Renovation cost estimate

It is difficult and rather impossible for a builder to give a cost estimate of a renovation project without seeing the property or just by looking at several pictures presented by the homeowner. This applies to everywhere in the world and so with us in Bulgaria. As the doctor needs to see the patient so a builder / renovator needs to see the property / house / villa / etc. to check the current condition and prescribe the right ‘treatment’.

Investconsult Ltd has been in the property construction & renovations business for many years. We have build, constructed, renovated and refurbished many houses, apartments, pools, house extensions, bathrooms, kitchens etc. home improvements and have done every other job the building and construction branch. Apart from the professional knowledge and the skilled builders, we also have the know-how of the house renovation in Bulgaria.

Our experience

We can tell you right away the full list of renovation works required for the property in question – starting from the outside with roof repair or partial replacement, external walls rendering, insulation and painting, further to construction consolidation, and then we can give you an advice about the architecture – where to put the bathroom (many old houses in the villages in Bulgaria don’t have internal toilet or bathroom at all), where to build an internal staircase, etc.

Having done many renovation projects in the past, unlike many builders in Bulgaria we can give you an exact estimate (offer in written) for the renovation works required by the homeowner, and the renovation will cost you not a penny more of what we have quoted. Our quote is very detailed giving you the cost for every work required and ordered. It will also give you an idea of what renovation works.

When dealing with us you will receive an advice that is professional and that will save you a lot of troubles, time and most important money.

There is one advice on price that we can give you without seeing your property:

A FREE ADVICE:

Pay no attention to what you have been told from the real estate agent about the renovation cost of the house you are viewing.

Real estate agencies are interested in the sale of the property only, as everybody in the property sale chain, they have absolutely no interest of telling you the true cost of the renovation. They sell properties for commission, they are not doing renovations.

You can contact us before you buy a property in need of renovation. This might prevent you from making a big and expensive mistake.

Our company is based in Bourgas and therefore your enquires should refer to properties located in Bourgas region or within the distance of max. 100-150 km from Bourgas city.

In case your property is located at larger distance we can view the property and give you a renovation survey but we would probably not be able to perform the repair.

We usually offer property maintenance once the houses are being renovated, but as we are a small company this is only possible if the property is close to Bourgas. It is very difficult to find “people for work” these days in Bulgaria despite the economic crises. Besides, the builders should be supervised and controlled all the time within the renovation process in order to achieve better efficiency of labor so the property should not be too far away from Bourgas.

Further to the above mentioned we would like to explain you how we proceed in practice:

First we have to view the property. In most cases it takes about one day to inspect a property – to take pictures of everything, to take measurements of the house (outside and rooms inside). Back at the office we review the pictures and together with the measurements we put everything on paper, making a plan of the house, this is a kind of working drawing, that can be used for work.

We will provide you with competent opinion about the requirements for:

  • constructive reinforcement of the property if needed;
  • electric wiring and renewal if needed;
  • condition of the water pipes and their renewal if needed;
  • setting the location of the internal toilets and bathrooms;
  • setting the location of an internal staircase;
  • extensions to the house
  • placing of extrnal insulation;
  • landscaping of the yard, building of a swimming pool, BBQ, etc. (additionally on request)

At the end we will give a price quote in written that includes all required building works, terms and conditions

At this point you will have a full information about what the renovation will cost you and what you will get for your money.

We can give you a price quote in term of one week from your initial contact. We believe it will meet your agreement and we will be pleased to renovate your property as per your requirements.

If you are not happy with our price offer and you decide to use another building company for the renovation you are welcome to contact us in case you need someone to supervise the renovation process on your behalf and to control the quality of the works.


Builder in Bulgaria - Contact You can contact us if you are looking for a Builder in Bulgaria. We are general builders covering all aspects of construction including Property Renovation, Repairs and Property finishes in Bulgaria.
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Old property renovation in Bulgaria


How to make a preliminary renovation analysis of the condition of the house you have bought and the stage of required repairs

If you are an owner of an old property in Bulgaria or intend to buy such and your property needs a repair there are some specific details you should be aware of in order to make a personal preliminary analysis for its condition.


Contact us about your house refurbishment

Do-It-Yourself Renovation Survey

We will try to give you some practical advices how to define the stage of the repairs that your property might need and how to calculate (roughly) the costs involved.

As we previously mentioned old houses have some special features thus when you decide to refurbish it a serious inspection of the property is strongly recommended. When viewing the house try to pay attention to as many details as possible and to check the house from different angles. A property valuation made by an expert will cost you money so better save some money by making the conclusions by yourself if possible.

The most important question you should answer is:
"Is my property worth repairing or should it be taken down and build a new one instead"?

This might sound shocking first but sadly it is true. There are many houses across the Bulgarian villages that are just not worth refurbishing. You could spend a fortune to refurbish an old house and it still might not be satisfying. For example if the house has been build originally with low ceilings there is nothing there to be done. Small rooms with low ceilings are oppressing.

Here are our tips when inspecting the house.

Start with the roof

Usually in Bulgaria it is covered with red (Marseille) roof-tiles. Most of the houses in Bulgarian villages are very old so be aware that if the roof is covered with Turkish tiles it needs to be fully replaced; the wooden construction underneath completely removed and rebuilt. Often there are no gutters along the eaves of the roof but this not a big problem, we can put new ones.

Good!

Marseille Roof-tiles

Bad!

Turkish roof tiles

Take a look for any missing tiles (if the house has not been inhabited for a long time there could be some leaks and the wooden construction of the roof was no doubt influenced by rains and snow). Also if the roof is partially collapsed or dropped it needs a repair. All the tiles and timbers have to be removed, the rotten parts of the wooden construction – changed with new ones and rebuilt.

It is recommended to follow these steps before placing the tiles on the roof:

- Remove old tiles (and keep them). They can be used again if not broken
- Replace old and broken tiles and timbers.
- Cover all roof eaves and chimney with galvanized sheet iron
- Install eave gutters
- Put a paper insulation all over the roof
- Restore tiles.

Cover chimney foot with
galvanized sheet iron
Install eave gutters

roof repair roof repair

New tiles will save you any future problems but if you intend to use the old tiles check each one of them and make yourself sure they are not damaged or broken. Very often the building process requires to put а layer of (lime) mortar underneath the tiles instead of the paper insulation because it fills in the roughness and firms the tiles.


Remember the repair of the house always starts with the roof. Once the roof is chekced you may proceed further by viewing of the external walls of the property.

Brickwork and construction

Most of the houses in the villages are two-storied. The ground floor is usually made of stones and the upper one is made of bricks. Pay attention to the brickwork and coating and mainly to the type of mortar used to bind the bricks – lime or mud. If mud was used (in very old hoses) an additional concrete construction of columns and beams has to be built. Look for obvious big, vertical cracks leading up to the roof. If there are many of them and also too big this means the house needs reinforcement.


A house in need of reinforcment
house refurbishment Bulgaria

External walls plaster (lime mortar)

If the original lime mortar plaster of the external walls is good and needs only partial repairing it may be preserved. If there is no plaster at all it must be laid. Lime Plaster is the ideal finish for brick walls (especially old ones), because it is flexible it will tolerate movement in the wall.

Insulation

If you are going to renovate your house then this is a very good time to consider installing some kind of wall insulation. It will be cheaper to do it at this point than on a later stage. You might be thinking of placing of external insulation instead of plaster. External insulation of the house is a good idea – it prevents the loss of heat from the building and also stops condensation on ceiling and walls. Adding external insulation is a good opportunity when refurbishing your old house in Bulgaria.
The insulating treatment to the outside of your walls is possible but the walls need to be washed and cleared very well. Otherwise the insulation may not stick steady on to the wall and it will not be effective.


External insulation on solid walls
solid brick wall

Have in mind that if the external construction of the house is not being reinforced well, some cracks may appear again in the future. In this case we recommend you to make the insulation on the inside walls instead from the outside. The external walls are insulated by putting plaster boards on the inside walls. The plasterboards can be attached directly to the walls using special bonding agent or on metal battens in-filled with insulation materials. Thus you will have both heat insulation and perfectly smooth inner walls.

Internal insulation on solid walls
solid brick wall insulation

Stone walls on ground floor

The width of stone walls on the ground floor is usually 50-60 centimeters so any insulation is not required. You may only refresh the walls by applying new gaps connecting the stones. That’s the way to preserve the original architecture and the uniqueness of the house.


This stone wall is as at least 50 cm. thick
solid stonewall



This is how it looks like when refurbished
solid stonewall

Inside the house

The inspection continues with inside viewing of the house. Most of the houses have wooden floorings. Check the condition of the wooden beams (especially the beams on the floor of the upper story = ceiling of the ground floor) and if they are “shaking” when you step on the floor has to be reinforced. Our advice is to replace the wooden floor with reinforced steel concrete. This will strengthen the construction of the whole house and you will benefit on the long term. As doing this you will be able to have a bathroom and toiler inside the house!

Toilet inside the house?

As previously mentioned old rural houses have no internal toilets and baths so it is of high importance to reinforce the flooring before the construction of these premises. Most of the houses in the Bulgarian villages really have 2 floors but they don’t have internal staircase leading from the ground floor to the first floor of the house. They usually have external staircase – yes, it is placed outside the house - you have to go out and then go in. This is pretty uncomfortable so it is good to think about an internal staircase on time. It is better to “find” a place to where to build an internal staircase in advance because an old rural house with such an extra can hardly be found. The internal staircase is a must which will make your life more comfortable.

Water / Electricity

At the end of the viewing check water and electric system in the house. In most cases there is no water in the house and plumbing should be installed to supply the house with water as well as a water drain connected to the septic tank in the yard (there is no sewer main in the villages with some small exceptions). It is advisable to renew the whole electric system in the house to save future troubles. Your newly fitted kitchen (fridge, cooker, boiler, etc.) will need a reliable and safe electric supply.

We hope our directions and recommendation will be useful to you to calculate the reair works needed for your house.


Perhaps you have already formed the opinion that renovation or repair of one’s old property is not an easy work and costs money sometimes much than you have expected.


If you intend to buy an old house or you have a property in need of repair you can contact us for a free quote.

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