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  • FIRST POST
    • szivarvanyftw
    • By szivarvanyftw 4th Jan 18, 3:16 PM
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    szivarvanyftw
    Is this renovation budget reasonable?
    • #1
    • 4th Jan 18, 3:16 PM
    Is this renovation budget reasonable? 4th Jan 18 at 3:16 PM
    I bought a 3 bed detached house recently with my partner, and need to modernise it as it has not been touched in over 20 years. We're first time buyers and not much DIY experience in practice, although we have done some bits and bobs previously. So, thought I'd ask if you think it is reasonable to expect to be able to get the below works done for under £30k?
    • Remove old kitchen
    • Knock through kitchen wall to open up dining room - check with structural engineer if viable
    • Remove floors
    • Rewiring
    • Built in cupboard conversion to small ensuite, including moving boiler downstairs along same wall
    • Replastering everywhere
    • New floors
    • Repainting everything
    • Kitchen installation
    We've found a kitchen for around £6k that we like, but for the rest, not sure what to expect - the ranges provided online are very broad! We'd need tradesmen to do most of it - the only things we can do ourselves are laying flooring (laminate mostly everwhere except kitchen where we'd have tiles), painting, and attempting to remove parts of the old kitchen, avoiding parts where we could be electrocuted
    We're in North Oxfordshire if that helps - not London prices.
Page 1
    • TheCyclingProgrammer
    • By TheCyclingProgrammer 4th Jan 18, 3:42 PM
    • 2,987 Posts
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    TheCyclingProgrammer
    • #2
    • 4th Jan 18, 3:42 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Jan 18, 3:42 PM
    I think you'll find your budget a bit tight. Not saying it will be impossible but you'll really need to be watching the pennies. I'd estimate at least half of your planned budget will go on the kitchen and all related works.

    Re-plastering (I assume remedial work from rewiring and skimming only) could easily swallow up £2-3k - does it all need a re-skim?

    En-suite plus associated works like moving boiler could easily take another £5k.

    Re-wire - who knows but again I'd budget for at least a couple of grand. Maybe more.

    New flooring and redecorating throughout (assuming you pay for a decorator) there's another couple of grand at least (depends on the flooring - if you're having good laminate, engineered or wooden flooring this will cost more).

    In all of the above cases I might be over-estimating but it's better to over-estimate rather than under-estimate. Also allow for some contingency.

    If you could stretch to £40k I think you'd find it a bit more comfortable.
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 4th Jan 18, 3:43 PM
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    spadoosh
    • #3
    • 4th Jan 18, 3:43 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Jan 18, 3:43 PM
    Used to sell kitchens and a very rough rule was the cost to fit (including removal) was roughly the same amount as the cost of the kitchen. Bearing in mind the fitting we charged was more expensive than a local trader might be so if you want to spend £6k on a kitchen a ball park total cost would be about £12k. Obviously theres lots of ifs and buts (moving electrics, pipework etc).

    I had a non structual wall removed for £200 by a trade friend. My neighbour paid about £1000 -£1500 for a structual wall to be removed and secured again by a friend in the trade.

    Remove floors, do yourself (im assuming you mean floor covering and not floor boards so things like carpet, laminate tiles etc). Its just physical work with not much skill needed. You can save money there.

    Rewiring, get done before your kitchen as your kitchen will need to be part P! compliant (of building regs) which means having its own consumer unit. Let your electrician know about planned works.

    It depends on the viability of the cupboard becoming a toilet. Getting a soil pipe to it might be an issue which might mean lots of ground works and thus expense. Theres a good chance moving a boiler might be expensive, again it depends on how easy it might be.

    plastering again varies to the level of plastering required, if its a reskim a whole house could be done for £3-5k. If its going back to brick youd be looking more probably £6k+

    Painting, about £50 a room. The prep work tends to dictate the finish so spend more time getting the walls right than painting (if youre replastering shouldnt be much issue) easily DIY. Dont know decorator costs.

    Kitchen install as above.


    I wouldnt say its impossible for £30k but you could also spend a good portion of that on just the kitchen if you let yourself run away with things.

    Prioritise work, concentrate on the structure. So electrics, plumbing, plastering etc first. Once youve got the 'hard' work done it should help prioritising the budget for the rest of the works.

    Also getting the messy stuff out of the way means you shouldnt have to go back on yourself. Also be thinking to the future. Adding something like ethernet cables in to your electrics is an expensive addition, if your having a rewire, it shouldnt add that much cost to the job but when it comes to sell or practically for you as a family it might be a nice bonus. The same with things like integrated fire alarms, house alarms etc.

    Try not to rush in to it. I rushed in to sorting out my utility room, looks mint but now id prefer it if id made it a dining room. I planned and fitted a pretty epic looking bathroom suite. Had a baby and all the glass panels seem impractical now. try and spend time living in the house to see how you think its best being used.

    Have fun!
    Don't be angry!
    • szivarvanyftw
    • By szivarvanyftw 4th Jan 18, 4:01 PM
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    szivarvanyftw
    • #4
    • 4th Jan 18, 4:01 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Jan 18, 4:01 PM
    Thank you both for the detailed answers, this is all very helpful!
    I don't think we're rushing into things - at least, I hope not - we've been planning for about a month and are getting quotes next week for work we want done. It's unfortunately not really feasible to live in the house for a while because the previous owners smoked inside and everything stinks pretty badly. This is also why everything needs a replaster - I presume skimming would be enough, no need to go back to the brickwork.
    But indeed we have prioritised doing messy things first - we hadn't intended to do the wall and ensuite at first but then we realised we don't want to mess everything up in 1-2 years' time again.

    SOmething you both mentioned about the kitchen is not clear to me though.
    If I'm paying an electrician to rewire the house anyway, and plasterers to replaster everywhere, then surely I wouldn't need to pay the kitchen fitter for all that all over again, would I?
    Basically we'd get the kitchen units ready to put in for about £6k (tiles would be laid by ourselves beforehand, and old kitchen removed) and pay a fitter to basically put the cabinets in and connect the appliances. Am I missing something here or is that really not anither £6k worth of work?! :-)

    As I said, no plans to pay any decorators, doing that ourselves. :-)
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 4th Jan 18, 4:23 PM
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    spadoosh
    • #5
    • 4th Jan 18, 4:23 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Jan 18, 4:23 PM
    Weve (im certainly) only suggesting rough costs.

    No you shouldnt need to pay for it again. The majority of work in a kitchen though doesnt normally consist of electrics and plaster work. Both are only really a days work at most when fitting a kitchen and youll usually be told about a week to replace a kitchen. So youve got 5 other days worth of costs that make up the bulk of fitting a kitchen.

    If you can make savings im not suggesting avoiding them. Nor would i suggest paying for things you dont need. At the moment we're going off you wanting a new kitchen and have seen one for £6k. Its difficult to estimate fitting costs from that.
    Don't be angry!
    • szivarvanyftw
    • By szivarvanyftw 4th Jan 18, 4:33 PM
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    szivarvanyftw
    • #6
    • 4th Jan 18, 4:33 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Jan 18, 4:33 PM
    Of course, I get that I am just trying to understand what it is (what actual tasks) that cost so much according to your estimate? Assuming they only need to put in the actual cabinets, fix the wall ones to the wall, and install appliances, since the wiring and plastering/tiling will have been done by other tradesmen already. What else would they have to do?
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 4th Jan 18, 4:53 PM
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    spadoosh
    • #7
    • 4th Jan 18, 4:53 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Jan 18, 4:53 PM
    Replace waste piping.
    Replace water inlets.
    Lots of leveling.
    Fit worktops.
    Mitre worktops.
    Lots of sealing.
    Snagging.
    As well as the other stuff thats been monetioned.

    You dont pay for tasks though. You pay for someone. So whilst your paying for the tasks others things youre paying for include: Liability insurance, gaps in work, marketing, rates, vehicle expenses, their childs swimming classes etc.

    I like my DIY for those reasons. My bathroom cost £2.5k. Had it been fitted by someone else that price would be nearer £7.5k. Time is cheap to me and i had the confidence in my skills to do it so i couldnt see value in it. If time was expensive or i didnt have the skills im restricted to paying the going rates.
    Don't be angry!
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 4th Jan 18, 5:02 PM
    • 1,537 Posts
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    ani*fan
    • #8
    • 4th Jan 18, 5:02 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Jan 18, 5:02 PM
    Hi there

    I'm in the middle of a 2 bed flat renoavation and thought I'd offer a thought or two about plannign and cost.

    You need to know beforehand what work needs doing and who is going to do what, so you can get it in the right order and save some cash. Use the report you got when you bought the house and your own survey. Unless you are employing a project manager to think this through for you, you need to know yourself. You will be employing lots of different specialists to do different jobs, all with different thoughts and opinions, some who will be helpful and some who won't. You'll need a plan. Always get more than one quote for each job. Preferably 3.

    For example, rewiring is messy and disruptive to everything and should be one of the first things to get done after making your building secure and watertight. But, you will need an idea of the kitchen layout before this gets done so you know where things like power points and lights need to go, even though it may be some time til the kitchen gets fitted.

    I'd advise looking up some project management sites online. It's not rocket science, and you sound sensible so you should be alright, just don't depend on your contractors to know or care what order things should happen in. If you have to undo work then that's an expense you don't need. You can also ask on here about quotes you've been given and whether or not they're reasonable. That's really helpful. Overall, this could cost a fortune or it could come in on budget. Depends how you go.

    Best of luck.
    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
    • szivarvanyftw
    • By szivarvanyftw 4th Jan 18, 5:24 PM
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    szivarvanyftw
    • #9
    • 4th Jan 18, 5:24 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Jan 18, 5:24 PM
    You dont pay for tasks though. You pay for someone. So whilst your paying for the tasks others things youre paying for include: Liability insurance, gaps in work, marketing, rates, vehicle expenses, their childs swimming classes etc.
    Originally posted by spadoosh
    I'm also a freelancer - don't I know that! Don't misconstrue my question. I simply don't think all those things are £6k of work - because I can most definitely fly in someone from my native country and get it done for half that at most, of course I would rather pay a local tradesman to do it as it should not be that many days of work from what I have researched. Our cabinets will come pre-assembled mostly - we can install most of them ourselves, although of course a fitter will be needed for worktops and such.

    Best of luck.
    Originally posted by ani*fan
    Thank you for your detailed post, hope your project is going well! :-)
    I used to be a PM in a past life funnily enough, so I already have a Gantt chart going with a list of tasks! Of course there may be overlap in some of them / the contractors doing them - we are trying to get a builder in who can do several bits, and so on.
    What do you think of the below order? We tried to prioritise everything so the last bits can wait several months even, if need be.

    Remove old kitchen
    Knock through kitchen wall
    Remove floors
    Rewiring - first fix
    Ensuite - structural
    Plastering
    Kitchen floor
    Rewiring - second fix
    Kitchen installation
    Bedroom floor
    En suite - fittings
    Painting - essentials
    Painting - remaining
    Floors - remaining
    • cranford
    • By cranford 4th Jan 18, 5:40 PM
    • 134 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    cranford
    Well maybe I can save you some money on the kitchen if you are going to DIY! I have done a few in the past but life has go easier for DIY. The units now come pre-assembled and the range of sizes has increased somewhat. I last used www.diy-kitchens.com who have colour matching cabinets and plinths and cornices that can save you money and a vast range. Much cheaper than the normal DIY sheds and national kitchen chains.
    • TheCyclingProgrammer
    • By TheCyclingProgrammer 4th Jan 18, 5:51 PM
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    TheCyclingProgrammer
    What makes you think it needs a complete rewire? You will almost certainly need upgrades (the consumer unit for starters) if its non-compliant and you want to have any work done that involves new circuits (especially for the kitchen) but it doesn't necessarily need a total rewire unless its severely lacking in sockets. Get an electrician in to advise. Did you get an electrics condition report when you bought it? If not it might be worth paying the £150-200 to get one.
    • orangesmartie
    • By orangesmartie 4th Jan 18, 9:10 PM
    • 329 Posts
    • 830 Thanks
    orangesmartie
    I bought a 3 bed detached house recently with my partner, and need to modernise it as it has not been touched in over 20 years. We're first time buyers and not much DIY experience in practice, although we have done some bits and bobs previously. So, thought I'd ask if you think it is reasonable to expect to be able to get the below works done for under £30k?
    • Remove old kitchen
    • Knock through kitchen wall to open up dining room - check with structural engineer if viable
    • Remove floors
    • Rewiring
    • Built in cupboard conversion to small ensuite, including moving boiler downstairs along same wall
    • Replastering everywhere
    • New floors
    • Repainting everything
    • Kitchen installation
    We've found a kitchen for around £6k that we like, but for the rest, not sure what to expect - the ranges provided online are very broad! We'd need tradesmen to do most of it - the only things we can do ourselves are laying flooring (laminate mostly everwhere except kitchen where we'd have tiles), painting, and attempting to remove parts of the old kitchen, avoiding parts where we could be electrocuted
    We're in North Oxfordshire if that helps - not London prices.
    Originally posted by szivarvanyftw

    I've just had to pretty much the same works as you've listed above and I've so far spent £30k. My house is a 1930s house and hadn't been updated since the late 40s/early 50s (judging by the newspaper under the carpet). I still have outstanding the kitchen refit (design/installation), repainting everywhere and the flooring in all of the house except the kitchen (which has already been tiled). I had to get a steel beam in for the removed wall. That didn't cost a huge amount, but add on structural engineer costs/calcs and building control inspection.

    I did all of the wallpaper stripping myself and will being doing most of the repainting myself, with family helping out with wallpapering.

    Things i learned: Builders are messy !!!!!!s and don't tidy up after themselves, nor treat my home with respect and care.

    There are always extra, unexpected costs - mine was a water pipe, where there was no water pipe marked on any plans or maps - not even at the water board, and I had to pay for them to come out and inspect it, so then we could continue with moving the toilet.

    Things will always take longer than you expect. I'm 16 weeks into a 12 week renovation.

    Don't underestimate the amount of rubbish that will be generated and how to get rid of it = be it skips, tip runs or the builders doing it.

    I got a number of quotes before I started, both for individual components of the job, and as an overall project. In the end I went with a contractor who has all the various trades working for him so that he could co-ordinate work schedules and the order in which to do things.

    I'm in South Devon, so not London prices either.
    • szivarvanyftw
    • By szivarvanyftw 5th Jan 18, 4:27 PM
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    szivarvanyftw
    What makes you think it needs a complete rewire? You will almost certainly need upgrades (the consumer unit for starters) if its non-compliant and you want to have any work done that involves new circuits (especially for the kitchen) but it doesn't necessarily need a total rewire unless its severely lacking in sockets. Get an electrician in to advise. Did you get an electrics condition report when you bought it? If not it might be worth paying the £150-200 to get one.
    Originally posted by TheCyclingProgrammer
    Hmm you do have a point. I don't know that much about electrics but a few people told us if it's this old it needs a rewire. I suppose I assumed the wiring itself degrades over time or something?
    But indeed we might not want to add sockets or extra circuits to certain rooms - are you saying that is entirely fine as long as the consumer unit is upgraded? I'm wary of electricians advising a complete rewire since it's better business for them and we clearly have no idea...

    I've just had to pretty much the same works as you've listed above and I've so far spent £30k. My house is a 1930s house and hadn't been updated since the late 40s/early 50s (judging by the newspaper under the carpet). I still have outstanding the kitchen refit (design/installation), repainting everywhere and the flooring in all of the house except the kitchen (which has already been tiled). I had to get a steel beam in for the removed wall. That didn't cost a huge amount, but add on structural engineer costs/calcs and building control inspection.

    I did all of the wallpaper stripping myself and will being doing most of the repainting myself, with family helping out with wallpapering.

    Things i learned: Builders are messy !!!!!!s and don't tidy up after themselves, nor treat my home with respect and care.

    There are always extra, unexpected costs - mine was a water pipe, where there was no water pipe marked on any plans or maps - not even at the water board, and I had to pay for them to come out and inspect it, so then we could continue with moving the toilet.

    Things will always take longer than you expect. I'm 16 weeks into a 12 week renovation.

    Don't underestimate the amount of rubbish that will be generated and how to get rid of it = be it skips, tip runs or the builders doing it.

    I got a number of quotes before I started, both for individual components of the job, and as an overall project. In the end I went with a contractor who has all the various trades working for him so that he could co-ordinate work schedules and the order in which to do things.

    I'm in South Devon, so not London prices either.
    Originally posted by orangesmartie
    Urgh. I hope we don't need to spend more becuase we literally don't have any more money.
    However, would you say we can potentially leave the kitchen as is (as that seems to be the biggest self contained investment) and do everything else first, and live with the smelly ugly old kitchen for a while longer? Worried about extra mess during kitchen fitting, in my shiny new home later on!

    Well maybe I can save you some money on the kitchen if you are going to DIY! I have done a few in the past but life has go easier for DIY. The units now come pre-assembled and the range of sizes has increased somewhat. I last used [link removed because I'm a new user] who have colour matching cabinets and plinths and cornices that can save you money and a vast range. Much cheaper than the normal DIY sheds and national kitchen chains.
    Originally posted by cranford
    I took a look at this site and they do look good! Might be tricky to get accurate estimates comparable to our quotes from elsewhere but I will use Wren's design service and then see if I can find similar cabinets for a better price on DIY kitchens. Is that sort of what you did? Without a design service I can't decide how many/what type of cabinets to get!
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 5th Jan 18, 4:39 PM
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    Doozergirl
    I wouldn’t touch Wren with a barge pole.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • orangesmartie
    • By orangesmartie 5th Jan 18, 5:41 PM
    • 329 Posts
    • 830 Thanks
    orangesmartie


    Urgh. I hope we don't need to spend more becuase we literally don't have any more money.
    However, would you say we can potentially leave the kitchen as is (as that seems to be the biggest self contained investment) and do everything else first, and live with the smelly ugly old kitchen for a while longer? Worried about extra mess during kitchen fitting, in my shiny new home later on!
    Originally posted by szivarvanyftw


    I'm in the same position of not having any more money to do the kitchen because I went over my original budget. So what I've done is removed the old kitchen (which was about 4 cupboards and a sink, in a tiny room and knocked the kitchen and dining room together, had all the electrics done and plastered, painted and floored the new big room.


    I've then been 'donated' a kitchen that my builders were removing from another job and that will be my kitchen for the next year or so while I save up for my dream kitchen. I've had all the lighting and electric points done to the plan and spec of my new kitchen, so that we don't have to go chopping into walls again. Theoretically we just need to install the new cabinets - all the pipes and electrics are there for the island etc when I'm ready.


    If the cabinets/appliances you have are still useable and you could live with it for a year or so and you're intending to keep the same lay out in your new kitchen, then yes I'd say you could leave the kitchen as is for the moment. Just get some sugar soap, or stardrops and a lot of elbow grease to give it a good clean. if you're changing he flooring/electrics in the kitchen that can be done around existing cabinetry (I think).


    It would (in my amateur opinion) be a false economy not to do electrics/plumbing/flooring in the kitchen if you're doing it everywhere else in the house. Do all of that once, and then all you have to replace in the kitchen is paint and cabinetry down the line.
    • szivarvanyftw
    • By szivarvanyftw 8th Jan 18, 1:47 PM
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    szivarvanyftw
    I wouldn’t touch Wren with a barge pole.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    That in itself isn't very helpful - what makes you say that?
    From what we've seen, they are the best combo of structure/design and value for money compared to Homebase/B&Q/IKEA and quite possibly DIY-Kitchens too based on initial calculations.

    It would (in my amateur opinion) be a false economy not to do electrics/plumbing/flooring in the kitchen if you're doing it everywhere else in the house. Do all of that once, and then all you have to replace in the kitchen is paint and cabinetry down the line.
    Originally posted by orangesmartie
    Yeah, we'd definitely do that. But might not be able to afford the actual cabinets etc - so might go a few months with just a table to prepare food, store everything else in boxes or something, and just get the cooker, dishwasher and a cheap fridge we can sell later to tide us over. That'd save us around £5k in the short term until we build up more savings!
    • lotteryman
    • By lotteryman 8th Jan 18, 2:11 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 36 Thanks
    lotteryman
    I think I read that you were not living in it whilst the work is done. That's a great plan. £30 -£40k is a lot of money. You also said you've done some basic DIY so I suggest

    1. you do all the ripping out yourself - this is often costly for grunt work and you can save a lot of money. Just be careful if taking out cookers etc. and make sure they are properly disconnected/switched off, especially if they are gas and be careful around electricity! Hire a big skip!
    2. if you buy your kitchen from one of the main DIY/kitchen places they charge a fortune for fitting so try to get an independent fitter. If you are considering a Wren kitchen do a web search first- some very unhappy customers!
    3. Your biggest problem will be getting some tradesmen to a) quote you b) turn up when they stay and c) stay on the job and not flit between jobs saying they need to get materials so I would advise you ask friends for recommendations and then pin the trades down to specifics. If you have one trades person to do all the work (they will probably sub out stuff like electrics) put together a small works contract (see https://www.niceic.com/getattachment/Contractor/Essentals/Downloads/samplecontract.pdf.aspx) so you know exactly what they are doing and what you are being charged for. Try to include everything that needs doing and not a general statement. Also try to get a job price rather than an estimate making sure that you do not have to pay for additional work they find 'needs doing' and 'wasn't quoted for' once they have started.
    4) do not make the mistake of paying up front for work. All reputable trades will have 30day accounts with suppliers and so do not need to pay in advance for supplies. If they ask for labour costs agree that you will pay them say, weekly in arrears, as the work progresses and based on you being satisfied with the work
    Last edited by lotteryman; 08-01-2018 at 2:14 PM.
    • szivarvanyftw
    • By szivarvanyftw 8th Jan 18, 4:10 PM
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    szivarvanyftw
    If you are considering a Wren kitchen do a web search first- some very unhappy customers!
    Originally posted by lotteryman
    I've found both positive and negative web comments for all major kitchen companies tbh. No guarantees anywhere - but many seemed to complain about fitters and flatpack quality, both of which won't apply in our case so I'm hopeful!

    If you have one trades person to do all the work (they will probably sub out stuff like electrics) put together a small works contract so you know exactly what they are doing and what you are being charged for. Try to include everything that needs doing and not a general statement. Also try to get a job price rather than an estimate making sure that you do not have to pay for additional work they find 'needs doing' and 'wasn't quoted for' once they have started.
    4) do not make the mistake of paying up front for work. All reputable trades will have 30day accounts with suppliers and so do not need to pay in advance for supplies. If they ask for labour costs agree that you will pay them say, weekly in arrears, as the work progresses and based on you being satisfied with the work
    Originally posted by lotteryman
    Super useful info - thank you!!
    • EmmyLou30
    • By EmmyLou30 8th Jan 18, 5:26 PM
    • 356 Posts
    • 420 Thanks
    EmmyLou30
    I too moved into a 4 bed house that needed redoing top to bottom (but without the rewiring element) and I budgeted £45-50k. Spent £25k already and still have the kitchen, bathroom, cloakroom loo and a whole heap of decorating to do! Most of it has gone on a new driveway, patio, windows, gutters etc, all the outside fabric of the house practical stuff as oposed to pretty stuff.

    Personally how I use the house isn't how I thought it would be so for rooms like the kitchen I think it's really helpful to move in and use it first before doing the most costly room in the house. Our kitchen units were so caked in grease (I'm sure the previous owners ran a takeaway or something it was that bad) we had to scrape the worst off with a paint scraper before we could even attempt to clean with a cloth. So gross. But the single fixed pane window I would have considered blocking up to get a nice run of wall units I now know I want to keep as the westerly sun that comes through it really helps light up the kitchen as long as possible. Also the dining room being north facing is a very different light to what I thought so needed a different paint colour. If you live somewhere you'll get to know how the light is in different rooms etc So I would say don't rush too much if you can help it.
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