Extension/ House Buying Help

Discussion in 'Taylor's Tittle-Tattle - General Banter' started by miked2006, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. miked2006

    miked2006 Premiership Prediction League Proprietor

    I’m considering buying a 1600sq ft bungalow.

    It has amazing views and overlooks Chiltern Hills AONB.

    However it was owned by an elderly person who has deceased and hasn’t kept the house in great condition.

    We currently don’t know enough about the foundations (we’d obviously do a survey), but the house is very likely to be sold quickly and we’d like to get a rough sense of how much more money will be required.

    1. Does anyone know how much a loft conversion costs? It is easy to do, and could you live in your house whilst work was being done? I’ve seen some articles saying 50-70k for a bedroom or two with one en suite, but wanted to know if this is realistic.

    2. How much does it cost to build a decent spec bathroom and kitchen?

    3. The other option would be to knock the bungalow down and build a 2.5k sq ft house (the neighbours have done this, and we’d essentially want to copy their design). This would allow us to alter the pitch of the roof and have a much bigger space. Again, does anyone know ballpark how much work like this would cost, if we were going medium-high spec?

    I’m an absolute novice at building work and there is lots of contradictory advice online, so any advice (even if just a range) would be gratefully received.
  2. The Voice of Reason

    The Voice of Reason First Team Captain

    This might sound to obvious, but why not have a chat with your potential new neighbours?
  3. wfcSinatra

    wfcSinatra Predictor Choker 14/15

    Going through the same thing now in regards to extension.

    Had few people come round, quoted ranging from £30k-£40k for a loft conversion on average. And that’s one bedroom with en-suite.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. Halfwayline

    Halfwayline Reservist

    This is a how long is a piece of string question as so much is dependent on space, quality of products etc

    would have a guess that a loft extension for a basic room and en-suite will cost circa 50-60k

    would have a guess that a rebuild on a plot that size will be nearer 450k but suggest you ask the neighbours

    If you love the area, love the views, has enough space with a loft conversion, you have enough money, can get it for a decent price and it’s your dream then buy it. You can decide to rebuild once you’ve lived there for a number of months
  5. The Voice of Reason

    The Voice of Reason First Team Captain

    All good advice Halfwayline, especially the living in a property for a few months, and I would say even a year before making final decisions on major renovations.

    Furthermore what you say about the area is a biggy too, as you can alter most things in a property, but you can't MOVE IT unless you are a Luton supporter of course, think about it :D

    Joking aside our first property was a two up two down "May Cottages" in Watford Fields, and that is what sold it to us. I don't know if you know Watford Fields, but if you do it was a mid-terrace directly looking out onto the two playing fields, hence we loved straight away and paid the full asking price.

    It was definitely more where it was than the property itself, we did the place up and lived there very happily for six years, before moving nearly 300 miles down to Plymouth in Devon for a new job.
  6. Diamond

    Diamond Squad Player

    Had a loft extension done and a 3 meter kitchen extension 2-3 years ago. Loft is fairly small and cost £40K including en-suite, and that was the cheaper end of quotes we got. I would imagine for a bungalow you get 2 bedrooms up there so up the cost by 2/3s.
    We lived in whilst the work was done and it was hard work.
    Kitchen extension cost £30K but I've done a lot of the finishing work myself saving at least £10K.

    If I did it again I'd get the loft done to a watertight condition and then do the rest myself saving tons of money. I'd also not live in whilst the major work was done such as knocking through and new staircase going in.
    iamofwfc likes this.
  7. Lloyd

    Lloyd Reservist

    It can be difficult to get planning permission to convert bungalows - particularly if the property is surrounded by other bungalows. The fact that next door has already been converted should help though. Get some professional advice. And check that the views of the Chilterns aren't about to be replaced by views of HS2!
    iamofwfc likes this.
  8. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    We’re two thirds of the way through a loft conversion and extension now, although we have a Victorian terrace and the loft already had a room of sorts. We’re having the roof opened to the back thereby extending the bedroom and building a large completely new en-suite. It’s an L-shaped double dormer essentially. Plus we’re having the stairs completely moved around and replaced.

    I think the quoted build cost is about £44k. Before that we had about £2k in architects and planning costs and since the builders started they’ve found about £2k of hidden surprises that needed fixing but only became apparent when they pulled the old fabric of the building apart. We'll still have costs to furnish and fit out the en suite (costs depends on spec, obviously) and then furnishing the bedroom itself with carpets etc. If we end up sub £50k I’ll be surprised.

    We’ve used a company that specialises in loft conversions rather than a general builder. We had a couple of other quotes. One was wildly more and the other was a couple of grand more. There was a cheaper one that offered a much more basic design.

    Worth bearing in mind as well that it all takes time. We started taking concrete steps towards doing this building work last August. We started getting quotes from companies that would do the design work too, but didn’t like their designs. So we instructed architects ourselves. Including planning approval that took until about February. Covid meant we couldn’t get our preferred builder back to requote until May and contracts weren’t signed until June. We were told work wouldn’t start until Feb/Mar 2021 but Covid meant another customer dropped out and as we’d already done all the donkey work on design/planning etc they bumped us up. Long story short - I’d say you need to have a plan for how you’ll live for 12-18 months while you fix this place up.

    Guess what our builders are starting on tomorrow...
  9. Diamond

    Diamond Squad Player

    My best ever investment was a henry hoover and 10 replacement bags. Brick/loft dust kills dysons and other fancy hoovers. That's all I can offer apart from good luck.
    iamofwfc and UEA_Hornet like this.
  10. Halfwayline

    Halfwayline Reservist

    Having done our house up here would be my top tips:

    spend money wisely. We love our hot water tap for teas but glad we declined that built in coffee machine

    On that note a bath is a bath. A sink is a sink. Don’t spend huge money on named brands but invest wisely in that shower

    if you can afford it move out whilst work is going on. It became depressing living on a building site

    whatever the suggested costs are expect it to go up...by a lot

    live in the house before doing anything. Get a feel for what you want and don’t want.

    get builder recommendation from people you trust and then ensure that everything is itemised so there are no shocks. Go see their work
    iamofwfc and Diamond like this.
  11. miked2006

    miked2006 Premiership Prediction League Proprietor

    Thanks everyone for the really helpful advice.

    If we lived in the house, we’d need to change some things straight away.

    I think we’d need to get a new kitchen and new bathrooms. We’d also prefer to convert the attic as soon as possible, as we’d prefer to sleep upstairs. We could probably do the former before we move in but as the house faces the AONB, I think we'd need planning permission for a loft conversion with dormer windows and doubt we could afford to keep renting for more than half a year to wait for planning permission and the works.

    However, to get the best use out of the house and to be most efficient long term with money, it would be better to knock it down and start again. This is what the neighbours have done. But we don’t have the budget to do that immediately.

    So we have to decide whether we’re happy living with the stress and spending our budget on a house, renovating it, only to potentially have that money wasted by knocking it down and starting again in a few years time, when we can afford it.

    How much of the value of kitchens and bathrooms are in the materials? Hypothetically, can you knock down a house, store the floors, appliances, showers etc, and then refit them into a new house?
  12. miked2006

    miked2006 Premiership Prediction League Proprietor

    Agree about the planning permission. But the neighbours conversion is pretty much identical to what we want, so they'd have to have quite the cheek to refuse what will essentially be near identical plans.

    No problem there luckily. Both because we're not that close to HS2, but also because the closest section of track to us has to tunnel underground, due to the number of wealthy residents that live there...
    Lloyd likes this.
  13. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    You can strip out and fit whatever you want into wherever you like. Obviously for appliances, especially non-integrated ones, that’s pretty easy to achieve. Things like floors (I guess you mean the tiles or whatever?) would be much harder. Plus if you go for the new build would the new rooms even be the same shape? You could drop a couple of grand or more on a quality kitchen counter top, or new carpets throughout, but if the rooms are set out differently in the new house I don’t see how they could be reused. I suppose if the new rooms were smaller you could cut to size but it would be pretty bonkers to deliberately build a new house with a smaller kitchen than possible just to reuse an old counter top!

    When did the neighbours do their thing? If it was a few years ago it’s potentially possible a new local plan could have passed in the meantime and closed the door on future such convertions.
  14. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    Does permitted development not now make things potentially a lot easier? Obviously there are number of restrictions, but can’t you essentially now add an extra story to your house without actual planning permission?
  15. Relegation Certs

    Relegation Certs Squad Player

    So it'll cost £450k to knock down and rebuild and that will take you a few years to save for.

    I've never felt poorer.
  16. Ybotcoombes

    Ybotcoombes Reservist

    We had a house built a few years ago and knew nothing about building works or how to deal with different trades , having a house built was fun , dealing with builders , plumbers , electrician and roofers was a nightmare.

    my best advice would be read as much as you can in advance and seek help from any friends that understand this area
  17. miked2006

    miked2006 Premiership Prediction League Proprietor

    House came on the market on Friday. Despite telling the estate agent to keep me updated, he didn’t tell me that it was sold at full market price on Friday afternoon to a cash buyer, with no survey required.

    Pretty annoyed as I’ve spent a significant portion of the weekend trying to decide what’s feasible, and it sounds like it was sold to his developer mate. Oh well.
  18. Diamond

    Diamond Squad Player

    Never a truer line written. I've found tilers to be particularly c**tish.
    wfcmoog likes this.
  19. The Voice of Reason

    The Voice of Reason First Team Captain

    Sorry you missed out mate, get in quick next time, you can always pull out if you change your mind ;)
  20. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    You're like the harbinger of doom you are. Hand on heart my next job to do after the builders break through and get the stairs sorted is to line up tilers to come round to quote for the en suite. FFS.
    miked2006 and Diamond like this.
  21. Diamond

    Diamond Squad Player

    Sorry UEA!
    My issue is that in the past I've tried to get trades people in last minute meaning you get the ones who are available. These are the ones that do the bad jobs and are unreliable. I've now started looking months ahead for work to be done and have some great people I use, especially my plasterer who is awesome.

    Regarding the tilers, I couldn't get one in for months so simply did the job myself. Now I know how easy tiling is I won't use one again. Save yourself some money and buy a decent tile cutting machine.
    iamofwfc and Otter like this.
  22. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Fecking pleb! A sink belongs in a kitchen (or lab) and a basin in the khazi/bathroom.

    A Dad was a plumber: shower you spend as more than you can afford on the mixer/supply (Pump? Pressurized/closed water system? Extremely durable unit) and, if going the separate stall route, the toughest/heaviest resin/ceramic tray you can find with the most expensive cubicle/door you can find - they pay for themselves in the long run.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
  23. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    This +1. It's all about preparation and having the correct tools - you can hire professional standard tile cutters.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
  24. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    If he's in an AONB, permitted development doesn't apply
    UEA_Hornet likes this.
  25. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    This happens all the time. My parents only bought the house I grew up in because they bumped into the seller in Ricky who was surprised to be told that it was "sold."

    I also lost out on buying my first flat much earlier than I eventually did get on the ladder, because the agent accepted a lower offer than I had made. I bet the seller never knew about my higher offer.
  26. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    Good point

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