basic renovation costs for a period home....

If one had a house like this … es/1400836

Now its not a question on this house per se, as I amnt looking at it; but on this type of house…

If you have a property like this…where you are happy with the size of it and the floor plans…so no extension required, and no walls need to be knocked, no structural issues…

But it hasnt been touched for 80 years…

Has no rads, no GFCH, windows possibly need to be replaced, might need some of that kingspan stuff to insulate the walls…

Assuming, three bedrooms, three downstairs rooms, hall and bathroom.

Whats the cost? Roughly. To the nearest 5k.

EDIT: apologies mods; I meant to post this in the Sell, Buy or Rent section…if someone could move it there I’d appreciate it.

you are talking 100 euro per sq foot.

Thanks for that.

For this house, that would be about €120’000.

If you were to take the costs I mentioned…

I would guess

RADS &GFCH about €15000 (8 radiators + new boiler + GFCH burner, whatever its called)

Windows about €12,000 (8 windows)

Insulation? not sure, but I doubt if its much more than the above two…say €10,000

Rewiring if it were needed…don’t have a clue…

But those three jobs, which would be the major infrastructural renovation jobs…would come to maybe €40k by my estimate…as opposed to the €120k suggested…but I don’t have a clue how much these things cost…

Where am I wrong?

After that its just decorative stuff, plus kitchen, plus bathroom…which I can guess fairly handy.

I suppose it would depend on the condition of the house. If it hasn’t been touched in 80 years then you could be talking rotten floors, rotten roof, damp issues. These are all things that would have to be done if you came across them.

With plumbing and electrical, you also need to provide space for these services. Are you going to be happy with having surface mounted pipes serving the radiators and conduits carrying cables to the switches or sockets? I will assume that you wouldn’t want this so then you have to take up the floors to make space for the pipes and cables. Chase the walls for more cables, refill the walls where the cables are buried. If you chase an 80 year old plaster wall, then you will probably end up having to re-plaster the whole wall.

€15k for plumbing and another €15k electrical would easily cover you for actaully installing the pipes and wiring but then you have to make room for them and make good afterwards.

I suppose it’s not the immediately obvious things which cost the most, its what you uncover as you go and what you have to do in order to install modern services in an old house. I hope this helps.

You can get triple glazed sash windows, expensive though, budget €2k a pop!

thanks for that.

as a matter of interest, if you were putting cladding on the internal walls, would that not get around some of the issues you mentioned re wiring and plastering of the original walla…(or does cladding only go on internal walls).

Not everyone agrees with slimlite

Secondary double glazing

would be handy if we knew which house ?

Reckon you’re fairly on the high side there Yorkie. You could potentially spend 12k on the windows alright, but you’d be getting the Rolls Royce version for that. An A rated white uPVC version of what’s already there will set you back between €300-500 each fitted. Rads are between €200 ish each for a standard type to about €400 for the upright type that are en vogue at the minute. A good quality combi boiler will cost less than €1200, pipe and fittings a few hundred, and an expensive plumber will probably charge a grand for labour. Allow €1000 to €1500 for chasing and re plastering, and you should have your heating system in for about €6k

Rewiring a house of that size should be €4k tops these days. Attic insulation roughly a grand for 250mm of fibreglass. Insulating the external walls can be tricky in period properties. There’s a few ways of doing it, all relatively inexpensive, but it’s the restoration of the period features that costs the coin. Specialist plaster moulding companies charge €50+ per linear metre of cornice supplied and fitted. Having said that, you’d be well covered in €5k

As already mentioned, be vigilant for damp/ rot issues, and get a surveyor to look at the roof. It’s this type of thing that’ll turn your house into a money pit.

You lose most your heat through the windows so I wouldn’t scrimp on them, and if it’s a peiod house it’s worth spending the money at least for the ‘public’ windows.

Cladding on the exterior is the most effective solution but dry-lining to the interior if done properly would suit re the conduiting issues. You can get a government grant towards upgrading the insulation in your home so don’t forget to look into that when the time comes.

Don’t rule out major works to the roof, unattended gutters can wreak havoc at the eaves and may require changing roof timbers etc. but certainly things like flashing and tiles will need comprehensive surveying.

Make sure, when you make your home nice and snug, that there are adequate permanent ventilation inlets - whether through permavents in the windows or in the walls

Oh, and watch the movie ‘The Money Pit’ :wink:

Insulation wise, I’d steer clear of external cladding: the front of a house like this you wouldn’t be allowed do in all likelyhood (or, if you were, it would be vandalism) and external cladding hasn’t proven itself in terms of longevity / breathability. Beside, it’s pretty expensive.

In addition to all external walls, you can consider dry lining some of the (brick) internal/party walls with insulated plasterboard too (albeit with thinner insulation than for the external walls). This takes some of the thermal mass out of the house which makes for faster heating-up. You also lose less heat through to the foundations. A 3 sq/m sheet of 50mm insulated plasterboard costs about 30 quid. A tenner to hang it and about 7 quid a square meter to skim (incl plaster). 27 quid a sqare metre so. Ensure you get insulated board with integral vapour barrier (between the plasterboard and the insulation) - you don’t want mould issues at the insulation/wall interface.

Plaster cornicing that will be (part) covered by dry lining can be bought for about 10 for plainish stuff with an 80 quid charge to make a mould to reproduce yours (if your’s isn’t standard). Not sure on hanging cost. Prices from a Cork based co. you’ll find on the web.

I’ve a 100 year old house and when I stripped the paint from the sashes ten years ago they were as good as the day they were made. If that’s the case with yours, then consider adding double glazed panels to the existing sashes (with added weight to compensate for the now heavier sash). The rebate needs to be routed deeper to accomodate the thicker panel but that’s not a hard job. It’s a darn sight cheaper than replacing the window. In my case I double glazed the rear windows but left the front alone - you loose too much character with double glazing, especially if the existing glass is old style cylinder glass with it’s waves and ripples. Concentrate on draughtproofing windows and the overall amount lost through a few single glazed front windows won’t amount to much in the overall scheme of things. There are proprietry kits that allow you to draughtproof a sash window more or less invisibily.

Draughts are a big enemy on a house like this. Suspended timber floors with their attractive tongue and groove can admit vast quantities of air - especially where a board has been removed in the past and the tongue has been broken, leaving a gap … and at the skirting-to-floor interface. Then there’s the fire place with open chimney acting like a hoover even when the fires not lit. Get some kind of cover to permit the chimney to be closed when the fire isn’t in use. And consider floor/external wall vents either side of the chimney breast to ensure air required when the fire *is *lighting is drawn from under the floor and not sucked into the house through doors/windows and room vents.

There have been some very helpful contributions here, including this one.

Thanks all round.

My house is pretty much the same age and size as the one you linked to and we got some of this stuff done about 15 months ago.

We had had the original sash windows cleaned up and renovated (new weights and pulleys, new furry insulation strip thingy - that’s not its technical name obviously …) when we first bought the house, but the single pane glass just doesn’t do the job. You may as well be paying to heat the street outside. Got a price for re-glazing but it would have been expensive and time consuming and advice was to go with new double glazed windows (reproduction wooden sash) which cost the same . The guy did a fantastic job - they look exactly the same as the original windows and the difference to the energy efficiency of the house is extraordinary. If you want to go a step further and use Slimlite, the sole distributor in Ireland is

We also got the attic insulated (350mm Kingspan) and the floors taken up and insulated (there was effectively nothing between the earth and the floorboards, bar a few random squares of polystyrene). Dry lining would have been the next thing (no point in spending money on drylining without having sorted windows and basic insulation first) but we didn’t have the money for it. It would have been about 4/5k per room (including removing and replacing coving, skirting boards, plug points etc). You also have the issue that it makes the rooms smaller and, in a period house, messes up the proportion of the room, as you are loosing x number of inches from one wall only.

We also got a new A-rated bolier and heating control upgrade, part of which was covered by an SEAI grant (not sure if the grant system is still operating). As it turns out, that bit has been a disaster, as the blody boiler breaks down on a weekly basis and has to be manually re-set and the company that distributes the boiler brand could not be thicker and less efficient.

I can have a look back at the bills and PM you the exact costs (and details of the sash window guy - and of what boiler not to install …) if you want.

Before buying a period property check with the local planning office and see if it is a protected structure. If it is you may be able to do nothing with windows, you will not be allowed to dry line internally (if it disguises plaster work), re-roofing may be problematic etc…

thanks folks, I genuinely hadnt expected so many very useful answers, there’s a wealth of of information here.

When insulating a Period house you have to be very careful with the type of insulation materials that are used. These houses were built with lime mortars and plasters and typically had damp proof courses of tar or slate that over the years have probably deteriorated. Any excess moisture in the walls (rising damp, condensation, rain ingress etc) breathed out of the walls through the lime mortar and render, or up through the tops of the walls and through the drafty roof space. Any works that are done to the house need to carefully consider the impact they will have on this on process.

I am very surprised to hear to 350mm of Kingspan insulation being used in an attic space of a period house. It is likely that over time moisture will accumulate in the ceiling timbers and could cause rot. The PDF below is a good read, but the first half might be a bit irrelevant to most because of the technical nature of it, but page 20 of 34 onwards in fairly accessible, and it details the correct way to deal with insulating Period properties.

If any one is looking for an absolute top quality joiner to recreate existing traditional sash windows except with very discreet double glazing, send me a PM and I’ll forward the details of the joiner I use. Extremely reasonable in price, but fabulous workmanship.

Hi, can you mail me on his details? thanks, Colm

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