We knew the back of the envelope cost to get the house in good shape was £50,000. We really wanted to make the figure bend to £35,000 so we could afford an extension right away, but try as we might we couldn't cut enough corners and still make the house what we wanted long term. So we decided to make the house nice and enjoyable now, and work towards an extension in the (hopefully near) future.
As of tonight, we're over our original budget by £11K+. The main reason is that we decided to covert the loft, which was almost an £8K addition.
The things that caused us the most pain were:
1. Costs of clearing the house: £1605 spent where we foolishly hadn't budgeted anything! It was an oversight. The 31 trips to the dump and counting make a little more sense now. We're working on clearing the garage (again) and I spent a fair whack of time posting freebies on gumtree and freecycle. (And selling items for one pence on ebay.)
2. Joiner Materials: We knew there would be material costs but we didn't specifically budget anything for them. Uh, £3K over budget error.
3. Plumber: £2K more than we anticipated. Our estimate was based on what it cost to get a new boiler in Cardiff. Note to self: Getting a gas line dug, central heating installed, plumbing laid for a new WC, replacing downpipes and rerouting existing pipework is pricey.
4. Flooring: £1K overspend. Part of that (£350) is because of the loft carpet. Another chunk is because we decided to floor the entire kitchen in bamboo rather than sanding back the existing floorboards on one portion and somehow covering the cement in the smaller area. Also, we made the last minute decision yesterday to spend an extra £150 to get the stair treads professionally sanded. (After 20 hours of belt and palm sanding, we gave in and called in the industrial machines.)
A few other mis-steps were on the painting/decorating (£800 overspend-despite getting the actual paint for an excellent price) and garden (£400). The garden was a deliberate choice, since we decided to go ahead and get the lawn laid. We thought we would do more of the painting/decorating ourselves, but were not able to manage due to work commitments and two very adorable children that deserve more attention.
A few pieces of good news though. Rather than paying a damp specialist to treat only the dry rot, we used that portion of the budget to have the joiners do the same treatment plan, plus do all the other work in the house. (New skirting, facings, sheeting the ceilings, built-in bookshelves and wardrobes, kitchen fitting, laying the kitchen floor, putting in plasterboard walls and a whole host of other things.) The joiners we used were expensive, but I would use them again in a heartbeat.
Getting used kitchen units, range cooker and extractor hood and finding a specialist granite cutter that could source excess pieces saved us £1,000 on the kitchen. There are still a few things we need to do to finish it off, but I think we're in good shape.
Also, the roof ended up not being in as bad of shape as we thought. Even with the £1,000 surprise cost of vents, we came in below what we planned. Putting in new gutters and downpipes was not as dear as we originally anticipated.
As if that wasn't enough information, here is the breakdown. (Did I mention I love Excel and have almost been pedantic about recording costs?)
I'll do an update soon on the specifics on the work this week. Particularly on all the help we've received. The Young Women from church came and helped clean last night. Jennifer (a friend) was up at the house with me until 11PM last night varnishing the floors and her mom stayed at our house while the girls slept. We're so close!