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Restoration & Refurbishment

Partial renovation

We have just bought a typical semi-detached house which is in habitable condition but does require a complete renovation. Since we are going to be living in the house we cannot gut it completely at once. However, we can go away for 7-10 days to allow for necessary work to be completed on a part of the house. We are hoping to complete the renovation (and build an extension) next summer when children will be away on holiday.

We decided to replace all windows in the house and then completely renovate all three bedrooms upstairs. The bedrooms will need to be completely re-wired, re-plumbed, re-plastered, new doors/joinery/radiators fitted and re-decorated. We would like to remove the carpets and then sand and varnish original floorboards.

What are your views on such partial renovation? Is it workable and generally possible to complete in 7-10 days without destroying the rest of the house? We are planning to hire a builder to do all the work. Also, most of the plaster seems to be in a decent (not blown) condition, but covered by layers of wallpaper.

Would it be better to hack all the plaster off and dry-line the walls or just patch up and re-skim existing plaster after removal of the wallpaper once plumbing and wiring is done? Should we be looking to install insulating plasterboard (e.g. Kingspan) to the inside of external walls since the house is of solid wall construction?

2 Answers from MyBuilder Restoration & Refurb Specialists

you will want to work very closely with your Contractor or your Architect (hint hint) to design schedule a program of work with LOTS of penalty clauses that mean the Contractor has to pay for your hotel if his works overun.
Lots of investigative works before you even start designing might be an idea; see whats behind the walls, under the floors,
Consider using SIPS for the extension, as the assembly time can be hours.


Answered 1st Oct 2012


The dry-lining is always better in old houses as the walls as in probably in yours are not straight. If you are looking for straight and levelled lines the dry- linings is necessary. Probably if you start to remove the paper from the wall at some places the plaster will come with it. These areas can be patched up without any problem and if you are not looking for for 100% straight lines the skimming will still give you a nice flat surface.
Insulation is nowdays a must have thing and will reduce the heating cost. 60mm foam backed plasterboard will do the job on external walls. As the weakest points in a house are the corners where floor meats the wall, ceiling with roof you need to insulate loft, and between floorboards. If you pick the floorboards could be a time to level the floor too so you will have a nice levelled surface.( good for furnitures:)
The time 7 - 10 days probably its enough to start up the job. Prepare for month minimum with the electrical, plumbing and decoration works . Like for a nice Bentley you have to wait but worth it as do it once do it right. If you start to pressurise your builder about the time he wont spend enough time for important things which sometimes not visible for eyes but still important.
Have a good day.



Answered 1st Oct 2012

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