How much does it Cost to Renovate a House?

Planning renovation

By updating an unloved property is the most cost-effective path to creating a new home, rather than buying a new house. Plus it means you’ll end up with a space that’s tailored to your household’s needs. But! For this, to work you need to be financially prepared and keep on top of costs.

To know how much money you will need for your budget, you will need to assess your property before you buy, and all the necessary work that needs to be completed.

To find out the prices of your required build, you can discuss prices and processes with builders and other tradespeople. But don’t always take the quote as a final figure, it’s an estimated quote after all. To get more accurate they would have to look around the property and assess the building in detail.

Having an accurate quote allows you to know you’re spending And limits, so you don’t spend more than it’s needed. If you use a main contractor for the whole project, you’ll be in a good position to secure an in-depth quote with some cost certainty, too.

Also by managing the project yourself means you’ll be saving money than paying someone else. But by having a building professional they will have good contacts established and pre-negotiated discounts already in place.

Doing things yourself takes a lot of time too, so if you can afford it it’s best to have the right people for the right job, as if you come across any problems you’ll have to pay again to correct them.

Examples of costing...

Victorian terrace

Street in England with typical houses
  • Property cost £285,000 
  • Bought 2015 
  • House size 139m2 
  • Project cost £110,000 (per m2 £791) 
  • Average length of time 17 months 
  • Current value £650,000


  • Materials £15,000 
  • Labour £50,000 
  • Plumbing £8,000 
  • Electrics £5,000 
  • Windows £5,000 
  • Bathroom £10,000
  • Kitchen £5,000 
  • Decoration £4,000 
  • Fees & miscellaneous £8,000

1960s Bungalow 

  • Property cost £720,500 
  • Bought 2016 
  • House size 271m2 
  • Project cost £275,000 (per m2 £1,015) 
  • Building work took Six months 
  • Current value £1,300,000


  • Fees (Architect, Surveyor, Planning & Engineer) £12,000 
  • Foundations & Drainage £11,000
  • External walls & Roof £65,000 
  • Windows & Doors £26,000 
  • Internal walls & Stairs £25,500 
  • Plumbing, Heating, Electrics & AV/IT £39,000 
  • Wood-burning stove £2,500 
  • Kitchen, Bathrooms & decorating £45,000 
  • Flooring £9,500 
  • External works & Automated gates £39,500

20th Century Semi-Detached 

Semi detached house
  • Property cost £795,000 
  • Bought 2015 
  • House size 230m2 
  • Project cost £425,000 (per m2 £1,848) 
  • Building work took 18 months 
  • Current value £1,250,000


  • Architect, structural engineer, planning £12,000 
  • Builders (plumbing, electrical,
    roofing & painting) £300,000 
  • Bathrooms £10,000
  • Kitchen £20,000 
  • Windows & glazed doors £27,000 
  • Tiles £7,000 
  • Carpets £7,000 
  • Shutters & blinds £5,000 
  • Light fittings £4,000 
  • Storage & rental of property £33,000

Finance options & Mortgages

Not everyone has a large amount of money just laying around for renovation projects. So don’t worry there are various options available to make sure you have the money for a project when you need it.

But the right path is different for different people circumstances. Here are the main contenders if you have a property:

  • Re-mortgage – Free’s up equity in an existing house by borrowing against your mortgage. 
  • Bridging loans – Easier to arrange than a mortgage, but the interest due tends to be high.
  • Renovation mortgage – Allow funds to be released in stages to cover different key phases of your project.
  • Extended overdrafts, credit cards & personal loans – Allow you to borrow cash quickly, but you’ll pay a premium for the privilege.

Hidden costs

hidden cost concept, businessman looking for coins hidden

Remember there are extra costs that you’re required to pay for on top of other expenses…

  • Surveys & planning application – Having a professional investigate your building and applying for permission to work on the property will cost you.
    Stamp duty & legal fees – Solicitor costs and stamp duty is another big cost. Owning a property and then buying another one will ultimately make your stamp duty higher. But if you sell your other property in 36 months you’re eligible for a refund.
  • Rent – If you’ve sold your previous home to fund your renovation project, you may need to rent a house whilst you’re renovating your new home.
  • Finance interest – If you borrow money to pay for the major works, remember you’ll be paying interest back as well.
  • VAT – Self-builds are exempt from paying VAT, but you’ll need to pay 20% on most renovations.
  • Contingency – It’s crucial to have money put aside in case something unexpected crops up, we recommend putting aside 10-15% of your budget.

Let us know if you followed any of these tips or did something we haven’t mentioned below, we would love to hear from you!

Alternatively, follow our social platforms for more information daily

On-Site Doing it Right!