Show Me the Money

Show Me The Money thumb

I’m never very interested in reading all the complicated stuff about other people’s building works and house renovations to be honest…what I like are the “cheap and quick ways to make your existing house beautiful and amazing” type of posts. Whether someone is moving a load bearing wall this way or that, and photos of all the rubble and dust, never seem to interest me much. I think to myself: “Ok, you clearly have £200k (I guess the amount because they never divulge it) to spend on hour house…that’s not relevant to me, I have more like £20!”

Current state of the house

Our debris-filled house. Simply fascinating.

I’m aware that I’m currently committing the very sin of blogging about expensive, big house renovations. But it’s really only because our house started off very badly laid out and there was no point trying to make something pretty, when it didn’t work very well. We bought it cheap, because nobody else wanted it, and although we’re not “rich” by UK standards we’ve found some money to do work on it (more details on that below). But what you may find interesting at this stage (before I achieve my blank canvas to start beautifying on the cheap!), is exactly how much all this building work is going to cost us. So here it is (I’ve chucked in some inspiration photos for how I’d love the house to feel in the end):

My dream home


Stuff which needed doing:
New heating system (combi boiler in new position, move stopcock) £3,625
Re-wire house (our house had outdated wiring with no earth) £4,235

Architectural technician’s drawings £450
Structural calculations and building control £2,160
Remove conservatory and patio £1,800
Build extension £49,920
Remove 1st floor walls and fit steels £2,400
Stud wall between extension bedroom and old bedroom £1,200

Cosy bedroom


Internal layout changes:
Remove wall between kitchen and diner £1,200
Remove brick cupboard in dining room £600
Remove chimney to ground level £1,800
Block up back door, change windows £1,200
Move electricity meter £460.51

Beautiful kitchen


Exterior makeover: 
New gable porch roof £1,800
New windows on existing house including chunkier sills £8,160
Paint exterior of house £840
Move parking sign £284.60
Gravel driveway to front of house £1,160

Pretty exterior


Things I’d like to have if there’s still money left:
WC work including tiling (getting a radiator in there + changing to wall-hung loo) £1,020
Sun tunnel or skylight above landing £960

Things we  might do later when we’ve saved up more money:
En suite to master bedroom £5,400
New faux chimney breast £2,400 (that’s the quote from our builder, but sounds quite steep to me…)
New gas fire £?

Things we decided not to have due to finances:
Bed 1 vaulted ceiling (would’ve looked amazing!) £2,400

Things we’re still not sure of cost-wise:
New kitchen
Fit kitchen
Kitchen appliances

Things we’re doing ourself to save money:
Fit flooring – saving £1,200
Finding our own electrician – saving £2,000
Finding our own heating engineer – saving £5,000
Soundproofing floors
Rob has a barter deal with his brother, a plasterer, to skim the house
Pulled up the old patio and kept the slabs – hopefully we can re-lay the same slabs and save us £
Sold the old kitchen, conservatory  and a bunch of other stuff which needed to be decluttered- made £541
(The buyers came and dismatled/removed the kitchen and conservatory – the builders were expecting to have to do that so hopefully we can “swap” in a couple of little jobs instead)

Tropical garden


Basically, once you add in the cost of items such as radiators, lights, extractor fans, electricity meter box etc, in total all this work to get to “blank canvas” stage is going to cost about £92k (if all goes to plan!). Even if we had the money to spend more, it wouldn’t make sense because we may end up having spent more than the house is worth. We bought the house 2 years ago for £245k (a bit of a bargain according to several people including the surveyor). Apparently it’s now probably worth about £275k just from the market rising. So £275k + £92k = £367k. So we’re hoping at the end of all this work, it won’t be worth much less than £367k.

Electrics invoice

Lastly, the other thing you may be wondering (if you’re anything like me!): “How do people afford all this?!” Well there are 4 ways:

  1. I saved up £20k by being a cheapskate
  2. My father-in-law left my husband £30k when he passed away
  3. My mother in law is incredibly kindly lending us another £30k, which we aim to pay back over 5 years
  4. We are putting some items (like the boiler and appliances) on a credit card which is interest-free for 24 months

I’m not too comfortable with the credit card but we know we can pay it off before the interest kicks in. I’m also not too comfortable with having all my savings wiped out to zero, but I’ll just have to scrimp and be cheap (who am I kidding…that’s just what I do anyway!) until I’ve saved up a little safety net again.

So there we have it – all the nitty gritty on the state of my purse strings!

Until next time x


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