My First Renovation!


I live in the UK and plan to move to a village near Bedford (50 k from london) called Willington.
The house I am trying to buy was built in 1867 and I am looking to extend it. It needs everything doing:
New Electrics New Plumbing Bathroom putting upstairs New Kitchen Extension etc etc
Does anybody have a basic plan of the steps to work through and ideas on what to tackle 1st?
Thanks Ben
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in general frequently a building needing that much work:(
NOT TO DISCOURAGE YOU BUT ITS PROBABLY CHEAPER TO BUY SOMETHING BRAND NEW
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Greetings ! Sound like you plan to live in it from the start (?). Someone I know gave me this order of battle - this is for a house that is in very bad shape. The more strucutral stuff is listed first because if it's needing repair, that repair should come before the other.
1. Structural (foundation, sill, floor joists) - if sig problems exist fix them before you move in !
2. Roof/gutters - if they're really bad. I saw a house once where the owner, instead of fixing the roof, has fastened a giant tarp to the walls that funneled the rainwater coming thru the ceiling down into a 5 gallon bucket.
3. Framing, subfloor, fix termite damage, etc
4. Mechanicals (Electrical, plumbing, HVAC) - these can be run now that the framing is done.
5. Make available the equivalent of a working efficiency apartment - get your kitchen, a bath, and a bedroom/den all working properly so you have a functional place to live. This will also prevent divorce.
6. Move in
7. Finish the rest - paint, trim, carpet, tile, etc - at your leisure.
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if the hoime is truly terrible living in a small mobile home or travel trailer on site till its livable will make life MUCH easier for you while providing building security. often vacant homes are set on fire......
do you have enough bucks to pull this off and the time to manage or do the work yourself.
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Buy a house in better shape, trust me!
Benny Boy wrote:

In the worst case, this will involve the removal of parts of your plaster/lathe walls (assuming that is what you have) in order to do new runs. Making those areas look new again will not be easy for an amateur. It will look like crap when you are done, trust me, and you will regret it, unless you are a pro at this, which i doubt.
You will also have to install a new breaker box along with all the romex. You are better off just having a professional do this one or you'll end up frying yourself during the job or after at some point where you screw it up.
Also, don't forget GFCI outlets if you do this route, wherever there is water around and for outside outlets.

This involves removing floor sections so you'll have to replace the whole floor most likely in those rooms, plus removing some wall sections most likely to get at the old plumbing. Expect a very nasty, dirty job that you really won't enjoy at all. You'll also spend lots of time under your house. Does it have a nice crawl space, or will you be crawling in wet mud, unable to even crawl? I'm guessing #2.

Same as new plumbing above, but harder. Do you have any idea what this involves, and do you have any plumbing skills at all? If not, get a pro or you will introduce leaks that will destroy your ceiling below the bathroom and worse.

By myself, took me many months to redo a kitchen by hand, because I had a day job and we were living in the house at the time. Do it in sections, starting with the parts you can live without. This is a really, really hard job and cabinets are heavy and hard to handle alone. Plus, you will need to re-do electric, plumbing, do flooring, wall work, etc... Not for the faint of heart if you have no skills in this area.

Adding an extension will almost never look the same as the rest of the house unless you are a pro at it, and even then it might not match. For the price of everything you are talking about, you could get a much better house up front and spend the time working extra hours to earn more money, or just relax or do basic home maintenance, which is what it sounds like you should be doing. DO NOT BUY THIS HOUSE!
Most importantly, have you done a home inspection? What if the foundation has problems, or you need a new roof right away, or your water heater and furnace are about to go, etc... Also, you will have lead paint, maybe asbestos if it was added later. These are all big expenses. In addition, have you priced what it costs to add a new bathroom, an extension, a new kitchen, new plumbing, new electrics? This will be very, very expensive and could easily end up being half the price of the house or more, especially if there are home inspection problems that are severe. Is it worth it? Can you afford it? Do you have nothing but free time? Because it will take you years to do all of those things, by yourself, if you have a day job.

Basic plan: get a better house that requires less work, or burn this one down 'accidentally' after you have some insurance, and start over with a fresh house.
Seriously, don't buy this house. Start with a simpler one (less problems) and work up to one like this, so you can better understand what you are about to do to yourself.
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Bob wrote:

That's your advice? After sitting down and thinking about how to respond, and knowing absolutely _nothing_ about the property, the house or how much the house is selling for, you tell him to burn it down. Riiiiiiiiiiight.
The OP has certainly chosen a big project to start, and may very well be in over his head, but you have no idea about any of the details necessary to make such a decision. Not even enough details to make a poorly informed decision.
To the OP, you have chosen a big project to start, and may very well be in over your head. You have one major advantage over people reading your short post. You've seen the place and you know the economics of your area. It is impossible to make up a game plan on how to tackle all of the work to be done without seeing the place. Hire someone straightaway to inspect the house, if you haven't already, and milk them for all the information you can. You will have to hire people for a fair bit of the work, either as required by law/licensing or due to your desire to complete the project within your lifetime. I would start with a retired contractor, friend of the family or what have you, to at least get your feet wet and let you know where you need to get some experts in.
As already posted, take care of the structural work first. Making sure the place is weathertight may be even more important, but can't tell without looking.
The major caveat with such projects is that optimism has _no_ place in the budget. Things will take longer and cost more than you anticipated. Plan accordingly.
R
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RicodJour wrote:

Actually, I told him several points that would be involved with each of the remodels he is planning, but my biggest advice I told him several times was not to buy it, and to get it inspected if he is going to. This is his first renovation, and those are all very advanced things to do. Burning the house down was a 'joke', which you obviously missed. Not to mention, I have undertaken many of those renovations in the past, and even with help they are hard if going the DIY route, especially on an old house. If he does it himself, just with a book, it will either burn down itself from an electrical mistake or flood from a poorly installed pipe. But once again, I assume! I also don't know what etc, etc was in his post. Could be: raise and level the foundation, fix the moisture problem in the crawlspace and walls, or replace the badly leaking roof, or some other fun problem like that.
For what all of this would cost, he should be able to buy a much nicer house, enjoy it, live a normal life, have a happy marriage if he is married. He won't make money on this house if this is his goal anyway, and if his goal is just to renovate and he has loads of cash, then it isn't much for him to be proud of, because he isn't doing squat other than spending money. And most wives don't like to live in homes undergoing major renovations, so you'd better have somewhere clean she can live if you want to keep her, I assume.
What I would suggest is that he get a house that just needs a kitchen remodel and a few other minor items, and start with that. A starter home is much better for your first renovation than this house.
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