modern bright living room

How to plan and budget for house renovation costs

Whether you need an extra bedroom in your family home, or you would love to entertain with an open-plan kitchen, the question of house renovation costs will be an important subject. There's no doubt that when a renovation project is done right, you will boost your property's value.

Other potential renovations worth considering for London homeowners include:

  • Adding an en suite bathroom to a master bedroom - adds £14,525
  • Convert an understairs cupboard into a downstairs toilet - adds £9,683
  • Add a garden room - adds £9,683 to your home's value.
contemporary hallway renovation

These figures highlight that for London homeowners, there are some very good financial incentives when considering a renovation scheme, and here the experts at Proficiency explain more.

How much will it cost to renovate a house?

First things first, you need to appreciate that a house renovation project is a unique undertaking so the cost will vary depending on where you live, the size of your property,  what work you want to carry out, if you need a to look for high end residential refurbishment contractors or a general builders for your project.

That's because there are so many potential costs for you to consider, so you really should sit down and list the renovation tasks you think you need to do - start with the most important and work your way through them all.

Once you have your list, it's time to start planning the budget.

The average costs for renovating include:

  • Rewiring: £4,000 - £7,500
  • Kitchen extension: £45,000 - £84,000
  • Knock down walls: £5,000 - £10,000
  • Paint ceilings and walls: £5,000 - £7,000
open plan refurbishment with bi fold doors

Even replastering walls can cost up to £3,500 and re-skimming your current ceilings and walls could leave you with a bill of between £10,000 and £15,000.

There's also another important consideration when you are putting together a project, and that's to add a contingency amount to deal with any unexpected costs - and there will be some.

Property experts say that you should add between 10% and 15% to the predicted total renovation budget to help cover issues such as rotting beams, or even for the replacing of dangerous wiring you didn't know you had until work started.

What issues will affect renovation costs?

We've already highlighted that there are some issues affecting renovation costs and some of these include:

  • Where you live
  • The quality of fixtures, materials and finishings used
  • How complex your renovation project is
  • The property's condition and age
  • The property's size.

Other issues that affect the cost of home renovation costs include the amount of structural work needed – and you may need a structural survey carried out.

Don't forget too that you will need to decorate once the project is finished, and this can also be an expensive undertaking if you would like it done professionally.

blue rear home renovation

Why will a house renovation cost so much?

Having looked at the potential bills for the type of work to be considered, and looked at other issues affecting the overall costs, it's time to take a closer look at the potential bill.

Taking the list of average costs detailed above:


The cost for rewiring a property could cost £7,500 and a lot depends on its size and how complex the electrical system is – especially if replacing old fashioned fuse boxes

Replacing central heating

The  average cost of replacing central heating in a home typically ranges from £4,250 for a two-bedroom small flat, up to around £8,500 for a 3 bedroom house.

Building a new extension

Victorian living room

If you want to extend a three-bedroom home, with a floor space of around 12 square meters, you could be looking at spending £65,000 on average. This will create a nice kitchen extension and the bill will cover a flat roof and the damp proof course.

Knock down walls

When it comes to knocking down walls when renovating a property, the average bill is around £4,750 depending if it is a load-bearing wall/ bearing wall or not.

Other costs for renovating a house include:

  • Fitting a new toilet with the distribution pipes and floor tiling will be around £1,250
  • Fitting a new kitchen - this could cost you up to £25,000 depending on its design and the quality of materials being used.
  • A new bathroom - many home projects include fitting a new bathroom which may cost around £6,000.

You may be wondering why some of these bills appear to be quite high, but if you consider that installing French doors will cost around £3,500, that's not just for the doors - you need to remove brickwork, fit new lintels and then repair the plasterwork.

It is also worth noting that the labour costs will also account for a large part of your renovation bill.

For example, a plumber and electrician may be earning up to £400 per day; a plasterer, tiler and carpenter, as well as the painter and decorator, will also be paid up to £250 per day.

modern residential room

Labourers will cost up to £180 per day, while an experienced general builder may charge up to £250 per day.

This then brings us to the issue of how long the renovation of your home will take.

As an example, should you want to rewire your home, this can take between six days and two weeks and the electrician's time will be £1,800. Again, a lot depends on the amount of time needed to carry out the rewiring, and the size of your property.

If you are looking at installing a central heating system, this could take up to two weeks and the labour bill would be £3,000.

There’s no doubt that the labour costs will account for a significant part of the overall bill.

Other home renovating costs

While we have highlighted the potential costs for some of the most popular renovation tasks, There are other costs that need to be considered like if you will like the help of an interior designer for your house renovation, by working with a designer, they will be able to give you luxury interior design ideas at lower cost as they work with may trade companies.

In addition to you putting together a fully costed project, plus the contingency fee of up to 15%, there are other outgoings that may deter you from carrying out your project. They include:

Planning application and survey costs

Depending on the work you want to carry out, if you are undertaking a large project and the end goal is a luxury property renovation, then you may need to appoint a high end residential architects company to deliver your vision, carry all the relevant steps of the planning application, deal with your local authority and can recommend a structural engineer to carry out a full structural survey and all the structural calculations.

Legal costs and stamp duty

Should you be renovating a property to sell, don't forget your solicitor fees and stamp duty costs. And if this is a second property that you own, then the stamp duty being levied will be at a higher rate.

mezzanine over kitchen

How to save money when renovating a house

If you have put together a list of renovation ideas for your project, and then calculated that the final bill is out of your price range, there are some ideas to save money when renovating a house to consider.

For example, if you would like more space, particularly downstairs, then consider a conservatory. These are cheaper to install and add value to your home.

If you simply want to carry out a house refurbishment, then you should consider a bathroom makeover. That's because an up-to-date bathroom can have a big impact on the feel of your property - and add value too.

And if the budget for an extension is too high, then consider a garage conversion. You can easily create a liveable room, including a dining room, from a converted garage.

The same idea extends to those wanting an extra bedroom and you could consider a loft conversion. These are regularly highlighted by many property experts as an excellent way to add value to your home with a loft conversion costing between £40,000 and £60,000.

Should I renovate or move?

One of the big issues when you consider a renovation project, is whether it's worth spending all of that money, or whether it's easier and cheaper to simply move home.

A lot depends on your personal circumstances, but you may need more space in your existing house that you love living in. Or you may simply want a better layout or want to boost the value of your property.

Home renovation benefits include:

decorative flower on the floor next to a step

Renovation may cost less

While you may be tempted to move to a new, larger property, undertaking a project that has been well-planned and is being delivered by an experienced workforce, will usually cost less than upgrading to another property. Don't forget, you can also carry out a project in stages so you won't be needing all the money upfront which may help when placing the financial outlay over a period of time.

Deliver the perfect look

When you undertake a project, you will be able to deliver the perfect look for your home and personalise everything with your own touch. That's not quite the same when you buy a new property because you may have to compromise. A project to renovate is a great way to deliver your ideal home.

Enjoy your home and neighbours

One of the big attractions for renovating rather than moving home means that you'll get to enjoy the property that you love for longer. You may also love your neighbourhood. If you move, that means having the time and expense of moving into a new property, dealing with new neighbours and even having a new commute to work.

Average cost of a house renovation in London

House (bedrooms) Cost range
1 bedroom house £35,000 - £49,5000
2 bedroom house £50,000 - £75,900
3 bedroom house £76,000 - £138,000
4 bedroom house £140,000 - £250,000

Renovating a property - the downsides

While looking at the issue of whether you should buy a new home or renovate your current property, we should look at the downsides. They include:

  • Renovating a property takes time – probably much longer than you anticipate
  • You may encounter unforeseen issues - and these can be expensive
  • Renovation costs can quickly rise.

That's not to say that when you buy a new build property that it will not have any issues.

Not only will you be paying a premium to move into a new home, but you may also encounter a home with smaller rooms than you currently enjoy, and less outdoor space.

And don't forget, most new build properties will have snagging issues that need to be resolved.

Interior design for London room

Contact Us about renovation

If you would like to know more about house renovation costs and how long a project will take, it's time to contact the experts at Proficiency.




02080 760 196