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Bitten off more than I can chew but persevering


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Hello everyone I am very pleased to be here. 

We recently had an offer accepted on a bungalow with 1/4 acre on a sloping site, boundaried on one side by a lane and the other by a stream. The property is far from ideal, the attic has been boarded out and is being used as a flat type situation, with access from stairs in the second bedroom (making the whole endeavour near pointless). Underneath the house someone has excavated to create a room under the house, it's probably 6ft X 10ft and we are told by the estate agent that it goes further but they have walled it off, there is one RSJ running horizontal to the outer wall of the house and there does not appear to be any support for the main Southern wall of the house. In that wall there is a significant crack, 2 inches wide that runs up behind the render. Inside the house there are at least 2 layers of wallpaper on that wall and the one running horizontal to that making it impossible to see if the crack is reflected inside. Along with these issues are the usual 'hand-crafted' electrics and plumbing. 

So... I am here to read other people's experiences of refurb and demo rebuild, consider the costs with both and mainly learn as much as I can. I haven't yet organised a survey because I am on the fence about demo. Any advice would be most welcomed!

Dolly 🙏

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13 minutes ago, OutdoorsDolly said:

a significant crack, 2 inches wide that runs up behind the render.

Welcome. What is the construction?  Cracks may be less significant than you think, if it is stone. 

What part of the country?

15 minutes ago, OutdoorsDolly said:

refurb and demo rebuild

 

A commercial builder will almost always want to demolish and build new. 

A very hands-on self-builder may be able to save the structure and money....but there are risks.

 

Let us help. Pictures will endear you to the forum.

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Welcome, The financial risks of renovating an old property are much higher than demo & rebuild.  
But a new build can rarely replace traditional features, obviously.

 

if the property has stunning traditional features, & you require limited layout changes or major refurb eg electrics plumbing roof etc your balance of risk swings towards refurb.  If you are looking at major refurb of a pig of a house, I think the balance of risk swings towards demo & rebuild.

 

Agree 100% with @saveasteadingposting pictures will be helpful in this scenario. 
 

Many renovators here often say with hindsight they’d wish they’d demoed and rebuilt.

 

 

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Thanks @Bozzait's a pig, 1960's with nothing likeable beside from the plot and location. 

I am also considering living there for a year first to get a feel for the land before committing to the rebuild as (if the wall is safe) it is liveable.

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12 minutes ago, OutdoorsDolly said:

I am also considering living there for a year first to get a feel for the land before committing to the rebuild as (if the wall is safe) it is liveable.

I've done a renovation job and a new build, and would always now lean towards demolition and starting afresh if the numbers stack up.  Living in it for a while sounds like a good plan.  A year will fly by as you get a feel for the plot and go through the planning process.

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If safe to live there that’s a good idea pending planning etc.  

 

if you do decide to demo and rebuild depending on which self build route you take it may allow you to save money eg site clearance which you can perhaps do some of yourself and gives you time to stockpile great deal/purchases.

 

I demod and rebuilt and had over a year to do the demo myself.  Saved £tens of thousands doing so.

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I have done many refurbs and finally a demo and new build, I found the new build refreshing and better to get everything right from the start as long as the finance stacks up, I lived in a caravan on site during the build (retired) and loved it, doing many of the jobs myself whilst employing a main contractor to do the shell. It also depends on what the planners will allow so go online and see what people nearby have been allowed to build/extend.

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8 hours ago, JohnMo said:

Why buy a house when you don't know what you plan to do with it.  Are you putting the cart before the horse?

Great question, thanks JohnMo. I've done 1 reno previously and I'm exploring options for this house. The area is perfect and the plot is great, in an up-and-coming area and only set to appreciate, being surrounded by £300,000+ houses. The house (if the wall is safe) is liveable and I want to explore what I may do with it. I'm certainly not experienced enough to see a house one time and decide how I would like to change it. I know it needs to be bigger and originally explored adding a full first floor, until I discovered that the Southern wall may not hold a further floor. At that point I started considering demo and rebuild. As I said, here to learn and welcome all and any support and advice. I've already learned more than I thought I could!

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8 hours ago, joe90 said:

I have done many refurbs and finally a demo and new build, I found the new build refreshing and better to get everything right from the start as long as the finance stacks up, I lived in a caravan on site during the build (retired) and loved it, doing many of the jobs myself whilst employing a main contractor to do the shell. It also depends on what the planners will allow so go online and see what people nearby have been allowed to build/extend.

Thanks @joe90, I love on my local planning portal and we're lucky in that we are the lowest plot on the street so potentially very little impact on those around us, even if we did go for the full first storey extension. Thanks for the tip though, really helpful to know that rebuild can be an enjoyable experience 🙂

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On 30/07/2022 at 19:39, saveasteading said:

Welcome. What is the construction?  Cracks may be less significant than you think, if it is stone. 

What part of the country?

 

A commercial builder will almost always want to demolish and build new. 

A very hands-on self-builder may be able to save the structure and money....but there are risks.

 

Let us help. Pictures will endear you to the forum.

 

Finally found a way to get some pictures to you all. 

On revisiting the house, it doesn't seem so bad. Certainly not 2 inches, but there is obvious movement in the roof too.

https://imgur.com/a/ZGk7veX

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welcome. I hate to put a downer on this exciting time for you but, and I speak from personal experience, don't spend too much on ideas/designs/architects/site investigations etc until you've exchanged contracts! we spent many thousands on a previous property only to be gazzumped about 1 week before exchange of contracts. money down the drain. 

 

best of luck with it all!

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On 30/07/2022 at 19:22, OutdoorsDolly said:

Hello everyone I am very pleased to be here. 

We recently had an offer accepted on a bungalow ...

 

Welcome. In haste - apologies.

 

Cart. Horse. 

Save the effort until: Horse Cart. Meanwhile read

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Can you build a replacement house adjacent to the existing and then demo the existing later? 

 

You would have somewhere to live then at lease during the build. 

 

 

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these photos didn't come through, not to me anyway.

As TBC says, Read. Read buildhub and search back to older discussions as most of it is on here somewhere.

Read up about other projects near you, and look over their hedges.

Read the Building Regulations...(in stages) : builders mostly don't.

 

I have been in construction 45 years and am learning from BH and as the project proceeds.

Every project is different.

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