Renovating 2nd BTL - What flooring/colours do others use?

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    Renovating 2nd BTL - What flooring/colours do others use?

    Just completed on my 2nd BTL.

    First job is to drop in central heating.

    My thoughts are repaper and paint (magnolia) throughout.
    Laminate downstairs, carpet stairs and bedrooms

    Bathroom, white suite, lino floor, full tiling.

    Kitchen, light wood units, stainless handles, built in cooler/hob/dishwasher. Tiled floor.

    Anyone done this a few more times. Anything to add or avoid,

    #2
    Is this work necessary or fashionable?

    Comment


      #3
      Renovating 2nd BTL

      All seems v sound, tho' depends on the market you are aiming for.

      I'd avoid a cooler. Get a reliable washing machine, avoid more expensive washer-drier as Ts subsequently complain of running costs [& they go wrong more].

      Use gloss on paint work - more durable

      When installing a shower, go for surface mounted fitments [ can get nice chrome at v. little extra cost], much easier to repair if something goes wrong. If looking at plumbing, install isolation valves -again not expensive & worth the extra.

      Bear in mind Energy Performance Certificate assessment criteria & try & implement any upgrades with these in mind. HMRC accepts double-glazing replacements [does not call them caplital expenditure].

      Good luck with it all.

      Comment


        #4
        Carpet / decoration colours

        I tend to use darker carpet colours, like blue, even though I would prefer to use lighter colours as they brighten up rooms, making them more appealing.
        Unfortunately, dirt and wear builds up quicker on lighter colours and so they need to be cleaned or replaced sooner than darker colours.

        It also depends what market you're aiming at too.

        If its mid to top end, I would definitely choose lighter shades for carpets.
        The extra rent should easily cover the increased costs of cleaning and replacement.

        If its the low-average end, as long as they are clean and in good condition, tenants won't mind too much what colour the carpets are in.

        For general decoration schemes, I always go for as neutral tones as possible, as these are the least clashing/offensive of colours for people's possessions.
        This should give you the biggest range of people that your accommodation could appeal to.

        For decoration, I use magnolia / off whites for paints and creams/magnolias with soft furnishings.
        I also choose lighter wood shades for any furniture I am supplying too.

        Comment


          #5
          refurbishing buy to let property

          there is a new range of paint on the market which is ten times stronger than regular emulsion/vinyl matt. It is marketed by that company which used to have an olde englishe sheepdog in their adverts. It's terrific stuff especially for accommodation that is going to be let because it doesn't mark so much on corridors/stairs and it is much more wipe able /scrubbable. Yes the paint is dearer to buy (over double the price of the cheap stuff) but as most of the cost of redecorating is labour it is worthwhile.

          In general I have found that it is well worth spending money keeping Buy (or Bought) to Let in first rate condition. Put in as much insulation as you can. If your product is better than the rest of the general run of the mill dross, your tenants are more likely to value what they've got; and quite often friends of theirs will want to take over the place when they do eventually go.

          Comment


            #6
            My advice is try a different colour to magnolia, maybe on a 'feature wall'. It sounds fussy but when 90% of propeties are bloody magnolia (can you tell I rent?) something a little different is more memorable.

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              #7
              avoid built in appliances - more expensive in the first instance and harder to replace. You know at some point that you'll get a tenant that will use the fridge to store biological waste*...

              You want appliances that can be swapped out in 15 mins if you need to replace them.

              I also think laminate is getting a bit past it. If used don't use the cheap stuff that you'll need to rip out in a year anyway. Tenants will mop it. Also fit under skirting unless you are really good at laying it. Quadrants and lots of caulking makes a place look studenty and cheap. Which might not be a problem if this is your market.



              *even if it started out life as a cheese sandwich in 1993

              Comment


                #8
                Based on about five renovations, and several costly mistakes...

                100% agree about exposed shower riser/valve. Plumbers tell me Aqualisa are the easiest to repair, as the valve is just a drop-in cartridge. Also work with any kind of water pressure if that’s an issue.

                Combi-Boiler – make sure it’s powerful enough for the size of property/compatible with water pressure (costliest mistake ever)

                Laminate - I go for darker 'walnut' effect rather than lighter colours (last stuff I used was by Pergo). Looks smarter and doesn't show dirt as much. Have never had a problem with it deteriorating, it’s very hardwearing stuff. (agree with fthl about fitting it under the skirting).

                Bathroom tiles - big format best (less grout), matt finish, and not white tiles, a neutral stone/pebbly colour, then have similar colour grout. Looks better than dirty white grout. Make sure taps are suitable for the water pressure and don’t buy super-cheap taps.

                Kitchen - Ikea units and get them fitted by a really good joiner. Easy and cheap to replace doors down the line. Don’t get doors with any kind of peel-offable/laminated/’foil’ finish – it’ll eventually peel off. The Applad range is spray-lacquered, so doesn’t peel, and you can retouch chips, or repaint. I don’t use wooden worktops as Ts never maintain them, they warp by the sink and scratch easily.

                Don't install radiator covers. Once had a radiator explode as corrosion went unnoticed beneath the cover. I always put in column rads like this –
                http://www.mrcentralheating.com/columnradiators.html

                Wall colours – Dulux Chalky Downs is a good off-white, and Almond White a slightly darker neutral.

                Carpet – stone/pebbly colour, never cream, or beige, or grey, or colours.

                Create as much storage space as possible.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by shropet View Post
                  HMRC accepts double-glazing replacements [does not call them caplital expenditure].
                  EXCEPT that as this is a refurbishment following an acquisition ALL the costs of "repairs" to the property are in fact capital not revenue.

                  http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/bimmanual/BIM35455.htm

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jase_31@hotmail.com View Post

                    Anyone done this a few more times. Anything to add or avoid,
                    We have refurbished several properties and have discovered (sometimes to our cost):

                    Laminate is better than carpets on ground floors, but go for the waterproof variety (eg. Aqualok) and follow fitting instructions to the letter.

                    Cheap wardrobes (ie, anything made of particleboard/MDF rather than solid wood) are a waste of money. They fall apart.

                    When assembling flat-pack furniture, do not allow your teenage children free rein with an electric screwdriver, especially if they claim to know 'a better way' to do it than the instructions suggest.

                    When letting to students, imagine your property is a giant badgers sett for 6' long badgers and design it accordingly. Make everything scrubbable and scratch-proof. You may be pleasantly surprised, but if they do behave like badgers, at least you'll be prepared.

                    When it comes to bathrooms, assume they will dry clothes in it and not open the windows for months on end and install the most powerful extractor fan you can afford.

                    Buy a cheap bedside rug for each student bedroom - this is the area which gets stuff spilt on it most. Then they only have to pay for a new rug, not the whole carpet, when they chuck up/spill stuff on it.

                    Magnolia is sooooooooooooooo duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuullllllll Pale Wedgewood blue, caffe latte, pale rose pink, white and cream, buttermilk....much more interesting, yet still calm.

                    Go for leather settees or dark washable covers, mid-toned neutral colours in carpets, preferably with a slight fleck.
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                    Comment


                      #11
                      If you are changing the colour of the walls, please FFS use enough coats of paint. My current LL didn't, and every time I dab grease off the kitchen walls some of the paint comes away, leaving blue patches showing through.

                      Agree with the other comments about Magnolia, and also the bathroom extractor fan; might be worth using one that's driven off the humidity level if you want to avoid mould.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        When assembling flat-pack furniture, do not allow your teenage children free rein with an electric screwdriver, especially if they claim to know 'a better way' to do it than the instructions suggest.
                        !!

                        Go for leather settees or dark washable covers, mid-toned neutral colours in carpets, preferably with a slight fleck.
                        Go for cheap leather - split/corrected grain or similar. Often more plastic than leather, but that is why it lasts and is easy to clean. The better stuff will get trashed very quickly. You need the dfs special.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by fthl View Post
                          You need the dfs special.
                          Special offer, because it's:
                          a. for a limited period (i.e. until infinity only); and
                          b. unrepeatable (until tomorrow).
                          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks for advertising DFS as my husband works for them

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Smithy100 View Post
                              Thanks for advertising DFS as my husband works for them
                              But are you Linda Barker?
                              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                              Comment

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