Thinking of buying a home? Maybe something ‘in need of love‘ or a ‘handyman special‘? Or even just a bit of an ugly duckling, in basically good condition but with a few clever and stylish touches needed?
You’re no doubt wise enough to budget for all this kind of thing in advance, so as not to get in over your head. Struggler has an easy method for doing this, which I offer you now:
Write down all that you think is needed.
Do a rough costing, estimate when you could do the work,
or afford someone to do it for you.
Got that part? Good.
Now, double the problems, double the costs, and double how long it’ll take you.
In fact, if your beloved’s time is needed, triple that last one.
In my first flat, I cheerfully took the dated side panel off the bath, thinking I would put something nicer on there instead with just a couple of hours and a few pounds invested. Hah! Huge mistake. Behold, the view that greeted me was significant amounts of what in England is affectionately known as wet rot. The floor was holding the tub up, but only just. Happily, Beloved Boyfriend (now BH) and I were not in the habit of taking baths together, or we’d have been through the floor.
So, the bath tub had to come out in order for repairs to be done. And you know what? Once you take out a bath and wreck the tiles, you might as well keep going and do your whole bathroom.
More wisdom from Struggler:
If the guy who comes to quote for a new bathroom
drives a nicer car than you, hire someone else.
More recently, a squirrel moved into our attic, and the 6AM scampering noises were enough to tempt
us Beloved Husband out onto the roof in hot pursuit. After Mr Squirrel had been evicted, BH declared it was time to touch up some of the paint on the trim. In turn, this led to some paint for the windows, at which point he found at least one fenestration which is softer than marshmallows on a campfire. Guess what, we have 11 windows in our house – can you see where this is going?
My two great lessons, therefore:
- Be prepared that ANYTHING you touch may reveal untold traumas behind it.
- Everything, but EVERYTHING takes at least twice the effort to fix than you thought.
Come to terms with these two, and you’ll have many happy years of home ownership ahead.
Oh, wait a minute, did you really come here looking for info on estimating repairs, rather than a bunch of bellyaching? In that case, you might like to check out Cost Helper, where I’ve found the guide prices pretty good. Remember to allow that you might be in a more costly part of the country. There is also a UK calculator at Check Your Price, but although I’m out of date with costs in Britain, I’m concerned that might come out a little low.
And if you’re having a rotten-under-the-bathtub kind of moment, the last piece of wisdom is from Nancy Reagan:
“I have been very happy with my homes,
but homes really are no more than the people who live in them.”
Photo thanks: Remigiusz Szczerbak.