what to fix first on new house(21 Posts)
We have just bought a victorian terrace which needs new windows as single glazed and a new kitchen. Also needs decorating and new floors downstairs. We only have about 6k to spend and am unsure what to do first.
New paint and carpets.
Even if its just white woodwork, white ceilings, and magnolia with a simple plain fawn/oatmeal colour carpet throughout it will feel a lot fresher?
Not sure what state the windows and floors are but if they're really dire do those first and live with a kitchen until you can afford that.
But if they just need cosmetic work get the kitchen done
I know you want it all done at the same time and if the numbers do add up well and you're prepared to live in a building site for a short time go for that.
Not sure 6k will cover all that though it's hard. It knowing extant of problems and size of house.
Does it need wiring or plumbing? Ceilings replastered?
You will be annoyed if the floors have to be taken up and the walls chased out after you have decorated and laid carpets.
Changing the windows will almost certainly mean redecorating around them.
As someone who moved into a house 14 years ago that needed a new kitchen and still haven't done it I'd do that first
Then new floors.
Decorating on a room by room basis when you've got the funds.
Windows can be done with little disruption to your day to day living.
Thanks. The windows are fine but just worried it will be cold with single glazing. Kitchen is old with broken shelves and no backs on cabinets.
I would sort the kitchen first rather than let the money drift away in small expenses you may much easier be able to fund in the future. It only costs about 100 to paint a room, so it may be a good idea to get the kitchen sorted as when the kitchen works well, everything else is in order. Honest :-)
Take it from someone who decided to spend the extra cash in replacing carpets and decorating the house. I have painted the walls probably about 4 times over in the last 10 years but I still have the same rubbish kitchen that I so hated when I first saw the house.
The windows are not a priority in fact, if they are original, you may want to wait until you can afford to replace them with sash double glazed windows in keep to the character of the house, as using the bog standard DG ones will remove the character and take value off the house.
windows, then kitchen. Paint and carpets AFTER the messy stuff.
or just windows given your budget. You can fix shelves and cupboards don't need backs.
If the windows need doing, I'd do them first. I'm a bit confused about the windows though. Are they going to start letting the weather in? I don't understand whether they "need" doing or you prefer them done?
It's better to get windows in before you decorate but depending on where you are and how many you have, the windows might well eat your entire budget.
The thing with the kitchen is the appliances. If they are decent and work well then you can probably manage for a bit with it being a bit crappy. My kitchen is 20 years old but the dishwasher, oven, microwave, washer, kettle etc are not. So my kitchen overall is ok.
Doing the windows first will reduce your heating bills so in the long run probably the most cost effective to get done first. Won't make much difference to how the house looks and feels though. A lick of white paint all over isn't very costly and makes a big difference cosmetically so would pribsbly opt for this too. Gives you a bit of time to get used to the house and plan out the kitchen really well.
In terms of cost:return, fitting new windows costs so much, and saves so little, that they never show a financial benefit in terms of cutting heating bills.
If your old windows are rotten and need to be replaced, then, yes, it makes sense to fit draught-proofed DG; but replacing windows in good condition is not a good buy. In a period house, originals or replicas will add to its saleability.
A Victorian house is unlikely to have cavity walls, but CWI, loft insulation, and draughtproofing are the most profitable energy-saving improvements.
The companies that make a handsome profit out of selling plastic windows do not like people to think about the cost:return ratio, and you will not see it in their adverts.
Mmm... I have replaced the appliances on two houses, but new appliances don't make up for a badly planned kitchen, much less so if it is falling to pieces.
Windows are in a good state it's just I'm used to being in a double glazed house. I will definitely look into getting the cavity and loft insulated. Our budget is low at the moment and I don't want to make a mistake spending our money on the wrong thing. Kitchen is in a terrible state but would only be looking to get a budget replacement.
We lived in a flat with huge single glazed sash windows, it wasn't awful in winter and we bought thick curtains to keep the heat in. You could put fleece on the back of existing curtains if you wanted.
In the summer the sash windows were lovely. Opened fully it was really cool in the house.
Do the kitchen first, see how you feel about windows after the first winter.
I live in a Listed building so am not allowed to have double glazing. We had our sash windows refurbished to mend the sash cords and put a small draught strip inside the frame, nice catches and locks on and we do no have any draughts.
The Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings have done work on this issue and with a pull down blind and a curtain single glaze sash windows lose no more heat than double glazing.
I think double glazing ruins the look of even unlisted Victorian houses. If they are still serviceable just have them refurbished and repaint them carefully yourself.
Old wiring can potentially kill you and it is fucking messy to replace. It's first on my agenda although I'd much rather be spending that money on 300,000 paint tester pots and a trestle table.
Messy and dangerous things first - wiring, roof, central heating, Windows etc. Then things you need to live a nice life - kitchens bathrooms, fancy floors.
Decorating is last. Boo boo 😠
Insulate the attic first. It's messy. It's boring. But you know it makes sense.
Make a list of all that you'd like to do, without thinking of costs. Then look at what makes sense. When we started work on our house, we left the kitchen till last as it was the one thing that could be done independently of other work.
e.g. no point in putting new flooring in, if we'd have to rip it out to replace the heating. While we were doing the heating, might as well replace the electrics, since all the floors were up. Since we were doing the electrics, we had the whole house re-plastered...
Last thing to be done is the flooring, otherwise you'll just ruin it when the other work is being done.
I'd live with the old kitchen - maybe try and spruce it up a bit if you can. If we'd replaced the kitchen right away, it would not be nearly as fab as it is now. The experience of living in the house helped me see how to design the kitchen so it worked best.
You could get double glazed glass units fitted to the existing frames, there are lots of companies doing that type of work now, a good joiner should manage it
more tricky with vertical sliding sashes, as the extra weight throws the balance out, and the glazing bars are usually very thin, so insufficient rebate for the extra thickness.
Good thick curtains and look at the kitchen. What you could do to make it more usable/ easy to clean.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.