How much to spend on renovation relative to house value?

We have just bought a 3-bed house for 600K. It is 120 sq m (1292 sq ft) with a back garden.

We would like to fully renovate the house and build a 20 sq m extension.

We are not refurbishing it for reselling. We understand that the renovation cost will significantly exceed the increase in house value. We intend to live in the house long term.

What would be a reasonable budget to spend on full house renovation compared to the house value?

There is no simple answer. The cost of renovation is not dependent on the value of the house, but other factors such as the size, condition and the quality of finish you wish to use - these are the variables that will decide. As such, in some parts of the country you could conceivably spend as much renovating a house as you paid for it.

From what era is the house? Older houses will require more money spent on insulation and energy-saving features.

It wasn’t the case in recent years, but I would expect to see any renovation costs factored into the price of a house coming up for sale these days, and even more than the cost for saving the hassle of having to do it yourself - and this is often the way things are priced, so I wouldn’t assume you won’t see your money back, unless you make some bad choices that others aren’t willing to pay for. Or if the market crashes, of course.

The house is from the 90s, it is in located in D6. The house is in average condition and structure.

We’ve got estimates on the cost. But the numbers can vary and go up or down depending on quality. I didn’t want to go into the renovation details as this is going to be hard to estimate without seeing the house. It looks like we can easily spend 150K or more on quality material renovation (nothing crazy but high quality work). Or we could start cutting cost and quality to spend around 100K. The cuts would include not upgrading the conservatory to more energy efficient glazing (costs about 20-25K alone).

Is it reasonable to spend 150K or more on renovation for a house with this value if we can afford it?

I agree. What’s more common is people nearly bankrupting themselves to buy a house and having nothing left to renovate them, or having only 5k to furnish a 500k house, which is ridiculous.

:open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth:

Remember the couple with income exceeding 260k p/a only getting mortgage approval for €550k…

My palms are sweating out of sheer empathy here.

€464/sqft is hardly outlandish for D6.

For now.

This house was essentially demolished and rebuilt for 260k. … llery.html

How big is it?

There must be some way to model the costs and value, e.g. 50% of the value of the work (to you) will be lost in 20 years, in the sense that you might reconfigure it or move out after that period (and the new owner might want to re-do it).

Then compare that to the costs of holding it over that period (interest payments).

e.g. total interest on 500k mortgage over 20 years = ~€230k.
50% of a 150k renovation = 75k.

So the 150k renovation is adding ~30% to the cost of owning the 600k house.

This ignores the time value of money, opportunity cost for deposit and future interest rates, but whatever.

I went to see a protected property a few years ago as a potential investment…it was bought as a family home and I have had the chance to view the property after it was renovated. They did a fantastic job on it albeit somewhat more “basic” than I would have done as a family home… I would have expected a spend of somewhere in the region of 300k but they had done it for just over a third of that… they now have a large family home and I think it makes a great family home (the figures didn’t add up for me due to my prediction of how rents would go but that is a rant that I have had here multiple times!)

The point of this story is that the spend on a renovation is all about the finish (once any roofing/subsidence/etc issues have been dealt with)… and only the resident can decide if they are happy with that… eg do you want or are you happy with:
-an IKEA kitchen or do you want a big granite topped island,
-UFH or rads or storage heating,
-basic wiring or surround sound in every room?
-Basic switch plates or do you want chrome plated ones?
-Electric shower or wet room?
-New windows?
-Laminates or solid flooring?
-Is phasing of the renovation works possible?
-Do you have the skills/time to do the PM work yourself?
etc, etc

OP if possible/feasible I would advise that you try to live in the house for a while so that you can really get a good feel of the place and how it works with different lights/times of the year… I have found that it really helps the owner to have a clearer understanding of how to optimise the property for him/her self… Good luck!

I’m not sure I understand your meaning. Do you believe the house is too expensive? Or that the mortgage would have to be too high?

Interesting way to think about it. Thank you for the insight

Excellent advice. Unfortunately it will be really difficult for us to live in the house before the renovation work (no appliances, no furniture, issues with heating,…etc). Our plan is to go for quality that comes with good value as well. We are also replacing all windows, doors, flooring, wiring, plumping …etc. So yeah it adds up. We could easily reach 200K if we do everything we originally intended to do.

Do people actually spend that much on renovation usually?

I struggle to see how you can spend 150k on a 90s house. There are things that will need re-doing by necessity (boiler, windows) and by choice (bathrooms, kitchen, etc) but you shouldn’t need too much on the structural side. Wiring, plumbing and internal configuration should all be fine. Insulation would help for sure I guess.

You’ll probably insure for a rebuild cost of 200-250k in event of fire. That’s really what you should be benchmarking your renovation cost against, not the hefty portion of the price which was for a nice chunk of land in D6.


I was looking back the thread to make sure we hadn’t mixed up different houses. a 90s house in “average condition” shouldn’t need 150k spent on it. Certainly that goes beyond renewal, and into a full refit/remodel (i.e. you could walk into a nicely built 2015 house and spend 150k on it if you tore out all the (brand new) fittings, floors, windows, doors, etc., and refit new ones of a higher spec… if you’re still under budget, you can do it twice). It then makes no sense to ask here about renovation costs because what’s being done has to be highly highly “elective”.

Some prices, anecdotal:

Replacing boiler, €3k ish (assuming rest of your system ok), add more if it’s not or if you need to add zonal controls.
Bathroom: €3k
Kitchen: depends on what you’re doing and how big and what sort of appliances, say €4k-€10k (but you could go higher if it’s big, then again if it’s big you’ll have an easier job using generic units/IKEA so installation should be easier/quicker/cheaper).
Repaint house: €5k (maybe less depending on time of year)
Carpets (no idea) or sanded floors (€1.5k-€2.5k)
Attic insulation (€1k-€2k)
So say €20k-€40k should be enough of a war chest to tick of a bunch of stuff.
(Were you including furniture in “renovation”?)

Hard to see how you’d need to rewire the house unless you think it was done very “wrong” in the first place, adding a few sockets/lights is small stuff. Nor should it need any significant plumbing (unless you’re looking at add/move bathrooms etc., but that’s not renovation that’s just changes!). I’m assuming structure and internal walls are fine.

But if you want to spend €150k, you certainly can!

Of course you could!

Went with a friend once to visit a kitchen showroom that was somewhere near the Kilkenny shop. Mostly solid wood stuff, hard woods at that. Can’t even remember the prices, but very expensive.

I mean, one quick way to sink money into the kitchen would be the counter-top. People start at formica/particle-board type stuff, go up to solid wood (say oak) and you add a coupla hundred. But even though it’s solid wood, it’s not a single piece (it’s assembled from blocks that are each a few cm square). So then require that you want a single piece, the full length of the counter. Then switch to a more expensive wood than oak. Then… well find an expensive Aga… then (my imagination isn’t good enough for this stuff!)

But at that point you shouldn’t be asking “how much will it cost?”

I don’t see any issue with spending €100k+ to have your €600k house exactly how you want it. Personally I’d probably spend it on a two storey extension if possible to provide better bedroom space/en-suites/walk-in-wardrobe.
As for costs, I’d consider the above list conservative. A double shower alone with quality Hansgrohe fittings, a good low-profile tray and good quality glass doors can set you back over 2k. Then add in your towel rail, vanity cabinet, sink, toilet (and the added expense of having them custom built into a near unit to provide storage and hide plumbing and you’re up another few k. Pick your tiles and add underfloor heating, another few k. Get the room tiled and everything installed and you’re looking at a lot more than 3k for the whole thing.

As for kitchens, if you’re getting one made, 4k will get you a small corner kitchen with a few units and no appliances - if you’re lucky. As this person is planning on doing a 20m extension out the back, we can assume a large kitchen and depending on the finish and appliances chosen, €10k+ is more realistic if you’re getting it made. You could easily spend multiples of that if you’re looking at Poggenpohl kitchens and all Gaggenau appliances.

Flooring - even decent laminate, e.g. Quickstep, would set you back €30/sqm, i.e. over €3k here for the non-tiled rooms. Really nice solid wood will go for up to €100/sqm, which would be over €10k here. Obviously you can opt for carpets too, not sure on pricing of various qualities off the top of my head.

You may opt to change some of the bog-standard white radiators to vertical ones. You might decide to go for all underfloor heating.

The windows and doors might be rubbish, or just ugly, and might need changing.

Extension, even 20sqm will cost a good few quid and if you want a house-width’s worth of quality bi-fold or sliding doors on the back wall they don’t come cheap.

There’s an endless list of reasonable upgrades that one could make and you can spend as little or as much as you want depending on your ability and willingness to do work yourself and to source materials (new and second hand) online.

FWIW Mrs TI and I are in the middle of a total renovation of a 1890’s house that was until very recently used as a Pre 63 divided into 12 bedsits.

The renovation basicly involves striping the property back to the bare brickwork and building it back up again. It includes all new services, sewage, gas, electrics etc. It has also required external works to the site.

The only thing we are not doing is replacing the roof and the original walls. We are not doing anything fancy and while there will be an extension it is small and does not represent a significant cost in the overall context of the build.

It would be easier and cheaper to build a new house on a site.

We have been using an architect, engineer, quantity surveyor and other professionals eg damp specialist, insulation expert on a consultation basis. This has allowed us to keep a tight rein on costs and also have a clear and realistic expectation of the total cost of the project.

The finishes will be good quality, not basic but far from top end or bling. We will have a stone worktop in the kitchen, underfloor heating in three areas and brushed steel light fittings.

All in the turnkey finished condition ie including furnishing, new toothbrushes etc we will have spent 50% the purchase cost of the house.

A lot of where we are spending money won’t be seen. Ie insulation the wiring plumbing, replacing old windows with new etc but it will future proof the house and take care of the fabric of the building for many years to come. If you were renovating to flip the house you could conceivably do a lot less of the work to the fabric of the building and still achieve the overall look but for significantly less money. But as its going to be our family home for many years I’d prefer to do what is needed to improve the building.

Obviously a new build is not an option, or probably desirable for you, but I’d imagine when you renovate back to the bare walls, there cannot be much of a saving in retaining the old structure.

What are you aiming for here? Air tightness? Insulation level?

I think this is the one area that Irish houses are appalling on. For insulation to work effectively, it must be continuous, and to work really well, used in conjunction with controlled ventilation. Well done on getting an expert on board as it will pay back in spades for you.

I presume a few photos are out of the question?