What order shall I renovate in?

16 Jul 2017
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United Kingdom
Hi all,

I'm a first time buyer, having just bought, and now moved into an old Victorian terrace in London. It's very dated and needs lots of work.

The main areas in need of renovation are;

- New electrics
- Damp proofing and getting rid of current damp
- New carpets and floors
- Strip wallpaper / paint new walls
- New kitchen
- Removal of cupboard in kitchen that has asbestos
- New bathroom
- Paint outside of house
- New gate
- Renovate porch area

I should also say that we have our first child on the way in February, so some things will take a different priority - i.e. Sorting out the baby's bedroom before others!

We have the rewiring booked in for next week.

I'm wondering what's the most practical order to do it all?

Given that the electricians are going to make a bit of a mess of the walls and ceilings, would it be logical to have the damp proof people do their work straight after? Given that the walls and floors may already be exposed?

We're in a predicament over the kitchen too. We need the cupboard unit removed but that'll leave us without a sink. But we'll need a new kitchen floor and walls anyway, so should that be done after removing the units, and before the new suite is fitted? Could that be weeks / months without a kitchen effectively?

Any help most welcome as we're working it all out but feel a little time pressured with the baby's arrival.

Many thanks!
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How bad is the damp? Enough to have all walls replastered?
Could you organise damp/Sparks/plaster?

You could rig up a temporary kitchen sink

Try not to be without a bathroom and kitchen at the same time

Do the outside last, even if it means waiting for the weather
A new floor in the kitchen could be laid after the units are fitted (but the flooring would then end just behind the kickboards). Also kitchen splashbacks could be tiled after the units are in, and walls could be painted afterwards as well. However, before fitting kitchen units you should sort out any damp problems and make good the plaster (which might take a while to dry out)
Thank you both. Sounds like the damp is the priority then. Hoping to get that done shortly.

It's in the kitchen/downstairs bathroom and a little in the corner of the reception room. But I imagine the whole house will need replastering after the electrics, right?
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Depends on the plaster condition.

Best case is repairs to some areas, particularly where the damp was, plus electrical chases, then skim to finish level with the original finish

Consider getting everything skimmed as the finish will be great compared to patched up old plaster
That's good to know, thanks. I'm expecting the worst (whole house replaster!) so anything less is a bonus.

How much should I expect to pay for such work? It's a small two bedroom terrace. I'm imagining, if it was full scale plastering, to expect to pay around the £3000/£4000 mark? Probs as vague as how long's a piece of string...
First thing is making the house dry i.e. solving the damp issue (its probably a bad gutter etc) making sure the roof is ok, checking windows, guttering.
Then the rewire and replumb as they will probably take up floorboards and make a mess of the walls.
Poking around can uncover other issues. e.g. my rewire uncovered woodworm which meant replacing some floorboards, as when they prised them up some crumbled.
An old house can be like pulling the thread on a jumper...

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