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  • FIRST POST
    JonnyRaz
    Tips on renovating a house ?
    • #1
    • 16th Apr 09, 3:00 PM
    Tips on renovating a house ? 16th Apr 09 at 3:00 PM
    Hi, so me and my partner are wanting to renovate a 3 bedroom semi detached house that i've inherited....it requires a LOT of work & i need some advice basically. Problem is, im 22...i have little idea of where to start (ive done some basics), i dont have enough contacts, experience, knowledge.. The house does have lots of potential though, estate agents have said it wouldnt be that hard to do up. I do want to sell it in the end though.

    So where would i start ?

    The basics i got done, i hired local builders to do each job seperately..which didnt turn out brilliantly in terms of efficency or cost.

    Ive got some helpful tips from a few people & they say to just hire a proper company that will do it all....agree a fee with them...& an end date....say you'll pay them part upfront...part at the end when its finished. What kind of companys do this, who should i be looking for ? Is this the job of a contractor or is that something else ?

    I've already had estate agents in & in its current condition they say its worth about 140,000. This is without a decent bathroom, kitchen, a working boiler, breaking plaster on the walls....new carpets needed, new patio doors...windows need double glazing etc etc. Lots to do.

    Checked on Nethouseprices & houseprices & the local houses in my area have been going for around £175,000 in 2006-2007 which was as recent as i could find apart from one on a road off mine which went for £185,000 in 2008. My house has also been extended though, so it may be worth more when finished..

    Anyway. So am i on the right track ? Any advice? thankyou
    Last edited by JonnyRaz; 16-04-2009 at 3:21 PM.
Page 1
    • latecomer
    • By latecomer 16th Apr 09, 3:28 PM
    • 4,587 Posts
    • 2,616 Thanks
    latecomer
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 09, 3:28 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 09, 3:28 PM
    If you are considering doing it yourself in any way, a good place to start would be to have a read through this thread:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=1186031

    There are a lot of us doing up old houses and collectively there is a fair bit of experience not only of doing it yourself but getting others in too.

    If you hire a main contractor to do everything you will obviously pay for the priviledge. Do you have any recommendations from friends/family for any tradesmen?
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 16th Apr 09, 4:51 PM
    • 23,745 Posts
    • 66,089 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 09, 4:51 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 09, 4:51 PM
    Be very, very careful around values. If it's worth 140,000 in it's present condition and an absolute maximum of 185,000 at the peak of the market then I'm concerned that you are only going to be spending money which you will just recoup - you're unlikely to make any 'profit' by doing it up via the route you are now considering.

    I'm a bit confused that you've been employing different 'builders' for different jobs. If you are employing people separately then you should be using specific tradesmen, like electricians, plumbers and plasterers, not 'builders'.

    In a Sarah Beeny, motherly type way, I'm concerned that you are going to end up losing money. Do it the long, in theory cheap, but learning for the future route and the market may overtake you in the wrong direction. Do it the expensive way and you've learned very little, there's no profit and there's therefore little point in the stress of refurbing the place.

    Money isn't made from fixing a house, it's made by either
    1)buying cheap (you have to consider that you inherited it and therefore bought it at full market value for 'profit' purposes)
    2)increasing the space of the property
    3)taking on the role as builder in order to save costs that the average person would incur employing a contractor
    4)simply get lucky in a rising market.

    So how are you going to achieve the situation that you are definitely better off haivng refurbed the house than you would have been if you just sold it on immediately? Whilst fighting a property market going in the opposite direction?

    The cheapest way will always be to employ the trades separately. If you employ someone to employ them, they have to have their own mark up, plus having a priced job actually means that the tradesperson has to set the price a little higher to mitigate any unforseen problems and the contractor does that as well! It is not cheap.

    I could faint at the prices I've known people to pay for work to be done that way. They don't have to worry about unforseen costs but the fact is that the contingency is already factored in. If surprises come up, the builder is covered, if they don't the builder makes more profit.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 16-04-2009 at 5:00 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • JonnyRaz
    • #4
    • 17th Apr 09, 5:12 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Apr 09, 5:12 PM
    Thankyou for the advice !

    When i say hired people for different jobs i didnt mean builders, just a plasterer & electricians & things like that for smaller jobs. Though the electricians did convince me that they also knew how to cement a floor which turned out pretty disasterously lol.

    Are there not any companys, like those that build houses who just have a man for every job ? So they wouldnt charge any extra for having to find & hire other tradesmen as they're just a team ? I guess thats what i was looking for....was thinking doing it that way would cut some costs of hiring them all individually ?

    I was thinking of just setting a budget of £20,000, to do everything...(Not sure how realistic/possible this is)..its in a nice area...very near schools, surrounded by shops/supermarkets/restaurants & a gym. Everything anyone could need...so thought it might be worth doing it up myself.

    See what you're saying about the market going downhill now...like i say..not sure if my house is as applicable to those prices as the livingroom & kitchen have been extended on the back of the house....though if its not worth it i dont want to waste my time either !

    Its a shame estate agents dont offer much advice for this kind of situation...
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 17th Apr 09, 5:28 PM
    • 23,745 Posts
    • 66,089 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #5
    • 17th Apr 09, 5:28 PM
    • #5
    • 17th Apr 09, 5:28 PM
    Are there not any companys, like those that build houses who just have a man for every job ? So they wouldn't charge any extra for having to find & hire other tradesmen as they're just a team ? I guess thats what i was looking for....was thinking doing it that way would cut some costs of hiring them all individually ?

    I was thinking of just setting a budget of £20,000, to do everything...(Not sure how realistic/possible this is)..its in a nice area...very near schools, surrounded by shops/supermarkets/restaurants & a gym. Everything anyone could need...so thought it might be worth doing it up myself.
    Originally posted by JonnyRaz
    It doesn't work like that, each trade takes a different amount of time on a property and have to come in at different times, it would never work as a 'team' all the time. Tradespeople are generally self employed people that work for the public on single jobs regularly with the same building contractors or property developers. The cheapest way will always be to employ the trades separately and manage them yourself; that's well recognised.

    A full, comprehensive refurbishment of an average semi is going to likely cost you £20,000 managing it yourself; if not more the first time around. If you employ someone to organise it for you it's going to be more. If you want a quote then you simply need to look in the yellow pages under 'building contractors' because that's what they are.

    It doesn't matter where the house is or what's near it - that doesn't affect how much value you can add; Let's be generalistic here; assuming a ceiling price of £195,000 for yours with it's downstairs extension (I'm guessing it's something like a 1930s semi). Prices have fallen on average 17% in the last year. That makes your house worth £161,500 finished - and you want to spend £20,000 doing it up from it's current position of £140,000?

    This conversation looks a little like the first 10 minutes of every episode of property ladder.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 17-04-2009 at 5:42 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • lisal0u
    • By lisal0u 17th Apr 09, 7:54 PM
    • 534 Posts
    • 441 Thanks
    lisal0u
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 09, 7:54 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 09, 7:54 PM
    Hi JonnyRaz,

    Definitely look at the thread that latecomer has suggested! There is loads of great advice on there and a lot of us have blogs of our renovations so you can see what we have all been up to!

    I've been renovating a 1930's 3 bed semi. We have completely gutted it (ceilings down, plaster knocked off walls, walls moved about, chimney removed, re-wire, re-plumb etc) It also needs a new bathroom and kitchen! We had a budget of about £19,000 and are over budget by about £5000 but are nearly done!

    I got a building company in that had plumbers, plasterers, brickies etc and agreed a price for all the works I wanted doing. They actually turned out much cheaper than getting it done separately! Make sure you get an end date in writing, I didn't do this and it dragged on for far longer than it should have!

    To find a reputable building company you could look here: http://www.findabuilder.co.uk/. The Federation of Master Builders gives you a bit of confidence that they aren't rip of merchants.

    Good luck with your renovation!
    • Bronnie
    • By Bronnie 18th Apr 09, 1:50 AM
    • 4,085 Posts
    • 11,490 Thanks
    Bronnie
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 09, 1:50 AM
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 09, 1:50 AM
    When do you want to sell the house? Are you planning to continue developing property and therefore this house is part of a fast learning curve or are you just wanting to maximise your inheritance?

    If you're planning to do it up and turn it round within 12 months, for example, maybe better just stick it on the market as it is?
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