Would you renovate a house with 2 young children?!

(49 Posts)
42daystogo Tue 11-Aug-20 11:26:12

We've seen a dream house, although only within budget because it needs so much work.

Would you honestly renovate a house with 2 young children?

We need to sit down and work out if it's affordable first before considering putting in an offer.

We would have to spend some money just to make it liveable with the children then would renovate completely in a couple of years.

We know how stressful it can be as we previously bought a house which we renovated but this was to rent out and we never lived in it or had children at the time.

It feels a bit now or never, as i think the other house we've seen (smaller with less work) would be adequate and once done we would stay and probably buy another buy to let than move again

Anyone taken on a renovation project and did it break you?!

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calamityjames23 Tue 11-Aug-20 11:33:28

We did this and it was a mistake. It's impossible to do any decorating with young children around. We kept finding things wrong with the house that we didn't know about when we first bought it - and it ended up being incredibly expensive. It has been years of stress and I honestly dont think it was worth it - this time with young kids is so precious, its not worth being stressed all the time...

bronzedgodesswannabe Tue 11-Aug-20 11:38:53

We are going through this and I can't even find the words to explain how stressful it has been
Never ever a fucking gain

Only way I would ever do it is if you have loads and loads of money to pay tradesman to do everything
Or loads of family support (we have neither)

We are doing absolutely everything (apart from plastering) ourselves and with two small kids it just can't be done
Kids are age 4 and 2
Maybe if they were older but ... well can you tell I'm traumatised?

Oh how I dream of a new build
We might have a life then???

Laserbird16 Tue 11-Aug-20 11:40:32

A friend did this and did not recommended it

42daystogo Tue 11-Aug-20 11:53:44

Oh wow a resounding no then! DH is in a trade and so are family, he has contacts to get the work done cheaper would it would still be a money pit. Hes fallen hard for the property, he hasnt said but i can tell. Ive told him i need him to realistically work out costings and if it's financially viable.

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42daystogo Tue 11-Aug-20 11:55:35

Also the property we previously renovated did cause tears and sleepless nights and in hindsight was slightly too big a project but we got there in the end and is part of our pension plan. Would i do it again? ... yes but not to the same extent and it would be thought through more throughly than we did the first time

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minnieok Tue 11-Aug-20 11:56:38

Can you afford to renovate first of all? Whatever you think it will cost double it! Do you want to dedicate evenings and weekends, annual leave even to the project?

It's less about the kids, they won't mind, more about you.

The positive side is you get a house exactly to your specifications by renovating.


Flamingolingo Tue 11-Aug-20 12:01:18

We’ve just done this - it’s been a year and we are nearly finished (the inside). It’s been ok, but the periods of major building work were hard. The children have not reacted that well to having builders in the house all the time (complicated by lockdown), but it’s only been really bad when the usable area of the house was really small. We have had to pay people to do absolutely everything which has been £££ - we’ve spent well over £100k

LightDrizzle Tue 11-Aug-20 12:03:55

Very different though, with your DH being in a trade, however I had a boyfriend whose dad was a joiner and they did up a fucked old house and barn and it took YEARS! Years of living, cooking, eating on a building site.
I’d only take on a renovation if we could afford to live elsewhere while the work was done. I’d want detailed costings and timescales of the work involved and the budget to cover it plus 15% contingency costs.

Salome61 Tue 11-Aug-20 12:29:04

I feel I ruined our children's childhood by taking on a huge renovation project. We couldn't afford holidays, life was restricted by off limits areas - it was an awful ten years. I hope you can find something you love with easy renovation instead.

42daystogo Tue 11-Aug-20 12:50:13

I think ill have to have a proper chat with DH re costings and explain the things we would miss out on ie holidays, less disposable income etc. Its hard to imagine as for example even if we lived with just one reception room, kitchen and 2 bedrooms it would still be more space than our current house but with building work constantly going on around us im sure it could get really depessing confused

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RandyLionandDirtyDog Tue 11-Aug-20 12:59:50

No way, unless one of you is a builder and can properly manage the project. If you’re relying on your builder to project manage, cross your fingers very tightly and add at least 20% to the estimated time and costs!

After the first renovation that was a two story kitchen extension with utility and bathroom above, I said never again as the whole thing took much longer than estimated and the builders were a nightmare. We accepted some of the crap just to get rid of them.

Then we moved and decided to extend the kitchen (!!) and build a sunroom onto a fairly newly built house, (6 yrs old).

Thankfully, this time DH took charge and managed the entire project as he was at home and not working, so it went much more smoothly and the builder and team he contracted were fantastic.

42daystogo Tue 11-Aug-20 13:03:39

DH is an electrician and can pretty much do any trade tbh but it still scares me

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JoJoSM2 Tue 11-Aug-20 13:10:51

Whilst the work is getting done, could you stay in your other property/with family/rent sth out? I wouldn’t want to live in a building site with kids.

LBOCS2 Tue 11-Aug-20 13:11:26

How young is young? And how big a reno? We're doing it with a 4yo and 7yo (they were 3 and 6 when we moved in) and it's fine. We got the very worst of it done before we moved in (rewire, new plumbing system/boiler, plastering) and then have been doing more of the decorative things and replacement bathroom and kitchen since we've been in. We prioritised a playroom and their bedrooms so they had a safe space to play, and we have had to be more disciplined about putting tools away than we would usually 🤷🏼‍♀️

CatherinedeBourgh Tue 11-Aug-20 13:13:12

I have. It was hard work but very satisfying.

Ds, now teenage, was saying today that he missed building with us and we should sell this house and buy another wreck.

Thinking about it...

whattododo Tue 11-Aug-20 13:13:58

We have done it twice...it depends on your children surely.

CatherinedeBourgh Tue 11-Aug-20 13:14:34

Oh, we did all the work ourselves. Wouldn’t fancy having tradespeople in all the time with little ones.

42daystogo Tue 11-Aug-20 13:21:28

We could live in a rental whilst it was rewired, replumbed, roof fixed, cheap bathroom put in and livingroom/bedrooms cheaply painted and carpeted. The rest would be done over time whilst living there.
Children would be baby and toddler so we couldnt feasibly move in until that major work was done

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AwkwardPaws27 Tue 11-Aug-20 13:26:18

Depends what needs doing, and, if it needs gutting, if you can afford to live elsewhere while you do it (while still having time to do the work!).

Our place needs work but it's absolutely fine to live in and can be done gradually (except the roof, which we replaced straight away, but there was one completely dry bedroom so we had a bedroom & downstairs was ok).

The kitchen and bathroom work (well, we replaced the toilet flush mechanism & shower head on the day we moved in, and the hob died and had to be replaced a few months later). We've paid to have the "big" stuff done (new roof, guttering, insulation, windows, boiler, removing a chimney breast), now going room by room as and when we can afford to. It's slow going but we both work full-time and are learning as we go!

AwkwardPaws27 Tue 11-Aug-20 13:29:32

We could live in a rental whilst it was rewired, replumbed, roof fixed, cheap bathroom put in and livingroom/bedrooms cheaply painted and carpeted

I think this would be fine as you could go room by room while still having a safe enough space and working bathroom. Would you have a working kitchen? I'd insist on that too - even if it isn't a long-term kitchen and just some cheap units and cooker, fridge, washing machine for now.

SerBrienneOfHouseTarth Tue 11-Aug-20 13:33:47

We're doing this now and living in a rental while the building work gets done. We're using family and friends who are tradies and DH has done alot of the prep work (stripping wallpaper etc) himself. I have a 6yo who thinks it's great fun and a 2 month old. Moved into the rental before the wee one was born.
So far the only stress has been delays in getting materials due to lockdown so I feel it's taking ages to get started, and being on top of each other in the rental (it's small and DH is WFH). I would say go for it if the house is what you want. We won't be moving again once ours is done so it's worth it.

Greenhats10 Tue 11-Aug-20 13:34:37

Honestly, we thought about it but decided to pull out even though it was a great place in a great location. Wont be able to afford anything like that again, but with little kids I was just really daunted about it all. The thought of having random people as am trying to get my kid down for a nap or sick etc....In our case, we also have two full-on jobs and a commute (pre-Covid) and I just couldnt go through with it in the end. Maybe if one of you isnt working and can take this one alongside the kids - but in our kids our time is already taken up with our jobs plus DC - there's little if any time left for anything else.

DH is very regretful and thinks we should have gone ahead with it. But he wouldnt be the one juggling the workmen, job and sick DC (DC is notorious for catching every virus going and is sick every three weeks or so once at nursery).....

notangelinajolie Tue 11-Aug-20 13:36:03

Yes it's doable. We did it. We also did it when they were not so young and I would say it's much easier when they are little. Moody, opiniated pre teens/teens are much harder to work around than little ones.

ifoundafoxcaughtbydogs Tue 11-Aug-20 13:37:32

We're in the middle of a huge renovation. Makeshift kitchen on a garden table in the lounge for 11 months. Currently no back on the house.

We moved in on DD's first birthday.

Of course it's hard but absolutely worth it for our dream house. Having one clean room is a must though. It's needed to keep sane.

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