Renovation costs

Help! Thinking of buying a 1930s semi-D. Place was renovated in mid 90s (new windows\central heating\wiring\plumbing\kitchen\bathroom). Surveyors verdict : damp in a couple of rooms (although this was treated as part of renovation), cracks in walls which will require filling (structurally the place is sound however), no insulation in attic or walls. A garden wall\side of garage needs to be rebuilt also. Given this admittedly brief\vague description of the issues, does anyone think an estimate of 70-80k seems high ?

60 to 70 k could be right and could be wrong .How many sq meters is the property and are the damp rooms on the ground floor? What area is the property in?

property is c 150 sqm

damp is described as “(upstairs) bedroom : a few isolated spots, left of window. (downstairs) front lounge : high damp readings along side wall, signs of damp at fireplace and into hall wall. (downstairs) dining room : damp at the side wall.”. However the final comment is “checked the walls for rising damp, in general the readings were adequate. there were some high damp readings in places”.

property is in SCD.

Ok so its sounds not so bad but you describe it as been everywhere.
My advice would be get a builder who is experienced in working in period properties and get another survey.
You say the property had work done in the 90s so you dont want to be throwing good money after bad which just would be a continuous cycle.
The reason I say get a builders advice with experience is that a lot of property surveyers are reading from text book, my own experience is people were very badly advised in the past from my experience working on these type properties. Someone experienced should be able to tell you there and then without having to google it. Should cost no more than e150.

Thanks for reply, we are looking at getting someone experienced in period renovations to have a look… was just a bit shocked at the estimate as place didnt seem in bad condition and survey seemed to confirm that, however surveyor suggested cost could be in region of 80k

Get another opinion as from the descriptions I have read here the “problems” don’t sound too bad.

1: Damp Surface or structural?? are there leaking pipes outside etc or is it simple bad ventialtion?
2: Cracks structural or plaster?? BIG BIG difference one costs €10’s and the other costs €10k’s, do you need second opinion?
3: insulation, buy lots its very cheap compared to heating especially for attic. Insulate outside walls outside and retain interior space puls get better u-values from your walls this could eat up 10k or more
4: A garden wall\side of garage needs to be rebuilt also? why?? get better explanation as this could point to serious problems with foundations unless it is simply a shoddy add on build in which case get 3 quotes from bob the builders.

What does the house smell like? does it seem genuine? is it worth spending the extra on more surveys? Your call.

  1. Survey does not specify surface or structural damp, however for the most serious damp (downstairs) it suggests “strip plaster for 1 meter high, inject and replaster with damp treatment”
  2. House cracks are structural, however friend who is an engineer has viewed house and survey and he does not seem concerned. The garage is a different story, as per (4) below…
  3. Insulation could be the big cost here, could it cost 5k per room to dry line an older house ?
  4. The garden wall\side of garage has the most serious cracks, is leaning outwards and already has metal braces attached… this definitely looks like it needs attention, however hoping rebuild costs of this wall would be relatively small (c10k?) and not necessarily immediate

There is a slight smell of mould downstairs, generally the house does seem in good condition inside and out

On your last post Joe Dolce i would seriously recommend you get a builder with experience who can tell whats needs doing and what costs approx will come in at before you buy. As i wrote before from my experience in period properties a 100 euro job can become a 1000 euro job overnight.

Hi, a little off topic, but do you need a mortgage to purchase this house?

This is something banks are being really picky about - a lot of the banks use a panel of valuers, and some of the banks have instructed the valuers to note things like this on valuations reports. Basically the banks don’t want to lend against houses that are going to be difficult to sell on if you default on your mortgage.

Generally you will need a certified engineers report to say that the house is structurally sound in this case. The building survey generally won’t be enough if the valuer has noted it to the bank.

Recommendation noted, will be contacting someone on monday to have a look. Our biggest fear is being landed with huge bills for seemingly ‘simple’ fixes…

Mortgage is < 25% price of house, presumably we will need to pay for the certified engineers report though?

Yes, if the bank require it you would need to pay for it. But it may be useful to have also for your house insurance.