The cost of heavily refurbishing a flat in Brighton in 2020
Build was converting an open plan shop into residential (two bedroom flat).
Add 10% waste for all skirting, flooring and tiles.
Estimate the cost of the electrics as you go along if they're not defined by the architect or you're diverging from what the building contractor has specified. Anything to do with getting a new supply of electrics or water costs at least a grand.
Patching the roof up was an unexpected expense.
Do all your fixtures and fittings the same colour? If you go for brass taps, say, does everything else match: sockets, window handles, ceiling roses, plug holes, light switches?
Put the washing machine right next to the dryer. Think about which side your toilet roll holder will be on. An outside tap is really useful if you have a patio/garden.
Building controls - signing off
If building control have asked for a sound test you might need to get it done before the floor goes down. If the pavement has been damaged during the build you may be asked to repair it. However, your normal builder might not be able to do it.
Double the sounds insulation between floors. In fact, triple it! The acceptable minimum dictated by the sound test isn't acceptable for people, especially if there are kids running around upstairs.
Be very cautious about taking on extra debt before applying for a mortgage. A credit card might get you through the build but a maxed credit card won't look good on your credit record. If possible borrow money from friends/family and zero those unsightly credit cards.
Development loans: expect to pay 1% a month.
|Engineered oak flooring||m2||35|
|New water supply||1000|
|New gas supply||2000|
|Sound tests||2 vertical airborne, 2 vertical impact||500|
|New electricity supply||2000|
|Skirting board 168mm (primed MDF)||m||5.59|
|Architrave (primed MDF)||door (both sides)||42|
|Paint||10L per room||36|
|Bathroom suite||small (en suite)||800|
|Flush plate (black)||68.98|
|Towel rail (black)||110|
|Towel roll holder||14|
|Toilet pan and seat||124.97|
|Flexible pan connector||22.03|
|Quadrant shower enclosure||199.97|
|Vanity unit with sink||74.99|
|Internal fire door||100|
|Front door frame||120|
|Front door locks||cylinder + deadlock||100|
|Refurbished cast iron radiator with valves/stays||200|
|Large LED bulb||24|
|Decorative flex, bulb holder and ceiling rose||18|
|Internal door handles||pair||15|
|Door hinges||3 per door||15|
|Full cost of single spot (1st, 2nd fix labour and materials)||50|
|Single dimmer (brushed aluminium)||11.77|
|Double socket (brushed aluminium)||6|
|External wall light||35|
|Tumble dryer (condenser)||350|
|Wooden floor (engineered, click fit)||m2||35|
We went with white uPVC and changed the handles to silver. I'm fond of Velfac but we just went along with what the builder specified.
The kitchen and lounge ceiling are almost 3m high so I went for large skirting board. Also the standard ogee and torus profiles seem very fussy, bullnose is much simpler. Similarly for the architrave. Make sure the plumber knows how high your skirting boards are.
Working with architects
We initially used a traditional local architect but it was expensive and we weren't that happy with the results and service. So we ended up submitting revised plans from Archiplan. These were much better value. However, the architect we chose didn't come to site so there were some ommisions and features that didn't work which may have been mitigated by coming in person. In hindsight I wish I'd had more involvement at this stage. Fortunately our builder was really savvy and challenged anything that didn't make sense.
See these handles.
The most expensive quote was double the cheapest. We went for somewhere in-between.
We received wildly varying quotes for painting, the most expensive was thrice the cheapest.
Options were a little limited with this room. It was originally part of an original extension with a low flat roof, consequently the ceiling height after putting down the floor and insulation is only 2.1m. The online architect had had combined this room with the kitchen space but having not visited the site he didn't realise the original external room was between.
Something not immediately apparent from the plans is that the back of the property is 600mm higher than the front. In the original plan the bathroom was on the lower level but the soil pipe was higher up at the back. The builder offered some solutions with pumps but ultimately the decision was made to relocate the bathrooms to the back and move the kitchen.
- Laminate worktop £98
A mixture of rads from various sources. Refurbished cast iron rads seemed cheap at £50 each but with sandblasting, lacquer and valves/stays they weren't so cheap.
Went for stone tiles but remember you may need have to treat/seal them before they are laid.