3 bed house gone to rack and ruin - talk me through sorting it out(76 Posts)
Long story, but my dads house is in a bad way.
I am moving into it in february to try and get it sorted.
Hardly anything works, apart from the shower. The oven does work but there are no lights in the kitchen
Carpets are filthy and smelly.
Fencing has fallen down around the garden. One toilet won't flush. Strong smell of urine on the floor of the other one.
Where would you start, bearing in mind it's going to be a slow job of getting it sorted - around six months, at a guess.
I'd start by getting an electrician and plumber in. Pull up all the carpets and then a big deep clean.
It definitely needs new carpets and I think that might be the first priority.
Firstly you want a folder of quotes and advice:
Roof state of repair/ costs to make good
Structural state of repair/ costs to make good (eg damp, subsidence)
Do the electrics need replacing?
Central heating? Plumbing.
Cost of these will give you an idea if this is achievable - or if it might be easier to offload the property to a developer.
And you'll be living there?
I'd make sure all electrics are safe and in working order, as well as water plumbing and check the gas, even before going in.
How's the boiler?
I'd then sort out thr kitchen and toilets, with flooring last.
Is that for your dad to live in? I'd get rid of the carpet and put some laminate flooring or linoleum so that it can be more easily cleaned. You can get good underfloor insulation so it doesn't feel cold.
If none of those are terrifying - question is do you need to live in it? Do you have DC to keep safe?
Definitely need an electrician and plumber.
Maybe see if he is entitled to any help with having a new boiler installed.
Then a deep clean - hire a company to do if you can.
paint everything white and have a blank canvas.
do you need carpet? wooden floors are much easier to keep clean.
Step 1 is to hire skip(s) and clear out junk.
If you need to live in it - you need to identify 'camp' where you have toilet/sleeping & food prep. Get 'camp' cosy first - even if you have to buy some temporary stuff.
Is your dad still living there? Is there a lot of clutter, things that need to be thrown out etc? How much stuff will you move in with you - are you living out of a suitcase for the time being, or are you moving your whole house in?
All these things might bring to bear on where I would start.
Absolute first thing though is make a proper list of what needs to be done, why and how much it will cost. Do you have a budget? For example, the kitchen lighting - does the whole house need rewired, or is it just the bulbs/sockets.
I would try to get in earlier and sort the room I would be living out of, so you have a habitable space to retreat to if necessary. So rip up & replace (cheaply to begin with, just needs to be clean!) carpet if necessary and give that room a good scrub out. Now you have a base/retreat.
I might also set myself up with a surface, kettle and camping gaz in that room, effectively a wee bedsitter so you don't have to use the kitchen if it's totally grim.
Personally I'd then go to least worst bathroom and make that useable.
I'd definitely leave the garden until last or the weather is better, unless there are safety issues/neighbourly complaints etc.
It sounds like a big undertaking, I'd be interested in how you get on if you have time to update!
Make lists. Note anything that affects safety and daily living, then plan on doing those first. If there is a job that is a piggyback from one of those jobs (such as using the same professional to do the job) that will mean it's cheaper to have it done at the same time (no extra callout costs), then add that to the priority list.
Sort what you can then do yourself off the priority list, hire out the rest of the priority jobs, then sit back and slowly work through the rest.
Thanks everyone, you're very helpful.
My dad passed away sadly and the house has sort of slid from not great but safe and relatively hygienic, to abysmal!
Good question re the carpets. Upstairs, the hall and the three bedrooms need sorting with some form of flooring but I didn't know about laminate on the stairs: wouldn't that be slippy/potentially unsafe?
Clutter, I'll add photos as I go along!
I'm hoping to get the upstairs clear as this isn't too bad apart from filthy carpets and a lot of clutter that can mostly just be chucked to be honest and then get to grips with the bigger undertakings, as like you say have to LIVE somewhere as the house is taken apart!
OP - no - new carpets are NOT the first priority! They will get wrecked by all the work men trampling in.
First priority is to get rid of all stuff. Then pull up the carpets if you need to. Have a quick clean so you can deal with things - bleach and Dettol every surface. Make one or two rooms habitable for you to camp in in comfort with nice rugs, a good bed, a microwave/electric wok/slow cooker and a fridge.
Then get each trade in one at a time to fix things - plumber, electrician, plasterer, etc. If you are having new bathroom or kitchen installed, sort out your plans and choices for them before you get the tradesmen in otherwise you might end up redoing stuff. Then paint it and then do carpets last of all.
oh am sorry about your dad.
laminate on stairs isn't the best idea. id stick with carpet or just bare stairs and paint them .
will be poignant for you.
Id do the declutter first then you can see what you are working with.
do you intend on living there or selling on?
I would leave the flooring until last. If the house was last rewired more than 20 years ago I would get that looked at. Also have the boiler serviced, especially if it is a gas one. Get the plumbing checked out as well. Then you can do the cosmetic stuff.
My brother will be living there, so need to make it habitable
Dancing - fair enough, I don't think there's a huge amount of work needed upstairs, it's mainly cosmetic (throwing out old furniture and so on) but while the bathroom is mostly fine the toilet in that one doesn't flush. There is a flushable toilet in the property (thank god!) downstairs but it's very smelly
Do you know how we find out when it was last retired
I think a new boiler is needed unfortunately!
I have redone a house living there with exH and young DS.
We eventually decided to leave the stairs with the original wood, painted, and a carpet runner so that it wouldn't be so noisy.
Flushing can be easy to sort out. Check what the problem is. Is it with the pipes or the cistern?
I don't know, Lweji - very hard to explain but the flush is 'limp' in your hand?
You can replace the system. A plumber would probably sort it out in a few minutes.
We needs lots more information .
do you own the house now ? I mean have you jointly inherited with someone else or is it yours alone ?
How long do you plan to live there for ? Are you doing it up to sell, are you going to live in it for 3-5 years or is this your long term home ?
is there a mortgage and if so how much ? How mush is the house worth roughly ?
How much money do you have put aside to do it up ?
Do you have any friends / family who have done a project like this , who can advise you ? I don't mean to offend you, but I'm guessing you don't have a lot of experience and its easy to waste money and get ripped off .
Samantha, genuinely, why do you need this information?
Electrician first to check safety issues. Also gas person if there is any in the house ( likewise). Get the roof checked so the house is watertight. Damp survey and get any problems fixed ( you need a 30 year guarantee) Plumber to check pipes. Fix or install central heating. Sort kitchen for oven, hob, extractor, washing machine. Plasterer. Get floors repaired or relaid to get rid of urine smell especially. Redecoration. Garden.
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