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How do you estimate building/redecorating costs...

(16 Posts)
elizabethbob Fri 31-Jul-09 16:17:16

.. when you have no idea or experience!! What do you do if you want to work out how much it would cost to do what you want to do to a property that you are looking to possibly put an offer on depending on how much needs doing / how much it might cost? Do builders/ handymen ever agree to come around with you for a viewing to get an approximate idea of costs and viability of ideas that me and my DH have (having no idea about DIY or building work and no experience)? Even though it's not like a normal quote where there is a reasonable chance they may get the job as after they come and do the quotes we could either decide we can't afford it, we could decide it was possible but have our offer rejected and even if the offer is accepted it could be months before the person who does the quotes gets the job!!! I suspect noone would do this but it would make life easier than viewing places and saying, as though it's all so easy, oh we could put up a wall here and knock through here and move the kitchen to there....!!!

Seems silly to pay someone to give quotes on somewhere we might not even end up buying but maybe that is what we have to do...

HerHonesty Fri 31-Jul-09 16:19:16

well, asking on mumsnet is always a good start.

GrendelsMum Fri 31-Jul-09 16:23:17

Sarah Beeney has a book called "Price the Job" which might help to some extent - it gives estimates for how much different trades usually cost per day - , but it still rather relies on you knowing how long a job might take.

But yes, some builders will come round with you around houses that you're seriously considering offering on.

bigstripeytiger Fri 31-Jul-09 16:24:42

Your surveyor may be able to give you an idea of how much work would cost.

elizabethbob Fri 31-Jul-09 16:26:55

OK! So one place we looked at we would need to completely redecorate 2 biggish rooms, one just a paint job and one wallpaper stripping, replacement of cupboard doors.

The loft room would need the laminate flooring removing from one end and recarpeting or a wall putting up to make one end a study and the other end the bedroom. So that wall would also need a door putting in it.

We would ideally move the kitchen to the "dining room" where I don't think there is any plumbing / gas etc. And it would then be nice to knock through from the sitting room to the current kitchen to make an open plan living / dining/ play area room.

We are terrible at DIY (even painting) and both work and would be horribly lazy and even get someone to do the painting / redecorating bits of the job. blush

It is possible that we would also like to replace or put double glazing into about 4 quite large sash windows!!

Any ideas on a ball park figure?! Thank you!!

elizabethbob Fri 31-Jul-09 16:30:11

I'll have a look for the Sarah Beeney book thanks Grendelsmum.

Thing is, we wouldn't want to get a survey done until we've had an offer accepted and we might not put an offer in if it all seems too much to pay for the work.

You don't normally get a surveyor until you've had an offer accepted do you? We haven't looked for one yet...

bigstripeytiger Fri 31-Jul-09 16:31:44

It depends where you are. In England people dont usually get a survey before the offer is accepted.

navyeyelasH Fri 31-Jul-09 16:46:55

I will take a stab in the dark - this is a pure guess as it depends where you live, what you'd want a new kitchen to cost, if you go for cheap as chips carpets or 100% wool, the knocking a wall down part might need an RSJ etc.

I'd say as a minimum you're looking at £15,000 and that assumes you do everything as cheap as poss and live in SW and it excludes the cost of sash as I haven't the figiest on that front!

bigstripeytiger Fri 31-Jul-09 16:50:36

The sash windows will cost around £1000 each (if you get wood frames).

cat64 Fri 31-Jul-09 16:53:19

Message withdrawn

elizabethbob Fri 31-Jul-09 16:53:53

It would be SW but SW London not SW SW! Wouldn't go for 100% wool as have a baby. I've no idea whether an RSJ would be needed which is why I think you have to get someone in the property really to do the quote. Thanks for the estimate though navy!

navyeyelasH Fri 31-Jul-09 16:54:15

PS> yes a builder would quote for this. Just arrange for them to view the house with you and they will turn up. The idea being if you do buy they would ahve got the work.

It'll take them 10 min and they potentially stand to make a lot of money so of course they should be willing to quote!

Good luck btw

elizabethbob Fri 31-Jul-09 16:58:52

Thanks everyone!

navyeyelasH Fri 31-Jul-09 17:01:51

There is one way to guess on whether a RSJ would be needed; it's not exact though but to be used as a guide.

If the floorboards upstairs run in the opposite direction to the floorboards downstairs then generally an RSJ will not be needed. But even if they do run in opposite direction you'd still need to get a structural engineer round to have a double check.

When budgeting I think it's better to assume the worst then add 20%. We have just bought a 3 bed house that needed total refurb. We have done most of the work ourselves (apart from plaster) and we are 9 weeks in and have spent approx £13,000.

We moved kitchen around and bought new kitchen, knocked down wall which needed RSJ, sorted out damp in 2 areas, put new bathroom in, put in new combi boiler, recarpeted stairs, sanded and varnished other rooms and painted everything.

I'm sure we have done more, but you start to forget! Our kitchen was a chunk of expense at £6,000 - we didn't have to spend that much and could have got a kitchen for about £1000.


GrendelsMum Fri 31-Jul-09 17:23:27

Hmmm, here are my estimates for labour (not materials) for some of it, but this is v. v. much an estimate, with a lot of it based on the local builder / handyman I would probably use who does a good quick job at a fair price. I may be off by quite a way.

Prep and paint walls, ceiling and all woodwork of large room 1 - £150

Strip wallpaper from largish room - £75

Repaper and then paint walls, ceiling and all woodwork of large room 2 - £200

Replace cupboard doors - £75

Remove laminate from loft room - £50

Creating stud wall - £300

Add door into wall - ???? no idea, never done this

Carpeting - would be done by carpet people and included in carpet quote

Move kitchen plumbing to new room - Not done this, but £1000 once you've included a plasterer making good, etc?

Move gas to new room - £500 ?? would be made good at the same time as the new plumbing

Knock through two rooms - £2000 ?? depending on what you actually mean by knocking through

Make good plaster, ceilings etc after knocking through two rooms - £500 ?

Redo flooring in two rooms after knocking them through - ? depends on what you want

Redecorate both rooms after knocking them together - £300

Make good after removing the plumbing and gas in the previous kitchen - £500 ?

Redecorate previous kitchen - £150

But as NavyEyeLash says, you need massive contingency funds, esp in an old house, as there's loads you haven't budgeted for.

Typical e.g. - I get plumber in to chase radiator pipes into walls. Plumber discovers stop cock is gone and replaces it. Plumber does job, with various probs coming up along way (including 'this part of the timber frame seems to have rotted')). Pipes went into boxing in in loo. Boxing in now needs replacing. Plumber discovers central heating system is sludged up. Etc etc.

bettyjack Sun 02-Aug-09 20:59:30

If you live in London please take a look at my husbands website. I am sure he would be happy to visit a property with you. He has done work for minor celebs so has a good name.

He does all building and carpentry work, inclduing painting and decorating.

Take a look -

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