Typical renovation cost estimates

Does anybody have an estimate as to what typical renovation costs would be to either
A) Completely gut and renovate a period home
B) Renovate without reducing house to a shell e.g replaster, paint, repair floor boards etc

Dublin 4 bed house 1600 - 2000 sq ft
New plumbing
Install central heating
New roof
New kitchen
New bathroom
New downstairs smaller bathroom
Re-plaster walls and roofs
Repair sunken floorboards
Repair period sash windows
New carpets
Knock down wall to make two rooms into one
Knock down wall in order to extend Georgian window into full length “French” door access to garden
Landscape garden

Any estimates, ball park ranges for above, average, per room cost etc.
I’m looking at rough calculation of an offer taking rough estimate of renovation into account.

Thanks in advance for any input.


Hi Ja1,
I do a lot of work on these houses, and believe me they can be expensive (despite my reasonable rates :wink: ). The main problem is that there is always something unexpected. Have a contingency budget, but don’t tell the builder!

Usually in the Victorian houses the mortar between the bricks in so poor that they have to be treated literally as a stack of bricks. Any changes to the structure need to be very carefully considered, and all possible precautions should be taken. Only use builders who have experience of these houses and who are fully insured. It’s rare for these houses not to suffer from some settlement, though usually this isn’t a problem. As a guide, I would expect the total renovation cost to be about 200-300 euro per sqft, excluding landscaping. At this price it should be possible to thoroughly modernise the house while also maintain the authenticty of it.

When you say ‘sunken floor boards’ alarm bells go off. This would suggest to me that the timber bearers that take the joists have rotted. Dry rot? Not a huge problem if it’s only localised but important to deal with it properly. May be necessary to take up and re-lay downstairs floors, but that provides an opportunity to insulate.

Rewiring and plumbing doesn’t work out much dearer than for any other house as long as it’s part of complete renovation.

New roof/valleys/downpipes 30k? Maybe more…

Plastering? These houses were plastered with a number of layers of lime plaster and it would definitely be preferable to repair the existing plaster rather than dry-lining. This allows the walls to ‘breath’ away any moisture.

Windows? Probably single glazed traditional weighted sliding sashes? Don’t bother trying to repair them. I just finished installing extremely good quality double glazed hardwood windows in a house in Rathgar. Impossible to tell that they’re double glazed and they’ll last a lifetime. Look wonderful too. Lots of work in rebuilding the shutter boxes/architraves, but that probably needs to be done anyway. The cost of joinery work has come down hugely.

Kitchen/bathrooms work out dearer that a more modern house, usually because you’ll want to use decent quality stuff.

Best of luck with it.

Bit of experience of this as well, 400k up for 2000 sq feet is about right. Coles is spot on.

One piece of advice. I have lived in two renovated Victorian properties in my time. Knocking down walls to create open living spaces may not be advisable unless you have made every effort to insulate and the house (particularly under the floors). These houses are generally draughty and do not lend themselves to this type of living because the house will always feel cold.

If I ever get a chance I want to live in one of those ‘passive’ hyper-insulated German kit houses.

Hi Coles2/Onlyone,
Thanks for the feedback.

200 - 300 per sq ft, i.e. 400,000 to 600,000 seems very high especially when you look at this topic viewtopic.php?f=10&t=19998 on House valuation.

What type of houses would this relate to? Could you give some examples say based on streets/roads?

I would be talking about typical D6 redbrick or victorian house in an around 1 m to 1.5m.

Thanks in advance

Hi Ja1,
Here’s an example of a lovely house on Brighton Square. An absolute gem, and a lovely area to live in. But this is a 1600sqft three bed, and any attempt to convert a house like this to a four bed, would ruin it. So you’re looking at something bigger, probably two storey over basement like this one on Leinster Square. To return this to a family home would be a fair bit of work, but I’d say it’s been well kept even if it was flats. Building/renovation costs are coming down and it might be possible to get the job done for as little as 80-130 per sq ft, assuming a good roof and no really nasty surprises. But that’s just guessing…

Edit: Can’t find the listing for 13 Brighton Square on Daft.ie now.

One thing to keep in mind is the fact that construction/rebuilding costs can be quite divorced fron selling price “values”, there may be only 20% difference between renovating a victorian building located in Dublin and one in say arse end of Roscommon (assuming both the same type, size etc). But the selling prices of the finished article may be greater than 100% for similar properties (in the current market).

Good point dolanbaker. I’d expect that it’s likely that over the next 20 years we’ll lose many of our rural period houses simply because of the cost of maintaining them. There are so many surplus modern built properties that don’t require specialist renovation work, craft skills or bespoke joinery, and while many of these modern houses are a long way from being energy efficient they are cheaper to heat than the older ones. Still, I know which one I’d prefer.