Today we talk about how long did the renovation take on our latest HMO refurbishment
This is a project that we recently finished refurbishment and already tenanted over the course of Covid, the pandemic. It's tough times for everybody but luckily the government kept the construction industry still open so we were still able to carry out works.
We're going to share with you guys our timeline when it comes to refurbishing this six-bed five bathrooms house share project.
Here's a video version if you prefer that.
We got the keys in late August 2019. At that time we had another HMO project under refurbishment and our builders were not able to start work on this project straight away.
We were fine with it because we had utilities to move and that takes on average like two months. Our builders were not only on our projects they were also working for other investors in the area so they were kind of at capacity. We don't want to push them too hard because speed is one thing but we prioritise quality as well.
Whilst waiting for our builders to finish previous projects until they can do our job, we got in touch with the gas supplier and the electric supplier to move the gas and electric meters. We had to do that from the inside of one of the rooms to the outside because we want to convert this room into a bedroom. It's not very ideal to have a gas meter and an electric meter in a bedroom. No tenant would like to have that.
By November, we had the gas meters moved. That's what it looked like:
Our team also did the rip out at that time. We were moving into close to Christmas and New Year and normally our builders they take about 10 days to two weeks off over the course of Christmas and New Year. We were doing some roof works, removing chimney breasts. Stud works were put up and also the damp proof course was done. A lot has happened when our builders came back on the job in the New Year.
In the first four weeks of January, and by middle of February, the house was fully plastered. At the same time when the plaster went up, we also had a couple of new windows fitted because there were some wooden frames windows. They were single glazed so those need to be replaced they also became fire safety windows, which means they can be fully opened and in case of a fire, a tenant can open the window and either jump out of the window fire escape or climb down with a ladder. This patio door here was installed.
Moving into march we were finishing up with the bathroom and kitchen installation. The tiling, plumbing and second fix of electrics and plumbing were all getting finished up.
Then lockdown happened. That was great timing (not)! At least we had the bathrooms in. The fire doors were just about to be fitted but obviously that couldn't happen. For an unknown timeframe, we had to leave everything behind. Everyone in the UK was in sort of a limbo. What is going to happen? How serious is this pandemic going to be same? For our builders, they were waiting at home for the next announcement.
The construction industry was closed for about four to six weeks. There was major short shortage of plaster and a lot of building supplies. Merchants were also closed. We heard from other investors that they couldn't get on with their jobs as well. Their builders had to travel three hours five hours away from their local area to get supplies.
It was a difficult time for everybody. After waiting for about four weeks our builders were back on site, one man at a time, maximum two men at a time to social distance. On the 10th of May when the government officially announced that the construction industry is allowed to carry on work again, our builders cracked on.
We had fire doors installed by then. It was only one joiner on site installing the doors and door frames. The property got painted pretty quickly it was all spray painted with one guy
downstairs and one guy upstairs. All the the heating system got finalised because we actually got the heating system installed before lockdown but it wasn't fully operational yet. By the middle of June, we had the floors down, laminate, vinyl, carpet. Things started to move really really quickly.
By this time we have been doing snagging along the way so we can relay that to our builders and they can fix it there and then in about a week. After the carpet was done we had the cleaners in to do a deep clean before it was ready to be handed over to our letting agent. In between the flooring and the final handover in one week, all the snags got rectified. The furniture was delivered everything just comes pre-assembled and within two hours or so, it's fully furnished. It was just in time for our refinance valuation to happen.
This is our strategy - we buy with cash or with bridging finance and then we will budget for 8 to 12 months period where we would finish all the works and then we would refinance it. We mortgaged this property with a new lender to pull out funds. In this case we have timed it really really tightly but eventually everything worked out. The refinancing process took two months even during pandemic (big shout out to our team)! They are really professional and are always on the ball with the progress.
By the time the valuer came around, that was the end of June, we had two tenants already
moved in and the house was fully tenanted by the second week in August.
Even though we had a delayed start in the beginning and with the pandemic we still refinanced in time.
All numbers to this project can be found here.
ELSIE AND MARKUS