How do you work out your budget if you’re about to tackle a renovation ? A question quite a few people have asked and its a tricky one to answer but I’ll try and give you some thoughts based on our experience.
Naturally you want to buy your house at the right price, our house went to sealed bids and had so much demand for viewings the estate agent had taken it off the market after one week. So when we were looking to put in an offer that we hoped would be ‘the one’ we took the advice of the estate agent who was selling our (former) home and we went in nearly £17,650 over the original asking price. That might sound alot but we knew that with so many people viewing the house and the fact that it was sensibly priced in the first place we’d have to go some way over to have any chance of our offer being considered. There were also alot of Developers looking at the house, we suspected with the intention of knocking it down and developing the land.
Removals – We had quotes from four removal firms and ended up going with a cheaper option, via a recommendation from a friend. This cost us £1015 but all the other quotes were probably 3 x this amount.
We paid for a full survey, knowing the house was in need of renovation and this was definitely a worthy investment. In terms of surveys you can expect to pay:
- Homebuyers Report £525 plus VAT
- Main Elements £700 plus VAT
- Building Survey £900 plus VAT.
We chose the latter. A mortgage valuation is for the benefit of a mortgage lender, a building survey is for your benefit. Buying a tired, older property we didn’t want any surprises about what we were about to get in to and I highly recommend you pay for one if you are looking at older properties too, particularly if the apparent property condition is poor. Building surveys give a detailed description of visible defects and potential problems caused by hidden flaws. Our survey was incredibly invaluable, it highlighted a number of areas which we were then able to discuss with the property vendors before completion, this ranged from minor issues such as wasps nests in the attic (which we requested the vendor had removed for free via the council), lead water pipes and potential repairs to the roof.
Right, I appreciate this varies from architect to architect but you can expect to pay for a number of things – some of which you may choose to do yourself. From the measured survey and survey drawings to design drawings to submitting planning fees to the council, there is a lot that the architect can guide you on (and you have to pay for). We met with a couple of Architects before choosing ours.
Householder planning application in respect of works to an existing dwelling – £172
Lawful development certificate application for proposed works – £86
Measured survey of existing building – Expect to pay around £600 to £800 + VAT
Detailed design drawings – will depend on the size of your property but I would budget £850 + VAT minimum
You will then need to anticipate that your architect will spend time preparing the planning application so will most likely charge an hourly rate for this task, ball park £75 to £100 per hours work.
If you then use the Architect to manage the contracts for the project, costs will vary depending upon the complexity of the project but as a midpoint you can expect to pay approx. 10% of the build cost on top. We’re not doing this and are managing it ourselves.
The Renovation Budget – Estimating Construction Costs
Now this really will depend upon your property, the type of condition its in and to some extent the region you live in and finally, the level of spec you desire, so take these figures as a very rough guide.
- Bathrooms – £2,500 to £4,500
- Doors & Windows – £20,000+ but totally depends on how many windows and the style of door / windows you are considering this will vary dramatically. We are have a large sliding (6m) and bifold door (2.5m), two large lanterns (4mx2m) plus have alot of windows to replace.
- Electrical Works – £8,000
- New central heating system, new boiler, new radiators – £8,000 to £10,000
- Plastering and making good – totally dependent on the number of rooms you need plastered but we’re budgeting for £2,000 to £2,500 for this
- Drainage works – £10,000 to £13,000
- Roof works – £15,000 to £25,000
- Scaffolding – £1,000 to £2,000
- Extension – Will totally depend upon the square meterage you are extending and how deep the foundations will need to be but anywhere between £30,000 and £75,000 – approx.
- Build of new oak porch – £4,000
- Asbestos survey – £600
- Roof and Wall Insulation – £2000 – grants are available for insulation so do look into this.
- Kitchen – With a huge choice and range on the market – between £7,500 to £45,000
We really didn’t want to leave our lighting to the end of the renovation process and be left with a few spotlights and a couple of lamps. After a recommendation from an interior designer we went and met with Brightbox Lighting for a consultation. They gave us tons of advice and we received a lighting schedule and their recommended lighting products, however these are VERY high-spec and we could have blown our budget on the lighting. We scaled the products back to mid-range but kept their ideas and design on the lighting layout. In total we’re spending £1382 on the lighting design – not any of the lighting products, that’s an additional cost.
So what are the other costs we’re looking at ? We want a couple of feature walls in the new kitchen and extension area covered in brick slips (also known as brick veneers). Brick slips vary hugely in cost from £35 to £80 per square meter. Originally I really liked some called ‘reclamation shire blend‘ but these proved too costly for us so we’re currently looking at samples from other brick suppliers and choosing an alternative.
We also need to move out for 4 weeks whilst the builders take the ceilings down, they are doing this to undertake the electrical work and trying to live on site whilst this is happening wouldn’t make any sense for them or for our sanity. Having originally thought it would only be for two weeks, moving out for longer means other messier jobs can also be done at this time. Our accommodation budget is £500 a week but again accommodation costs really vary.
I can’t really put a price on this, if you want wallpaper or fancy paint it’ll all impact your budget, plus in our case we’re having to carpet the entire upstairs, whilst add herringbone flooring to nearly the entire downstairs. So here we’ve looked at the square meterage for each area and indicative costs to work out ballpark prices.
Our biggest tip that has taken much of the stress out of the actual process has been the level of planning put in to the project prior to it starting. Every single room has been planned with an overall schedule of works prepared. This lists in depth detail of every thing that needed to happen to that room. This provided us with very clear indicative costs. Our builder has this document and it enabled him to quote as accurately as he could, although you should still expect to see some PS (Provisional Sums) on your quote .
By planning this week we chose to break our project down in to two phases, all the works that the builder will be doing is phase one and all the stuff that for budgeting purposes we’ve decided to do ourselves will be in phase two (post April). We knew exactly what we are getting in to before any work started and importantly we feel comfortable with the invoices we receive as they shouldn’t contain any surprises.