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Am I buying a money pit? Renovations to sweet but dilapidated cottage

(11 Posts)
Silverstones Mon 29-Aug-16 14:35:57

I'm seriously thinking about buying a new house, and I'm interested in how much other people think the repairs will cost.

It's a small (1.5 bed, 1 reception room) cottage, that I would say is about 18th century, with a couple of 1970s extensions. It's been rented out for the last few years, and though the tenants have kept it immaculate, the landlord does not seem to have been keeping up with repairs. The tenants have now moved into HA housing and the landlord wishes to sell.

It clearly has some form of damp problem - may be from some of the rotten windows and fascias, but may be roof problems. The lead flashing looks pretty new to me, so I wonder whether this has been the one outside job that has been done.

It's not listed, but it's a historic building in a sweet village, and I would like to restore it to enhance its original character rather than putting in PVC windows etc.

It needs:
- 8 windows replacing with wooden double glazed windows (c. £15,000?)
- Rotten soffits and fascias replacing with new wooden ones
- 8 windows, soffits and fascias painting (£750?)
- light fittings replacing, and more sockets adding in (£850?)
- stripping woodchip wallpaper and re-papering in hall (£500?)
- entire new kitchen (v. small kitchen, but that may mean it needs more careful planning and fitting)
- new flooring in kitchen
- new carpets in living room, bedrooms, stairs, upstairs hall (£1,700?)
- knock down old garage (takes up a lot of the small garden and prevents safe off-road parking)

The 70s kitchen extension is not in great repair, and needs at least some work doing to it. But, given it's small (3.4m x 2m), I think that it might be sensible to extend it very slightly. I'm thinking that an orangery style kitchen might look nicer from the outside, give enough space inside for a table to eat at, and give more light in a north-facing room. It also currently has no heating, so that needs adding in.

Any experience is really welcomed - I've done this type of renovation before, but on a much larger, listed building, and so I'm unsure about how much this should cost. (I'm in the SE.)


Littlefish Mon 29-Aug-16 14:41:16

5 years ago we paid about £1000 each for double glazed wooden sash windows and then painted them ourselves.

Any old property is a risk as you will never really know how much work needs doing until you start working on it.

Northernlurker Mon 29-Aug-16 14:46:29

Generally best to knock down crappy extensions and start again. Will you get planning for that ok?

Silverstones Mon 29-Aug-16 15:09:46

LittleFish - Yes, very true. Contingency fund at the ready! A friend recently had a quote for wooden double glazed windows for £1750 each, so thats what I based mine off.

Northern lurker - That's my thinking on the extension - better to start again and build it well. Apparently I would need PP, because of the way the house is angled on to the road, but I don't think that it would be difficult to get it approved.

specialsubject Mon 29-Aug-16 17:07:02

just a thought regarding electrics - if the system is really tired and unsafe, you might find that you have to replace the whole lot as no electrician will add to it.

hopefully only a thought!

Silverstones Mon 29-Aug-16 17:22:11

Special - I think it may have had the electrics re-done before it was let out, as it has the modern sort of fuse box, and relatively modern electric heating. I'm going to ask the estate agents to ask the vendor to outline what work he / she's done and when.

Northernlurker Mon 29-Aug-16 17:27:31

A modern fuse box is a good sign. Sounds lovely btw

specialsubject Mon 29-Aug-16 17:38:35

Aha - good news, one less problem!

sall74 Tue 30-Aug-16 07:30:30

By the sounds of it you'll be needing a full rewire and probably re plastering throughout when you start trying to remove ancient woodchip from potentially damp walls.

sall74 Tue 30-Aug-16 07:32:03

Edit - ignore my comment about the rewire, I didn't spot the most recent posts re the electrics!

Silverstones Tue 30-Aug-16 21:12:46

Well... Turns out someone else had put in an asking price offer and had it accepted literally while viewing the house with the vendor. So either the purchaser is a builder who brought a ladder, costed up the house as they went and decided it stacked up, or a numpty who didn't spot the numerous problems. I've told the agents to come back to me if the sale falls through on survey, so we shall see...

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