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Updating a property. Where do I even start?!

(26 Posts)
Misty9 Thu 20-Aug-20 16:31:38

I'm buying a 1950s ex-LA semi which needs a lot of love and updating. I've got a month before having to move into it and am focusing on replacing the bathroom, separate loo, redecorating throughout the upstairs, and recarpeting. There's lots of wallpaper to be stripped, but other than that where do I even start?! What order do I make decisions? I've just been looking at flooring and baths and am feeling a bit overwhelmed confused

I'm hoping to do much of the work myself but a skilled friend is also helping. The kitchen needs replacing, and downstairs redecorating, but that will probably have to wait until we're in as completion is taking longer than hoped.

OP’s posts: |
FlamedToACrisp Thu 20-Aug-20 17:00:55

shock I hope you're not installing or redecorating anything before you own the property! What if the sale falls through for some reason?

happytoday73 Thu 20-Aug-20 17:06:02

Honestly at previous poster says at most before completion all I would do is ask for access for measuring up, getting quotes etc.
Once you have the property I'd think about messy essentials first... Rewire, new central heating or other plumbing, any plastering... Then kitchen and bathroom

Ylvamoon Thu 20-Aug-20 17:06:50

I'd make a list of areas that you can/ can't live with and if they are functioning in the current state.
Then decide room by room on a solid action plan including a budget and rough timeframe.
Last enjoy the refurbishing !!

Misty9 Thu 20-Aug-20 17:12:08

FlamedToACrisp

shock I hope you're not installing or redecorating anything before you own the property! What if the sale falls through for some reason?

No no! I'll have a month overlap on my rental before I need to move out. I'll own it first grin

It's more where to start with the order of doing things/making decisions about decor and bathroom furniture etc. I find choice a bit overwhelming!

OP’s posts: |
Elisheva Thu 20-Aug-20 17:14:45

You have to do all the boring structural stuff before you can even think about furnishings. Does the house need rewiring? What state is the plumbing in? What about the windows and roof?

Spandang Thu 20-Aug-20 17:19:07

Do the messy big stuff first; if you’re ripping out the bathroom or kitchen, get it done while you don’t live there because it can go on for weeks and feel gruelling.

I personally would be taking the carpets up as soon as that’s done, then stripping the wallpaper off etc. Much easier to do if you’re not panicking about paint on the floor and it makes the skirting less of a pain too.

Then once you have your basic box, it’s much easier to paint a room here, put a shelf up there, add a feature wall.

Honestly, messy big stuff first. Nothing worse than living in a house with no hot water or no oven. I did it for eight months and while I’d do it again, I’d do it differently grin

Seeingadistance Thu 20-Aug-20 17:23:34

Start with the biggest, dirtiest jobs, and while they’re being done you can get on with stripping wallpaper, removing old flooring and any other stripping back etc.

LightAsTheBreeze Thu 20-Aug-20 17:27:11

Rewiring if it needs any first as that is very messy, plumbing and central heating not so much. plastering if that needs doing you will know that as soon as you rip the old paper off.

Bluntness100 Thu 20-Aug-20 17:27:58

Pick a room at a time op. Make that decision based on what is a priority to make it liveable.

Don’t do multiple rooms at once.

If you have the funds I’d do the bathroom whilst your not living there, if you’re able to do that yourselves, then the recarpeting, you want that done before you move in.

Obvs it’s better to paint before you carpet, but let’s face it we all redecorate our homes with the flooring in place, you just cover it up with dust sheets,

The cosmetic stuff can be done as you live there.

minnieok Thu 20-Aug-20 17:33:47

I'm assuming your rental overlaps. I would start with things you need working on the day you move in - so main bathroom and one bedroom as your priority. Next I would put kitchen and then the hallway and stairs. Finally downstairs reception rooms, other bedrooms. Things like the downstairs loo and spare bedroom can be done at a later date as money permits

Flynn999 Thu 20-Aug-20 17:42:10

Bathroom and kitchen first (basically the messy bits), first. Get the walls stripped and carpets up so you can check the plaster doesn’t need re-doing then get your decoration done. Flooring and carpets last. Whilst your getting bathrooms done get a feel for the space so you can work out what kind of light each day room has, so you can work out what colours/flooring will work. If your running out of time do the ‘key’ rooms first so lounge, bedroom etc. Don’t worry about guest rooms/office etc.

crimsonlake Thu 20-Aug-20 17:49:42

Is all that doable in a month?
I removed carpets, painted every room including paintwork also doors, just that if I remember took 2 weeks and there was 2 of us.
Some electric work was done but obviously by a qualified electrician, flooring laid.
I agree take up carpets first and start on each room when decorating working down as in from the ceiling. Do you really need to strip the walls? I left mine as I was too scared that half the plaster would come away.
Good luck and enjoy your new home.

ODFOx Thu 20-Aug-20 17:54:39

If you want xtra plugs etc do them before you move in so you can channel properly: few things make an updated property undesirable as much as surface mounted electrics!

Longwhiskers14 Thu 20-Aug-20 17:54:52

Honestly? Unless it's an absolute shit-hole with dodgy electrics and knackered boiler that needs condemning, I would move in and then decide what needs doing. I seriously think you need to live in a house and get a feel for it to work out how you want to redecorate. You might surprise yourself and do things completely differently to how you imagine! Get yourself on Pinterest and buy some home decor magazines for inspiration. There's no rush if you want to do it properly.

Longwhiskers14 Thu 20-Aug-20 17:56:12

Sorry, meant to add, we lived in our house for six months, dodgy wallpaper and carpets and all, before we did a thing to it. I'm so glad we took our time.

trinity0097 Thu 20-Aug-20 18:01:00

Bathroom a priority as it’s easier when you are not in the house.

How many of you are there? Try and get enough bedrooms decorated that you can move into them, as it’s a pain to move bedroom furniture about once it’s in. You can cope for a week or so if you are decorating the lounge but it’s harder to move your bed downstairs!

Knittedfairies Thu 20-Aug-20 18:07:22

I agree that the bathroom is a priority; much easier to do when you're not living there, and you can relax in your new bathroom when you've spent hours getting hot and sticky stripping wallpaper.

Misty9 Thu 20-Aug-20 19:51:23

Longwhiskers14

Honestly? Unless it's an absolute shit-hole with dodgy electrics and knackered boiler that needs condemning, I would move in and then decide what needs doing. I seriously think you need to live in a house and get a feel for it to work out how you want to redecorate. You might surprise yourself and do things completely differently to how you imagine! Get yourself on Pinterest and buy some home decor magazines for inspiration. There's no rush if you want to do it properly.

I have leaned more and more to this conclusion tbh! The boiler is a condensing one with a hot water tank (so not a combi) and one gas person has said its fine and doesn't need replacing. The electrics I'll have checked but the sockets and circuit board are modern so I don't think they'll be a death trap. It does need attention to the roof but I'm planning that for next spring.

I've got two dc who live with me half the time, so getting their rooms done is a priority, as is the bathroom as it's a shower not a bath. The walls seem sound and these type of houses are pretty solid, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the plaster doesn't fall off!

Hmm, so bathroom is a priority then. It's a tiny room. As for offices and spare bedrooms...I can dream! grin

OP’s posts: |
Mistymonday Thu 20-Aug-20 20:36:17

Following

user1471538283 Sat 22-Aug-20 11:17:41

I would make sure structurally its sound. With our old bathroom when the tiles came off so did the plaster! Try to have a contingency fund. I'd have the roof looked at urgently. It may not need alot of work but once roofs leak it becomes a big job! But then on obsessed with roofs! A combi boiler is an investment so I'd do that as well. How exciting!

Longwhiskers14 Sat 22-Aug-20 11:22:22

If the bathroom's tiny, you might want to see about nicking a bit of another room to make it bigger for your family's needs. We did that and it's worked brilliantly.

Misty9 Mon 24-Aug-20 13:14:21

Longwhiskers14

If the bathroom's tiny, you might want to see about nicking a bit of another room to make it bigger for your family's needs. We did that and it's worked brilliantly.

I've thought about doing this but it would be from the second bedroom and would only be about a foot of extra space - how much did you gain? I'd have to knock a wall down so not sure if it would be worth it. Especially as the loo is in a separate room so only need space for a shower bath and sink...

I'm panicking a bit now as the completion date has been moved back a bit and I'll be using weekends and evenings for the month to get it done!

OP’s posts: |
StealthNinjaMum Mon 24-Aug-20 13:21:59

How much wallpaper is it?

It might be an idea to hire a wallpaper remover / steamer thing and remove the wallpaper all over the house at the same time. I have found in the past that sometimes removing wallpaper damages the plaster underneath and if you've removed it you'll be able to get a plasterer to do it all in one go rather than room by room. Plasterers are notoriously hard to find.

TheId Mon 24-Aug-20 13:27:31

Don't do what we did and attack it all at once. We bought a 1950s ex council doer upper as our first home pre kids complete with woodchip wallpaper, swirly carpets and nicotine stained ceilings.

We moved in and ripped up all the carpets, stripped all the wallpaper, bashed down dividing walls and ripped out the kitchen. We had a lot of enthusiasm but a lot less time, expertise and money so it took way longer than we thought.

We wound up living in the one habitable bedroom with only a microwave and a kettle to cook with for months. At least the toilet was functional but we had to join a gym to get a shower. Everywhere was covered in dust.

Many years later post kids when we had more money and even less time we moved out for a few months and got it all redone properly.

I recommend you go one room at a time and that you are realistic about timescale and budget and prioritise the essentials. However bad the decor is it is not as bad as no decor at all! Living in a building site is no fun at all.

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