Rental property - Cost of renovation

How much does a two-bed house refurbishment costs for a buy-to-let? In this post, we are going to show you how much we spent to renovate a really rundown two-bedroom terrace house and bring it to life again.

Do know that this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. This is the realities of doing a full refurbishment. We documented literally everything from ripping out the carpets to getting a tenant. This is for a property in Scotland. We know prices vary up and down the country so if you're in London, you might be paying more for exactly the same works.

Strip out and first fix

First of all, you need to get a skip. That costs us £250. We had a labourer who was helping our builder while doing the refurb. We paid our builder £1500 and he took care of a lot of aspects of the works. After everything in the property is stripped out, you are advised to check the walls if there's any damp. Everything was fine when we bought it during summer but only afterwards we realised that there is damp in the wall so we needed to do a damp proof course. Unfortunately this was when the tenant already moved in. The correct way would have been to do it right after the rip out. It cost us £1052 to do it retrospectively but if we did it at the beginning there would have been the cost as well. This house also needed to have all windows and doors replaced so there is the front door, back door and all the windows throughout. We've paid £3200 for all that supplied and fitted. This works out to be around £350 for each window and £550 for each door.

Next part is the electrics. We had one quote for doing all the electrics so we can't break it down into how much each element costs. We got a new consumer unit, and a partial rewire in the kitchen. We reconfigured the kitchen so we needed some sockets here and there. We upgraded throughout the house with double sockets and had spotlights installed in the kitchen and in the lounge. We needed hardwired smoke alarms because that is by law you need to have them hardwired and get a certificate on the installation. That's an electrical installation condition report (EICR). All that electrical works that are described came in at £886. There is the kitchen ceiling that needed to be replaced and we needed to box in some gas pipes that are in the hallway. That work came in at £475. Next were the internal doors. We always use six panel doors in this property and also needed to replace the facings of the doors of the frames because they were a little bit odd and didn't look nice. There were nine doors in total. They came in at £965, that's £107 per door so that's including the door, the hardware, the hinges, the facings of the door, and the handles. The final bit of the first fix and that is plastering. We needed to plaster the whole house because it was run down. We had to replace that ceiling in the kitchen. We had a bit of the rewiring going on, it was not a full rewire. The whole plastering came in at £2200. That is literally the whole house, downstairs in the lounge, in the kitchen, the whole way up to the first floor and then upstairs the two rooms and in the bathroom, all the walls and the ceilings.

Second fix and installation

All materials for the kitchen including countertops, units, oven, cooking hob, extractor, sink, and tap were all in at £1342. When you factor in the labour for fitting all the units in the kitchen, it was £950. When the bathroom was installed, the materials include a sink, tap, toilet bowl, bathtub, shower screen, towel radiator, all in £650 and the labour that is needed to fit all this is £750. Now we have an almost complete house.

Final touches and external works

Painting the whole house from top to bottom including the doors, the walls, the ceiling, that was £1500. Unfortunately, our builder thought that Magnolia is still in so he started painting upstairs and after we saw that he chose to paint the bedrooms in Magnolia, we kindly told him to use white downstairs. We didn't think that was a big deal then because our tenants are going paint over if if they want to but we weren't clear on the choice of colour in that case. For the floorings, we are using carpet and underlay in the bedrooms and on the stairs and we use vinyl in the bathroom and the kitchen and in a storage. All that came in at £465. That's a supply and fit and for the lounge and the small hallway that we have we have decided to put in laminate that is an 8mm laminate the quality is AC4. That came in at £475, again supply and fit. This property needed to be painted outside, both front and the back. While he's painting, we told our builder to clean the gutters. Painting front and back, cleaning the gutters all that came in at £1500. That's it for the refurbishment cost.

Don't forget there is still building insurance that you have to pay while your property is empty. During the refurbishment, so we have paid £304. That is for a twelve-month insurance. We've changed that over as soon as we got a tenant so we got a refund that was around half of it. The property is finished and is ready to be tenanted. The letting agent will say it needs a bit more cleaning and a couple of bits and bobs here and there. We got invoiced £228 for all those works so that makes a grand total of £18,692 for this refurbishment of this property. This is the real price that we have paid. It was in 2018 and also when it comes to specifications of what type of carpets or laminate or vinyl or what type of kitchen to put in, we always try to go with a more cost-effective solution. We don't want to compromise quality, we also don't want to fork out tens of thousands of pounds just for a kitchen unit. Everyone would have their own preference, some people put carpet throughout the whole house when it comes to a rental property. It's entirely up to yourself what you want to put into your property to rent out to tenants. Hope that was helpful!

Full figures to this property deal is here.