms are all kinds of wrong. I can't see myself enjoying a bath in there at all, so I'm a bit sad about it.

lalalonglegs Thu 29-Oct-15 11:20:36

I think it is wise to spend money on heating/insulation but there doesn't seem to be anything allocated for rewiring which, from the sound of it, will definitely need doing too. How is the roof? Is there any damp? And there is little point insulating if the windows are single-glazed or the double-glazing is so old it has failed. Once you have sorted all of these issues, you could easily find your £15k gone but that's fine because the houses will be solid and safe and there's not much point redecorating when you have young children anyway. Just remove wallpaper and redecorate (allow for reskimming walls) as and when.

Bearbehind Thu 29-Oct-15 11:28:45

£2k for the kitchen doesn't sound very realistic, even with no labour costs.

Conversely £5k for a bathroom with minimal labour sounds disproportionately high.

£500 for clearing a garden seems high too- if you do the labour and can drive the stuff to a tip there's no real cost- even hiring a skip would be less than that.

You can't really guesstimate this kind of stuff.

I'd suggest getting proper quotes for everything then reevaluating the situation.

I'd prioritise the heating but if you can get support with this it will chage what you have left for other things.

GreenSand Thu 29-Oct-15 11:41:16

Boiler, insulation and electrics.
Garden
See how the money, time etc goes, and work slowly through the rest as you discover how you use the house. I'm guessing living room, kitchen and bathroom is all cosmetic, not broken currently.

TremoloGreen Thu 29-Oct-15 11:51:32

Just to answer questions, roof is in good condition, no damp. Windows double glazed and none 'gone', hopefully good enough for another 5+ years. Wiring was apparently fully checked out when the back of the house was built in the 90s and some things updated, so I'm not expecting to do a full rewire, but there will be bits and pieces. So yeah, I can see the budget getting re-evaluated at that stage. I will get a proper quote from an electrician, I think this might be a bit of a horror show.

I have fully costed the kitchen. I already bought the appliances so not counting them. It's mainly doors and handles and not a big kitchen.

Bathroom may well come in under that, but I will spend £2.5k on the actual fittings and I will only do the tiling and painting myself, otherwise I'll be getting under the plumbers feet and I won't find anyone who wants the job. I wouldn't mind underfloor heating as well if I can afford it.

Will look into hiring a skip, thanks - there are huge restrictions on taking things to tips in my area, but I'll look further into it. I just wanted that part done quickly, and I'm only allowed one trip per month with a van.

We will definitely prioritise the heating, I don't think we'll get a grant for this, but British Gas thought I would be eligible for free cavity wall and top-up loft insulation. They are coming out to confirm in a few weeks. I was hoping to get a super-duper zoned thermostat system to make it all really efficient, but that will have to wait if we end up paying for the insulation.

So do you agree with main living space over bathroom? Can't decide!! May be that I wouldn't have enough anyway though.

Bearbehind Thu 29-Oct-15 12:19:21

So do you agree with main living space over bathroom? Can't decide!! May be that I wouldn't have enough anyway though.

I don't think anyone can advise you on that as its down to personal choice.

Personally I could live with dated living areas (tarted up a bit with cheap and cheerful accessories) for longer than I could live with an old bathroom.

TremoloGreen Thu 29-Oct-15 12:27:17

Ah.... you're right! I 'm just very squeamish about carpets and young children, that's what's influencing me. At least I could attack the old wallpaper though, that might make a big improvement.

TremoloGreen Thu 29-Oct-15 12:29:45

Oh no, scratch that, looking at my big lovely spreadsheet, I just realised that I'm not going to tackle the walls in there until I'm ready to smash out the nasty fireplace. Bah. Back to the drawing board. Maybe I'll buy a lottery ticket!

namechangedtoday15 Thu 29-Oct-15 12:59:03

Only personal experience. Fortunately we didn't have to replace the heating but we had quite a lot of cosmetic updating to do and absolutely no budget.

So heating would be first.

Garden would be next so children have safe area to play - don't think it would cost £500 to remove greenhouse (I advertised ours for free on a local FB group but said whoever took it had to dismantle it - went within minutes).

Do you have a downstairs loo? You mentioned a cloakroom? If guests / visitors can use the cloakroom, the bathroom would be last on my list (we've been in our current house for 5 years and I've still got the peach bathroom suite!). But nobody sees it but us usually, its perfectly functionable so can wait - just personal choice.

I'd then sort out kitchen because I spend most of my time in there. People popping in for a coffee etc, if you've got new appliances and its just a question of changing doors etc (although it very rarely is grin) then that would be my choice.

Then I'd do living room / dining room / bathroom in that order as funds allow.

TremoloGreen Thu 29-Oct-15 13:55:17

NC, ok, you are thinking along the ssame lines as me. I think you have talked me down re: the bathroom. I want it doing properly and it'll be so, so worth the wait when it's perfect. It is ghastly at the moment though - coloured suite, every wall tiled to the ceiling in fake marble tiles, artex ceiling. There are CURTAINS in there. Fabric curtains. At least I can take those down grin.

Great tip about the greenhouse, thanks. I will just borrow an axe for the shed. Builder has just told me about Hippo bags - cheaper than skips and you can keep filling them for up to a year - going to investigate that too!

TremoloGreen Thu 29-Oct-15 13:56:14

Plus, I am kidding myself that I have time for leisurely soaks with two small children!

Everytimeref Thu 29-Oct-15 14:06:02

When we moved I stated that there was no possible way I could manage to cook in that kitchen and that it would have to be updated immediately. 4 years later .... I am the one who has put back having it replaced by much more important stuff.. like a holiday. Priorities change all the time. Sort heating out. Get a carpet cleaner and then enjoy your young children .

namechangedtoday15 Thu 29-Oct-15 15:15:50

Ha ha.

We had a mixture of brown velvet, burgundy crushed velvet and yellow net curtains when we moved in. Then think 40 year old floral carpet even in the bathroom (!), tiled worktop in the kitchen (who does that?!), artex, anaglypta wallpaper everywhere.

Had 5 yr old twins and a 1 year old. Its amazing what you can learn to live with until you can tackle it. Good luck, it'll be worth it smile

Qwebec Thu 29-Oct-15 15:41:59

I would just do the insulation and garden bit at first. You never know what might pop up and while living in it a few months you will find what really works and what does not.
I hated the kitchen fixtures at first and now I like them, the grey flooring is beautiful but not practical, the lady's perfume and smoke smell never completly left so I'll buy shellac primer and the windows looked fine but needed to be done ASAP. The bathroom will be done one day...

In renovations, tackle one problem at a time.

mysteryfairy Thu 29-Oct-15 15:47:09

Re the bathroom get the curtains down but then can you make a feature of the vintage nature of the bathroom?

What colour is the suite? Coloured suites are coming back. You could accessorise with, for example, orla kiely bits.

If you look on Pinterest for coloured bathroom suite, vintage bathroom etc you can find examples of where people have worked round fixtures really well.

Assuming the suite and tiles are in reasonable condition you could do a facelift - nice accessories and towels that tone with the colour, maybe just new flooring (vinyl?), taps and mirror so a few hundreds rather than £1000s.

TremoloGreen Thu 29-Oct-15 16:30:54

Good idea mysteryfairy. I could easily lay some plain vinyl to make it a tiny bit less busy. I wonder about painting over some of the tile in white also? It would just turn into a big job because there is so much bleddy tile - like being in an abbatoir. The current (horrible) cabinet is recessed into the wall, which is a pain, otherwise I could swap that and just take off and replace when I do get it done properly.

I wonder if my plumbing skills would run to changing the radiator for a towel rail?

One of the weirder features is a short, long mirror the length of the bath along the wall side of the tub. I'm scared to take it off though in case there isn't tile under there and just a big horrible rusty mess!

TremoloGreen Thu 29-Oct-15 16:39:10

short, wide mirror...

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