Cost of Renovating a 2-Bed Terraced House??

I realise this question is a bit like asking how long a piece of string is!
I've seen a terraced house for sale on an estate agents website in an area I'd like to live in (North of England). According to the estate agent the house needs "extensive internal modernisation" as it hasn't been lived in in about 8/10 years.
It has 2 bedrooms, 2 living rooms, kitchen and a bathroom. BTW, it *hasn't* been vandalised or in a fire (nothing that serious), it's just been vacant. The houses on either side of it appear to be lived in and in good condition.
I haven't gone to see the house yet, but I'd guess it will need re-wired, plumbed, central heating, double-glazing (it currently has single glazing), complete redecoration, new bathroom suite and new kitchen units. As well as tiling in the kitchen/bathroom.
If I wanted to get a builder in to have this done to a "regular" or "basic" standard (nothing fancy), what do you think it might cost? Do you think I could maybe get it done for £15,000 - or am I in the wrong price range altogether!?
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On 29 Nov 2003 08:37:02 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@postmaster.co.uk (Melanie19) wrote:

A fixer-upper.... :-)

The real issue is going to be whether the property is structurally sound or not - in other words whether the foundations, timbers, walls and roof are in good condition. They could be, but may not be - for example, the house may have been neglected for a lot longer than 8-10 years. The only way to determine that is to have a proper structural survey done - not just the valuation survey for the mortgage lender. The latter is only looking to see that there is enough residual value in the property should they need to sell it if you default on payments. This survey is going to cost a few hundred pounds; but it would unwise to proceed with a purchase without it. There may be remedial work which would cost tens of thousands to resolve, yet not be superficially obvious.

Of the above, if rewiring is needed, it has to be done for safety reasons, so should be first priority along with anything structural. Depending on what you wanted, cost around £2-3k. Central heating is not a must have, at least immediately, but budget £3k or so.
Double glazing is not mandatory unless the windows are in a very poor state of repair. If this is an older place with wooden sash windows, it is relatively easy to repair them unless they are very badly rotted.
New bathroom suite including fitting probably starts at around £1500-2000. FOr a kitchen starting at £2-3k is perhaps realistic.
Redecorating is cheap in terms of materials but time consuming.
Any of the above jobs that you can do yourself or get help to do, will save you a lot of money - for most of them the labour cost is more than the materials.

It really does depend. The area and amount of work around will have a big influence on labour costs.
If there is nothing structurally wrong and you can do some of the work then you might get close to your £15k figure, but there is a lot of guesswork in this. If there is substantial structural work, then probably not.
You really need to get a survey and several estimates to know for sure, and then do the sums.
The other thing to consider is the reason for buying the place. If you are looking for a shortish term financial gain, then you need to do the arithmetic carefully. However, if the issue is to get onto the property ladder and funds are limited, so this represents a low entry point then that can be OK as well as long as you are careful. For example, some of the things that you list could be done over a period of time as funds become available. To some extent you could even spend more money over time in total than you would spend today on a fully fixed up place. In effect, you would be spreading the purchase cost and taking a level of risk on property values increasing over time. That is true in the long term, but we are probably near the top of the market now, so it would be unwise to go too far on this track.....
.andy
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Andy Hall wrote:

3 years ago the 2 bedroom flat next door was refurbished from a similar state, at a cost of 16K. This was on the cheap as well, Wickes DG, budget kitchen units and bath suite for instance. The CH boiler was a piece of work as well, rotted out the heat exchanger after 2 years...
They bought the place at auction for 33K, spent 16K on it and sold it for 78K, not a bad 3 weeks work.
Lee
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To reply use lee.blaver and ntlworld.com


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(Melanie19)

If this is your first go at this, suggest doing things in the order of essentialness since costs tend to increase and increase, and leaving the non essentials means you can either leave them or do cheap bodges on them if you run out of cash. That does happen.

yes, ofen theyre not.
? - in other words whether the foundations, timbers, walls

yup - when a property is left empty for years theres a reason for it. It probably became intolerable to anyone at all 10 years ago.

most of these are not needs. Wise to get realistic on this. Double glazing I would suggest doing some reading on before even deciding on it.

If youre into DIY you can save money on the wiring by routing all the wires yourself, the electrician just does the rest. Nice used 1930s bathroom suites are cheap, etc etc.

yup, its ilke a small mortgage, interest free, you just pay by putting up with whatevers there for a while.
Regards, NT
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(Melanie19)

One thing you may have missed which might save you heaps of money, is the fact that properties which have been abandoned/not lived in for "OVER 10 years" are eligible for claiming the VAT back on, its a complicated process done at the end of the refurbishment, I'm nearly sure it doesn't involve the "Labour" element of the refurbishment either, but one worth exploring non the less.
I'm sure some one here might be able to help you further, or give you pointers of where to look. -- Big Al - The Peoples Pal
<SNIP>
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On Mon, 1 Dec 2003 01:32:49 -0000, Big Al - The Peoples Pal wrote:

Yep. See definition in paragraph 7.1 http://www.hmce.gov.uk/forms/notices/719.htm Does include the labour if you are paying a builder, doesn't include professional fees. Paragraph 9.2
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Thanks for all above info! I would be buying to simply get on the property ladder. The house is in an area I like, so I could see myself living there for many years. The thing that caught my attention about this house was the fact that it was a house I can actually afford! It's not often I see one of those!
It's also really convenient to everything, so, as long as it's Ok structurally it's really my only realistic chance of buying a place in an area I like.
If I get a surveyor in, is there anything I should ask the surveyor in order to choose one? Should I ensure they are a member of some surveying organisation?
Do I simply look under the heading "surveyors" in Yellow Pages to find one, or do builders or estate agents do structural surveys?
Thanks!
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Your mortguage company will arrange a survey, you just pay.
Rick
On 30 Nov 2003 05:38:59 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@postmaster.co.uk (Melanie19) wrote:

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On 30 Nov 2003 05:38:59 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@postmaster.co.uk (Melanie19) wrote:

You're very welcome. I rather suspected that you were a first time buyer looking to get onto the property ladder, hence the points related to that.

There are a few approaches:
- Talk to your favoured mortgage lender(s) and explain the situation. Ask them who they use for valuation surveys. Then approach that surveyor and again explaining the situation, ask them to quote you for a full structural survey. You *may* be able to get a better price for the full report if the surveyor does it at the same time as the valuation survey - I am not certain on this, but you could ask.
- Identify a surveyor on local recommendation if you can. Obviously don't pick one at the selling estate agent.
- Yellow Pages or equivalent. In www.yell.co.uk they are under Surveyors and Valuers.
You are looking for a chartered surveyor.
One approach that you could take would be to go for the valuation survey only, then if that doesn't turn up anything horrendous and you want to proceed, go for the full survey.
.andy
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"Melanie19" wrote | It's also really convenient to everything, so, as long as it's Ok | structurally it's really my only realistic chance of buying a place | in an area I like. | If I get a surveyor in, is there anything I should ask the surveyor | in order to choose one? Should I ensure they are a member of some | surveying organisation? | Do I simply look under the heading "surveyors" in Yellow Pages to find | one, or do builders or estate agents do structural surveys?
You need a 'structural engineer' and that is the category they are listed under in YP, next to structural steelwork (and I hope you never need any of that!). There is also a Find a Struct Engineer link on www.istructe.org.uk but it's a paid advertising service so lots of engineers aren't on it.
It will cost rather more than a 'simple' structural survey but you can ask the struct eng to prepare specification and drawings for remedial work required. You will need these anyway if you go ahead, to get Building Regulations approval, but they will also enable you to ask builders to quote for the works and the quotes will all be for the same work, ie more comparable. It also shows the builders you are serious about getting the work done, so they may be more willing to quote, and serious about getting the work done properly so they should be less likely to quote for a skimped job or unneccessary work.
Owain
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On 29 Nov 2003 08:37:02 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@postmaster.co.uk (Melanie19) wrote:

I'd spend the money to go have a look or get someone independant to the agents to survey it first.
Mine similar house is structurally sound but needs the same sort of work doing except I have no budget so am doing it myself (slowly).
Current houses for sale on the same estate are around £60,000 so considering I paid £20,000 there's some "profit" in it eventually. :-)
Mark S.
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The cost of a two bed house in "northern england" varies somewhat, in parts of South Manchester 100K is typical, but in say longsight or further north in blackburn burnley 10-15k is more typical.
For a 100K house, 15K for kitchen, bathroom, re-wire, central heating and decorate for me to do it as a DIY job would be fine, and I would get my money back when I sold. 15K on a 10-15K house is probably a complte waste, unless you have an urge to live in that particualr house for some years.
I would do two things if I was you 1) get the house valued by an estate agent, and then knock 10% off what s/he says. This values the house 2) ask a builder to estimate for the things you want done
You can now work out the economics of the situation.
Rick
On 29 Nov 2003 08:37:02 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@postmaster.co.uk (Melanie19) wrote:

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On 29 Nov 2003 08:37:02 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@postmaster.co.uk (Melanie19) wrote:

Bit cheeky, but what's the asking price? It sounds like an exciting project. I've seen photos of some of the housing in the North, where I think it's a crying shame that so many good, solid properties are either empty or vandalised and practically worthless. Just evidence for me that the current and past governments do not have a clue about how to restore some kind of balance between north and south.
I reckon rewiring should cost around £1,500. Plumbing and heating I have no idea about. Don't do a Colin and Justin and try and put necklaces on a pig. Just restore it to comfortable "liveability" and enjoy!
MM
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