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House Improvements Thread
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You are currently reading a thread in /diy/ - Do It yourself

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Hey /diy
Just in the process of buying my first house and wondered what home improvements you would recommend - whether for this house or not.
Things like cavity wall insulation, air extraction system, changing locks etc.
Pic is related, its a house for sale which is almost identical to mine but in better condition internally and with a conservatory.

Here's the link to it if you want to check it out: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-52237609.html

TL/DR What changes to your house would you make if you could? What would you recommend to a first time buyer?
blasphemy. exposed brick pls.
aside from what you've already mentioned, trellis fencing and a gate as well as a basic alarm system wouldn't be a terrible investment. If you can get planning permission, put a steep roof on your garage and a mezzanine floor in there for almost double space. attic conversion mite b cool if there's enough head clearance. also make sure your boiler is in decent condition
Thanks for your reply
I'm not a fan of the render either but looking to target my limited resources on what counts, I would say that taking the render comes under aesthetics, unless you know of a good reason to be rid of it?
The whole garage likely needs to be replaced as it has white asbestos sheet roofing and is of prefab concrete construction which my surveyor thinks is likely to contain asbestos too - so can't put up shelves etc.
The house has an alarm thankfully, and the loft is mostly boarded but the roof has been re-tiled and they put new insulation in when they did it.
The boiler is old but is a combi, not the old tank type.
Would love to put some solar panels up at some point.
Any other ideas guys?
demo the front garden and pavement and do a proper one

demo the kitchen and re do it

external render has to go

wouldnt but a house with asbestos in it
No asbestos in the house, just the garage.
My house has a front garden but its basically gravel and a little well ornament.
Kitchen does need redoing, but its perfectly functional at present so it's not top of the list, although the cooker is bollocks.

Why remove render?
Improvements will change depending on house.

I will suggest this. If the bathroom needs renovation do it before you move in if possible, unless it has 2 bathrooms. Or if the kitchen needs it do the same thing, unless you don't eating off a hot plate and doing dishes in the bathroom.

Basically, necessities then luxuries. And don't cheap out on things. No point in investing a grand in something, skimping on a couple hundred extra, then wanting to do it over in a year or 2 because you're in happy with it.

If you live in a cold climate insulate and replace old windows where applicable.

I'm about to buy a house in cash cheap, it needs about 15 to 20 grand in work in work, and half of that is a garage. I'm an amateur woodworker and mechanic so I need a garage.

My order for what I want to do.
Bathroom, gut and replace
Kitchen, gut, redesign, replace
Replace fuse panel with breaker box
Verify ground in all circuits
Glass block windows in basement
Replace windows with double paine vinyl
Insulate attic
Have driveway repaved, will have foundation laid for garage at this point
Trench for garage plumbing, electrical, and gas.
Build garage, probably 24x30
Run amenities, install small water heater and gas powered heater.
Insulate garage
Replace old piping in basement, and do extreme preventive maintenance on anything that might be an issue down the road
Finish basement
Finish garage

It may be more near 25k, but this is a 3year plan at the moment.
Thanks for the advice, looks like you have a good plan.

Unfortunately we haven't got the capital to replace the bathroom before we move in, but it's high on the list as even though it's in good condition as it was redone within the last 5 years it was remodelled for a pensioner who had parkinsons, so doesn't have a bath anymore - its more of a wetroom now - which isn't great as we are expecting our first child and kids need baths.
The thing we are going to do before moving in is remove old polystyrene ceiling tiles which were put up in the 60s as they're a significant fire hazard apparently.
Otherwise plan goes like this:

Remove ceiling tiles
Change lock cylinders for some 3 star ones
Change alarm codes
Put up a couple of security lights
Put up plaster board if necessary - certainly re-plaster the ceiling.
Get some internal damp proof coursing replaced and re-plaster the walls (Only 2 thankfully)
Replace missing gate at front of property and line with chicken wire etc to stop dog/child escaping.
Put bathroom back to how it was with bath included
Remove old electric fireplace and get woodburner put in.
Get garage concrete tested for asbestos - if ok remove asbestos sheeting roof and replace with one stronger temporary one, if not remove garage and rebuild.
Re-do kitchen with raised double oven.
Move Greenhouse and remodel garden to include more open space.
There's probably more, build an extension/garden room is certainly on the list but thats a while away.
Leave the render but paint it a cream colour ,will look a lot better.

I'd just concentrate on the more important jobs first though.
Ok cool, thanks
That looks like a lousy neighborhood.
I'd call it degenerate.
It's not bad actually - but if we had more money we would live somewhere else...
The neighbours are nice enough.
actually you know why your place looks shitty? it is because of the rendering, no joke, this type of render screams CHEAP, also the dark colored everthing doesnt help either (front hedge adds shading, shitty walk way is dark color and broken, rendering is a dark and shitty grey... everything looks depressing...) not trolling but that is how it is

i would redo the pavement and not use asphalt at the very least, and use a lighter shade of concrete, also replace the hedge with something more see through, also take care of the lawn and possibly replace it with a moss garden because it is in the shade of the house...

also the render HAS to go, at least paint it white or some other brighter, more uplifting color

also put some bright colored objects around the place, eg colored decoration dotting around, that will make it less depressing and add a little excitement, some potted plants will also do

tldr: it looks depressing and it has to change
As mentioned above the house shown in the pic is identical internally, but externally my render is actually a lighter sand colour.
Having said that I totally get what you are saying, there are various links between colours and mood so brightening the front of the property is a good idea - thanks.
Sounds like a solid plan, especially taking care of security first. There isn't anything wrong with living in a "lousy" area, just be smart about it. I've never been robbed, but not for lack of trying. A pit bull is a nice addition to any security system, they're nice dogs if you treat them right, but all the negative stigma is enough to scare off low level burglars.
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Artists rendering of out to make the house look less shit on the outside.

What you're going to need is some flowers, some cement, some cow shit, and some water. Also a box for flowers near that shitty part of the house.
Thanks, we have plans for dogs too.

Thats brilliant, love your work!
Check out http://jimllpaintit.tumblr.com/ if you're into ms paint
an seldom has the word artist been so abused..

re: render, tbf, that shit is (surprisingly) fairly common in large swathes of the UK, ie deos not mean GHETTO! - its also about as easily removed as artex on the ceiling/herpes/etc.

That said, I'd entirely agree, it's appearance is probably bessed summed as 'fucking srsly depressing awfulness' - its also even worse irl. Apart from painting it (it comes in two basic color variations, none of them attractive) - you can either use TNT for quick removal, or forget about its existence entirely, and keep your eyes shut every time you arrive home.
Like most buildings it looks pretty shitty in the rain and passable in the sunshine so I'll probably paint it when I've run out of other things to do - but leave it until then.
I just spent some time looking up how to remove it and, like you, everyone says how incredibly difficult it is without damaging the brickwork underneath.
or just put another layer of plaster of paris on top and make it smooth?

(i dont know if this is even feasible, someone else might be able to advice on this)

you forgot to paint the house (-1) and the fence (-1) , and remove the hedge (-1)
Interesting idea, I'll look it up and see what I find.
Any chance of excavating a cellar/basement?

Rebuild the garage, get a sweet home gym and workshop space

Mancave loft conversion

I hope you're planning on building an awesome shed too. Plus a patio with bbq, hot tub if you're a playboy, etc.
Garage will be rebuilt, I've just spent the best part of an hour and a half looking at building regs and I should be able to put up something pretty decent without needing planning permission.
Will make it a workshop as the driveway is narrow seeing as it was built in the 30s, can barely fit an old Ford Focus up there!
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