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Unread 21 Jan 20, 04:26 PM  
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Glad it worked out for you in the end Catherinesian and sorry to hear you've had such problems Fluzz. Reliabiity of tradesmen does seem to be a reoccurring problem.

We have a builder in mind, local company, has done great work for friends. They'd be our 1st go to.

Thanks for all the input so far. We have a 2nd viewing booked for Saturday.
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Unread 21 Jan 20, 06:26 PM  
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We have bought "project houses" twice now.

I totally agree with the "it will cost more than you think" warning.

First house we bought. Spent about 90k on renovations / extension and a lot of our own time and effort. And we basically got our money back when it was sold 3 years later. Problem was a combination of overpaying originally (not expecting it to cost as much as it did to do the work) and also doing work to a higher standard than we should have done. We were going to stay for 10ish years and renovated it that way. Instead we stayed for 3. Had we done nothing to the house we probably would have made 50-60k profit.

But, lessons learned. The next time round we knew what we were letting ourselves in for, but the problem is sellers had no clue. So they would look down their road, see a similar sized house sell for say 400k, then say, well ours needs a bit of work, so maybe 380k.

Problem would be the house might need full redecoration, new carpets, new boiler, new bathroom, new kitchen and new windows (to bring it to the standard of that 400k house). But that 20k discount they had in their head was never enough. Took ages to find somewhere that ticked the boxes and had a sensible price. Though even now i think we overpaid a little still - though this house is probably the next 20 years so that is ok.

I am glad we did it, but wow it was tough both times.
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Unread 21 Jan 20, 09:27 PM  
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Proud to wear my Ears
Join Date: Aug 18
Location: Devon
we bought a renovation project as we had so little choice in our very small desired location. I 100% agree with the previous posters and reiterate -
- it WILL cost A LOT more than estimated
- it WILL give you an immense amount of stress and discomfort, and drive you to the edge

Would I do it again? I would really rather not but some times you have to. I would say though that if you are to do it, do it with some spare money in the bank (not all borrowed sorry) and be brutally honest with yourself about whether you can cope with the stress (including relationship stress), dirt and cold.

Don't want to be overly negative, its just that it very nearly sent me into a deep depression and i would consider myself a 'coper'.
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Unread 22 Jan 20, 08:28 AM  
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Originally Posted by magickate View Post
We have a viewing booked on Thursday, our house isn't even on the market yet but valuer is also booked.
We currently live in a 3 bed terraced bought as a new build 7 years ago. It's a bit too small for us now & although it's a nice area it's a trek to the kids schools.

The house we're going to view is bigger but only a 2 bed. It has a conservatory we would want to take down and have a 2 story extension built in its place. Does anyone have experience of requesting planning permission?

It needs a lot of other work too. New bathroom & modernising throughout. It has a weird area on the side we would also want to develop into a proper utility although that's not priority. But it's in the right area and is the right price, once all the work is done it would be the perfect house for us.

Are we mad to consider moving from a nice 3 bed to a run down 2 bed. We have no trade skills ourselves so would be relying on professionals for everything other than cosmetic stuff. We can manage flooring & tiling ourselves too but the thought of living in chaos for the next 18months is scary.

Price wise we'd need a home improvement loan but we can manage the repayments as the house in 50k less than our current one. Are loans like these quite easy to get?
Hi, we have just done this! Luckily no kids still at home so that is one issue out the way (even when visiting the grown up ones have moaned though) Dh is a competent diyer but the stuff is beyond his knowledge, desire or free time! However the views each morning, the air, the wildlife in my garden have made it worth it. I have been lucky that I have been enjoying it all as I got to give up work, while DH has a much much longer commute and at the moment is only seeing the daylight in the house at the weekends!

Have a look at my threads Novice House Renovators. Things haven't always waited for us to make a decision on them before breaking. Getting quotes and finding good tradesmen who can do the work is hard too. Think how you would live there while work was being done. That was one of the things we liked about this house, as we can shut off the area where the building work will happen, move over when it is done and shut off that area. But bathrooms, skirtings, doors etc we will still have to cope with! Age wise, it has also come as a shock to us, we had always lived in modern new builds all dry lined and this house is almost 50 years old and everything is solid plaster. We have no pictures up yet as walls laugh at picture hooks

Planning etc, we were lucky as a friends husband is an architectural technician so he is doing that for us and even his regular rates are cheaper than an architect company. However we have discovered that a lot of builders will have people they know or can do the paper stuff themselves. Might be worth trying to get some builder recommendations first to see if it fits in your budget/can be done. I also believe you can apply for pre planning these days to get an idea if it will get planning in the first place.

Good luck and let us know how you get on x
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Unread 22 Jan 20, 02:10 PM  
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One word of advice. Planning is a game and only one side know the rules.
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Unread 22 Jan 20, 02:56 PM  
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All depends on where you live, we were looking at a single storey extension 4m x 5 m, porch, new windows ,rewire, chimney removed and kitchen /diner opened up and heating and was coming in at 120,000.
The extension and porch went but had the kitchen diner knocked into one and the rest, it looks lovely but the builder who was recommended was good to a point, didn't like that we wouldn't use the kitchen company he recommended which then delayed the project.
If I was you have a look at DIY kitchens ( ours was half price compared to builders )
Also get your own windows etc.
Make sure you have a really good/tight contract and have in it the final payment will not be paid until snagging etc is complete
Also make sure you state that any materials you will need i.e radiators etc you need you are told about at least a week in advance, we found ours was like we need this and that tomorrow.
Don't believe the project manager/builder will stop the stress getting to you, we did move out but now I wish I had stayed on my own with a microwave just to keep an eye on the progress.
Don't be too nice to them either ( sorry if there are builders on here ) but I think if you make them tea and maybe a bacon sandwich they see this as you being a pushover, I spoke to a mate who used to be in that line of work and said the people who question everything and are willing to say that's not good enough, I'm not going to pay until it is rectified get a better job done than the nice people
Good luck
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