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Minimum renovation to make house comfortable

  • 24-01-2023 9:17am
    Registered Users Posts: 4

    Hi. My parents have inherited an old, end of terrace house. It is approx 78sqm with 2 bedrooms upstairs and a kitchen, sitting room, bathroom downstairs. It has a freezing cold sunroom built at the back. It is over 100 years old and very little has been done to it. Wonky floors, very cold if oil fired heating not on and has been trouble with the drains. No insulation.

    I am a first time buyer and they have offered the house to me at a very low price. I love the location and garden so am tempted.

    My question is what would I need to do at this stage to get the house very comfortable? Any rough, ballpark figures? If I decide further down the road that it is my forever home, there is room to extend. I will get a builder to look at it soon but would be grateful for some initial thoughts and advice. Thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 751 ✭✭✭C. Eastwood

    I advise that you should retain a Construction Professionals (CP) for advice.

    Do not accept biased advice from a builder.

    If you need the cost of the works proposed by the CP, then retain a Quantity Surveyor.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,755 ✭✭✭MicktheMan


    A couple of pointers. You say the house is over 100 years old so special attention needs to be made of the fact that modern methods of construction / renovation etc may not be generally applicable to this type of building. That's not saying that you cannot do a fine job of improving it, it's just that you need to be careful that you don't solve one thing and create more issues.

    On the coldness of it and lack of insulation etc, you might consider getting an independent full heat loss survey done first to pinpoint the issues at play and then get costings but from experience you don't need to break the bank to get a decent result once you know what the weaknesses are.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4 eilyp

    Thanks. Do you mean an engineer?

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Spokane

    You'll also probably qualify for SEAI grants for insulation, windows, boiler etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 751 ✭✭✭C. Eastwood

    You could retain any one of the following to give you the unbiased professional advice that you require:-

    1. Chartered Building Surveyor
    2. Registered Building Surveyor 
    3. Chartered Architectural Technologists
    4. Chartered Civil Engineer
    5. Architect.

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  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 10,130 Mod ✭✭✭✭BryanF

    Any chance you’d just try to answer the op’s question, or just leave it to someone else

  • Registered Users Posts: 751 ✭✭✭C. Eastwood

    Answer to OP’s Question: - somewhere between €5,000 and €195,000.

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,830 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    OP id suggest you contact someone close by to you on this list:

    they will be able to advise you on suitable energy efficient upgrades to your situation, grants available and processes, typical costs, etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11 mickie smyth

    Op, I won't comment on prices, but based on experience here is a rough list in order of comfort payoff

    First, get rid of any drafts, old houses have many but they are easy to find and remedy

    Second, attic insulation. This makes a huge difference but is relatively cheap and like drafting, you can absolutely do it yourself

    Third, deal with the windows. If you can't afford to replace at the moment, you can go for a homemade secondary glazing solution based on polycarbonate sheets and magnetic strips. There are great videos online on how to do this,,, often essential in the UK as they are slightly over protective about period building.

    Beyond here you are into the big money of underfloor insulation, thin internal insulation and rewiring. It makes sense to do these together as a big job as all three are quite disruptive.

    As for the sun room, until you can replace it, make sure the door to it is as good quality as you would use for a door to outside

    Lots of folks see 100 year old house and panic as if the thing is made of twigs. Most houses between the Dodder and Tolka in Dublin are at least 100 years old... and that is a lot of houses. The same is true for the core of any city or village

  • Registered Users Posts: 4 eilyp

    Thanks Mickie. That is very helpful information...I appreciate it.

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