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View Full Version : Bathrooms: tart up or quality refurb?



dbeng
01-12-2011, 16:20 PM
We’re moving into a 2 bed flat in a really nice area, where property prices are actually holding their value. We are 90% likely to be renting in in a couple of years.

Conundrum:

Tart up the bathrooms or refurbish in quality kit?

We discovered:

Ensuite – has broken bath taps, cracked floor tiles (we knew about those) and broken double basin taps. No shower.

Hall bathroom – thermostatic control mixer thing is faulty and there are rocking floor tiles.

The boiler system is an sort of indirect hybrid thing,but works, apart from the noisey pump.

Options

Tart up 2 bathrooms – circa 10k

Or

Completely re-do, inc new boiler – circa 30k

The rest of the house?

Drop 10k on quality specialist furniture or ikea it? M&S and JL just don’t have good value stuff at the moment.

The trouble then is that the 10 good furniture will need to go into storage if/when we rent, or we prob have to write it off as rental kit.

Rental probably iro 2.2k at the moment, or maybe 2.6k / month if all quality items.

What would you do?

Mrs Mug
01-12-2011, 16:23 PM
We’re moving into a 2 bed flat in a really nice area, where property prices are actually holding their value. We are 90% likely to be renting in in a couple of years.

Have you read the lease for this flat, and will you be allowed to rent it out?

dbeng
01-12-2011, 16:31 PM
Yes, it was let when we bought it. Fun, or not, the bathrooms had been tarted up a few yesrs ago, but it turns out poorly - hence the rocking floor tiles and the plumber reckons the taps etc are made of chocolate - which is a shame as the rest of it wan't too bad. It's just that the bath needs to come out to repair the bath and by the time we drop 10k on refurbishment....


+ it we tart it up now, it will end up costing probably twice as much to fix in say 4 or five years.

It needs new flooring etc and it seems daft to tart it up now, then any other mods in the future will mean lifting flooring etc etc.

Izzycam
01-12-2011, 18:48 PM
I watched a programme the other day where they renovated 2 properties one cost £40000 and the other £15000 they then asked experts to choose which one cost the most.
They couldn't....
Now obviously in a lot of cases you get what you pay for, but this is not always so.

If you will be renting it out within the next 2 years, I would go with the cheaper option, as a tenant will never look after your property as well as you would, and you may well end up having to renew in another coule of years anyway.

dbeng
02-12-2011, 07:20 AM
Thanks.

Yep, we are in a rental at the moment ourselves.

The trouble is that we may be needing to move back into it after a few years renting it. It's not cheap even to do the tart up option.

Dottie
02-12-2011, 08:18 AM
Good comment from Izzycam - also remember the floor's really important to have leak-free... but another way to save money is to do it yourself... I've just done a pretty cool bathroom (4mx1.8m), using mid-range but excellent quality fittings, completely re-placing ceiling and floors joists, plasterboarded ceiling, new sub-flooring - re-laying the old clay quarry floor tiles over, tiling some walls, lime plastering others. Went on weekend courses to learn how to do stuff, bought tools with money I'd have spent on labour... Cost? around 1200.00. If a middle-aged woman with a day job can do it.....

Izzycam
02-12-2011, 10:06 AM
Well done Dotty.....one for the girls!

dbeng
02-12-2011, 13:40 PM
Good comment from Izzycam - also remember the floor's really important to have leak-free... but another way to save money is to do it yourself... I've just done a pretty cool bathroom (4mx1.8m), using mid-range but excellent quality fittings, completely re-placing ceiling and floors joists, plasterboarded ceiling, new sub-flooring - re-laying the old clay quarry floor tiles over, tiling some walls, lime plastering others. Went on weekend courses to learn how to do stuff, bought tools with money I'd have spent on labour... Cost? around 1200.00. If a middle-aged woman with a day job can do it.....


That's impressive.

Too much to do by ourselves, so we're at the mercy of London tradesmen...(How much an hour?!)

dbeng
02-12-2011, 13:42 PM
It's concrete block walls, so not so straight forwar to do. Channelling out for pipes and cables - what a nightmare.

msec
02-12-2011, 14:10 PM
I watched a programme the other day where they renovated 2 properties one cost £40000 and the other £15000 they then asked experts to choose which one cost the most.
They couldn't....
Now obviously in a lot of cases you get what you pay for, but this is not always so.

My company fits bathrooms, 99.5% of the time you get what you pay for. Its all about aesthetics. The pipework and wiring could be a dangerous mess under the floorboards yet a top quality bathroom suite hides all this until future problems. The £15,000 job could have all sorts of issues that not even an expert could see. Quality is quality, unfortunatly there are no short cuts. It always amazes me how much stock people hold in these TV programmes, they are staged for ratings and the experts are no more experts than 20,000 other people in thier field.


Good comment from Izzycam - also remember the floor's really important to have leak-free... but another way to save money is to do it yourself... I've just done a pretty cool bathroom (4mx1.8m), using mid-range but excellent quality fittings, completely re-placing ceiling and floors joists, plasterboarded ceiling, new sub-flooring - re-laying the old clay quarry floor tiles over, tiling some walls, lime plastering others. Went on weekend courses to learn how to do stuff, bought tools with money I'd have spent on labour... Cost? around 1200.00. If a middle-aged woman with a day job can do it.....

I agree, floor is the most important, as well as the walls which is why good tiling is essential. Most important after that is good workmanship when fitting the suite as this will mean it can be sealed properly. Unfortunatly Dottie, while you seem to have been able to do it, not everyone has an aptitude for practical work or feels confident so they have to get us lads in :-). The other thing to consider is due dillegance on a rental property. If, touch wood, one of your tenants was to injure themselves relating to the work you had done (electric shock and scalding are very common in rental properties) then would you be able to defend yourself in a court that wouldn't consider you competent?

£1200 seems really good though, was that the cost of courses, tools, materials everything?

Dottie
02-12-2011, 17:30 PM
Cheers Izzy! Price was for everything - I'm good at finding bargains and doing deals... ;-)

Economics mean I've had to develop an aptitude...

Izzycam
02-12-2011, 20:02 PM
Re MSEC's comment, I think you misunderstood my advice about doing things the inexpensive way.By no means do I advocate cutting corners where a safety issue is at stake. I meant getting value for money.
Letting is a business and unless you watch the pennies it can easily turn into a nightmare.
It's no good thinking what you would like,you must think, what will suit my budget my client and how long will it last.
Also I'd like to say I don't just watch TV programmes snd make rash decisions based on these.
My coments express my experience in the wonderful world of landlording......

mind the gap
02-12-2011, 21:45 PM
I agree with Izzy. Go for what is tough, practical and visually pleasing - but good value. Essentials are that the bathroom floor and walls should be 100% waterproof, all windows should be openable and flooring of any kind should be easily cleanable and scratch-proof. Do not clutter the property with unnecessary furniture. Carpets (if provided) should be in a neutral shade. Drains should be unblocked and cleaned before new Ts move in.

Keep it simple but well-designed.

msec
04-12-2011, 01:03 AM
Cheers Izzy! Price was for everything - I'm good at finding bargains and doing deals... ;-)

Economics mean I've had to develop an aptitude...

Havn't we all! Excellent savings there, good for you!


Re MSEC's comment, I think you misunderstood my advice about doing things the inexpensive way.By no means do I advocate cutting corners where a safety issue is at stake. I meant getting value for money.
Letting is a business and unless you watch the pennies it can easily turn into a nightmare.
It's no good thinking what you would like,you must think, what will suit my budget my client and how long will it last.
Also I'd like to say I don't just watch TV programmes snd make rash decisions based on these.
My coments express my experience in the wonderful world of landlording......

Spot on comments, I was just making the point that I really get exasberated at people who believe everthing they see on TV. Tradesmen get such a bad press based on the actions of a minority who we all despise as much as the customers! Dom and Melinda etc really don't help with thier staged, exagerrated tearjerkers!

I do think that tradesmen and landlords have a lot in common in terms of everyone assuming you're a 'cowboy' or making money for old rope.


I agree with Izzy. Go for what is tough, practical and visually pleasing - but good value. Essentials are that the bathroom floor and walls should be 100% waterproof, all windows should be openable and flooring of any kind should be easily cleanable and scratch-proof. Do not clutter the property with unnecessary furniture. Carpets (if provided) should be in a neutral shade. Drains should be unblocked and cleaned before new Ts move in.

Keep it simple but well-designed.


Spot on, agree 100%. I always wonder why lettings agents aren't better equipped to give this kind of simple, yet effective advice to new or under performing landlords?? Its not rocket science!

Lingy
04-12-2011, 09:38 AM
That's impressive.

Too much to do by ourselves, so we're at the mercy of London tradesmen...(How much an hour?!)

Wow i am glad i live in the midlands .10k to ponse a bathroom up is daylight robbery .I can tart a bathroom up using B&Q goodies for under a grand .maybe you should be looking at hiring in midlands builders and let them lodge until finished .that will save you a wad of cash ...