House modernisation – hints and tips please

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  • House modernisation – hints and tips please
  • trail_rat
    Member

    plan

    Structure

    electrics

    plumbing

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Do it in chunks eg one room at a time as otherwise you’ll find yourself living in a building site for years…

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Other tips – you can skim over old plaster and get a ‘new’ wall or ceiling for a lot less money and mess than taking it back to the brick work.

    Get a pro into do skimming, you need a lot of practice to get a perfect finish and a pro will get one every time without any effort.

    Run all your access ducts for shed / workshops before laying a 2000 pavier patio….

    CaptJon
    Member

    When my parents renovated the house i grew up in, my mum insisted on having one room which was untouched by the building work to make it bearable. This meant that it was kept dust free, but also free from stuff moved out of other rooms.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    What ever you think it will cost in time or money, double it and add a bit more. (!)
    Think efficiency – if you can block a draft, or shove in some insulation, do it.
    Simple is best.
    Get a builder that someone recomended to you – never just pick up Yellow pages…

    trail_rat
    Member

    “Get a pro into do skimming, you need a lot of practice to get a perfect finish”

    indeed.

    you get some interesting blisters on your hands too from rocking the float….

    trail_rat
    Member

    remember old houses need to breathe though . Just hermetically sealing it is a surefire way to damp and condensation – although the stove does remove all the moisture out our air 😉

    Premier Icon sandwicheater
    Subscriber

    Funny as i was about to suggest the opposite to footflaps;

    We did a room at a time (plaster, floors, electrics, the works) and found it really hard to stop the general dust/filth from spreading everywhere. Perhaps because we were not tidy enough but who knows.

    If i did it again i’d put all my nice stuff in storage, live/sleep in a room and go all out on the house.

    Live with the house untouched for a month to get an idea of niggles ie not pleased with where a light switch is or plug.

    bristolbiker
    Member

    If i did it again i’d put all my nice stuff in storage, live/sleep in a room and go all out on the house.

    We did it this way (before kids mind – not sure I’d do it the same way now….) – There was a 3 or 4 month period when there was just a hob and sink standing in an empty shell downstairs (no ceilings, no floor coverings, plaster back to blocks where necessary, materials piled and sheeted in the middel of each room ready to start the ‘re-birth’), similar upstairs (just sink/bog/shower tray in the bathroom)… except for one room, which served as bedroom/dining room/lounge/kitchen. Happy days 😉

    nicko74
    Member

    Having gone through similar, the first thing is probably to make a *complete* list of EVERYTHING that you need/ want doing to the place, from the essentials (asbestos, wiring, etc) to the nice to haves (repainting x, new doors, etc). Then break it down and prioritise, based on budget and urgency.

    Don’t forget that if you’re opening up walls, that’s the best chance you’re going to have to do plumbing, electrics, heating etc.

    And also bear in mind that if walls are being opened, you probably don’t want to try and live in the rest of the house.

    Oh, and budget: take a quote and multiply by 2. That way you’ll at best have a buffer fund if required.

    jfletch
    Member

    If i did it again i’d put all my nice stuff in storage, live/sleep in a room and go all out on the house.

    We did it this way last time as well. It’s fun for about a day and then it just leads to a misserable life where you live in squallor. The week where the bathroom was being done was a particularly fun time 😯

    This time we will be following footflaps’ method and doing it a room/area at a time with the plan to get the bathroom and kids bedrooms done before we move in and to ship them to grandparents while the kitchen is being done.

    Helps that the house is habitable at the moment and there is enough room to live around the works.

    Good tips so far, keep them coming.

    jfletch
    Member

    Following on from this http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/buying-a-house-in-need-of-modernisation-but-with-issues-would-you we ignored all the advice and went ahead anyway. (The price made it worth it)

    So now we have to do all the work. We have done it once before so we have some experience but it’s always to get another opinion so…

    What are your “things to know” when kicking off a modernisation project?
    What do you wish someone had told you before you started your project?
    Don’t forget to do x before y?
    What did you learn the hard way? etc. etc.

    Thanks in advance for the abuse advice.

    b r
    Member

    Do it in chunks eg one room at a time as otherwise you’ll find yourself living in a building site for years…

    This.

    First thing I had to do was take this out (in bits):

    About 5 tonne of Marshall Threshing Machine.

    missnotax
    Member

    My Mums golden rule (which I have since stolen as my own after 3 house renovations) was always to do one room really quickly – preferably a bedroom – as somewhere to escape to for a bit of sanity. Then do all the rest in one go.

    Brutal (and probably only works for me as I live by myself so I don’t annoy anyone else!) but effective 🙂

    khani
    Member

    Lay any wooden flooring before you put the skirting boards on, or have crappy beading or have to go round the skirts with a chisel..

    Get someone else in to do the work whilst on holiday for 6 months.

    TooTall
    Member

    Do as much as you can before you move in. All the house-wide stuff like re-wiring, plumbing etc. Do that for as long as you can afford to – then move in with the bigger crappier jobs 90% done. Well worth it.

    globalti
    Member

    You can newver have too many sockets and fused spurs. Wire the lounge lights so that the table lamps all come on with the wall switch, you’ll need to get some of the old style 5 amp sockets and plugs unless there’s a modern equivalent. Wire bathroom(s) for heated mirrors and extractors even if you don’t fit them now. Sort out insulation and hot water /heating good and proper and install a filter/magnetic trap in the system. Install a drain cock in the lowest part of the CH system with an outlet to the outdoors.

    If you install a stove in an old fireplace, get heat-resistant plaster in the back of the fireplace and don’t just patch the wall plaster around; it WILL crack. Chip off and re-plaster as far away from the opening as you can to avoid thermal expansion cracks.

    Fit wall-hung Laufen Compact Pro WCs to save space. If there’s rooom fit a Laufen Casa home urinal in the downstairs loo, garage or outhouse. WC pans aren’t made for blokes to use standing up.

    spooky_b329
    Member

    Think ahead. In years to come you may regret not insulating under the suspended floor, not running a phone extension to the middle of the house, not running electric/cold water to the garage, providing for sky coax to the tv point.

    And another vote for at least doing a floor at a time. One room at a time may be safer, but its easier doing all of one job at a time. Especially if you will be replacing plumbing/eletrics.

    meehaja
    Member

    Clean and tidy at the end of everyday, always put tools back in the box and plumb “out” pipes before “in” pipes.

    hh45
    Member

    Live there for a few months to get a feel for issues whether layout, where light comes in or is gloomy etc, issues with damp etc;

    Clear out and do all structural and envelope stuff – foundations, walls roof, windows, services;

    work through the rooms in whatever order suits you (bike store – workshop – kitchen etc.

    It does depend of course on how knackered the building is.

    jonba
    Member

    You never know exactly what you’ll find when you start ripping things down. Dodgy wiring meant redoing all the kitchen not just adding sockets.

    The lintels were rotten.

    Go belt and braces on damp, quick fixes don’t work.

    The foreman may be great but his plumber just wants to get away by 4. Don’t be afraid to bring people back, haggle, snag and be demanding to get what you want and paid for.

    Premier Icon NZCol
    Subscriber

    Draw all the plans as the final what you want at the end then divide it up into manageable bits. Or do what i did and don’t do that then have to redo the same thing 4 times as you had to modify it to get what you wanted.

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