Hi, I have just purchased a 1950’s 3 bed semi detached ex-council house. I am planning to renovate the the full internals. Everything needs stripping back and starting again. The building is solid and no structural work is required.

The property needs the following doing:

New Wiring & Board
New Boiler
New Bathroom
New Kitchen
New Heating system
Ceilings & Walls boarding and skimming (Artex at Present)

This is my first renovation and I would like some sort of advice on what order I should do things, I require a project plan basically.

I’m planning on doing the unskilled work myself and employing contractors to do the skilled work. I have a pretty tight timescale for the works therefore I need to get it right. I get the keys in 3 weeks and want to hit the ground running and complete 8 weeks later.

Any advice, books, website etc will be helpful.


  • Tony Taylor

    Assuming you are proposing to re-skim the ceilings and walls, you would be better to arrange access to the property for a morning or afternoon and meet with the local B&Q or Homebase kitchen representative and also meet with an electrician and plumber.

    This way you can get a kitchen and bathroom design under way before you get the keys properly and also get some quotes for the re-wiring and re-plumbing works, usually all for free.

    If you can, arrange for a plasterer at the same time, although this may be pushing it in a morning! You should have a range of quotes within a few weeks, I would then set up a work programme as follows;

    1, Plumbing and electrical work undertaken first and at the same time, leaving out the boiler and distribution board (Fusebox), this would be your first fix elements covered.
    2, Plaster all the cable chases and damage caused by electrician and plumber.
    3, Call the plumber and electrician back to carry out their second fix, installing sockets, distribution board, radiators, boiler etc.
    4, Arrange for a kitchen installer to fit your new cabinets, worktop and appliances. The plumber may offer to install the bathroom for you, which would be worthwhile considering.
    5, Commission all services.
    6, Decorate and move in.

    If you are proposing to remove all the ceilings and walls, this is a job you could easily do (Hard work though) before item 1 above, just make sure you isolate the electricity and water before you start.

    Item 1 should be complete within the first week, item 2 a week to ten days depending on the level of plastering required, item 3 should be complete in a couple, maybe 3 days, kitchen will take a week, including tiles etc. Commissioning would be done within a day for all services and it is important you received test certificates for the equipment installed.

    Decoration is something you can do yourself and could save you a significant chunk of cash.

    Your project should be achievable within your quoted timescale, providing you can correctly programme when each trade should be on site, however many tradesmen will require a few weeks notice for first and second fixes, due to other commitments, certainly a good contractor will be worth waiting for.

    Have a chat with friends, family or neighbours who have had some recent work carried out, a verbal recommendation is much better than looking in the Yellow pages.

    Hope this helps.


  • Samuel Joy

    Great answer Tony, really useful info.

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