[REFERENCE] House refurbishment near Bourgas, Bulgaria

House renovation in Bourgas, bulgariaThis house has been refurbished by our company for our client from the UK. It is located in a village in Bourgas region. The property is a three storey residential building comprising 6 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 2 toilets, kitchen with dining area and a living room.

The refurbishment of the house has already been started by previous building company. There was an external insulation installed, all windows and doors to the balconies have been replaced with PVC ones. Some internal works have been started and left unfinished.

This is the condition how we found the house:

House before refurbishment


Under these circumstances the client has contacted our company to undertake the repair and to finish the renovation project that was started by the previous builders.

List of works we completed inside:

  • Plastering around windows and on walls and ceilings where needed.
  • Smooth plastering of the staircase
  • Metal railing in the staircase
  • Tiling in two toilets and installing all toilet facilities.
  • Check of the electrical installation
  • Installing of switches, wall plugs, lights and circuit breaker box.
  • Leveling of floors
  • Placing floor tiles
  • Installing doors
  • Painting throughout of the house and doors

House after refurbishment

 


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. Click here to >> Contact us <<


 

Other houses renovated by our company


 

Renovation of an old house in Karnobat area

Renovation of an old house in Karnobat areaThis old house was renovated on client’s request in a village near Karnobat, Bourgas region. After the renovation the house is consisting of two bedrooms, kitchen/living room and internal batroom with shower and toilet.


Freehold old houses with adjoining land are among the most attractive properties on the Bulgarian real estate market. Most of these rural houses can be found in authentic Bulgarian villages located close to the big cities or near some summer and winters resort.
Read more about: Renovation of an old house in Karnobat area

 


Building an extension & renovating an old house.

Building a new extension when renovating an old house is what our clients often require in order that their property becomes more functional, spacious and updated to modern standards. Here we show in pictures the bulding progress of attaching a new extension to an old house. The house is consisting of two bedrooms and the extension will serve as living roomce.


Read more about: Building an extension & renovating an old house

 

 


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Cheap renovation to re-sell your Bulgarian property successfully


Basics of property renovation

Cheap property renovation in Bulgaria to re-sellThousands of real estates have been purchased, mostly as an investment, within the period from 2004 to 2009 in Bulgaria. Most of the Investors came from the UK and Ireland. They invested either in apartments on the Black sea coast and in old or new houses in rural areas planning to re-sell them in 4 or 5 years with good profit that was expected after Bulgaria joined the EU.

Perhaps the growth of the property prices should have happen as expected if it was not the world financial crisis in 2009 and the following 2010. Banks and other financial institutions have stopped their financial support to real estate deals and as a result of this the property market soon declined in both volume an price. Property deals are rare and there is no interest towards any kind of properties at the moment. Probably this process will continue in the next few years and then hopefully the property market will start to improve again.

The difference after this period of declining property deals however will be that future Investors from will be buying properties for personal use or permanent stay and not for quick speculative profits. Most of the properties which have been purchased by foreign Investors in the last few years are in a poor condition and their re-sale will not be possible without any (partial) repairs. While the apartments bought for investment may just need re-painting and eventually new tiles in the bathroom, toilet and kitchen, the old houses especially the rural ones require much more complex repairs and renovation to make them usable.

If you wish to update your rural property to modern standards you may find the following steps useful when making the renovation of the property:

Roof repair

Roof repair BulgariaIt is very important to check the roof condition. If the roof is leaking then this should be the first thing repaired. Roof repair is the most important thing because otherwise all internal renovation works would be of no use. In many cases there is no need to buy new tiles. The old roof tiles removed from the roof the wooden construction underneath is being repaired and then again the tiles are placed back of the roof.

Outside walls

If the outside walls are in poor condition – in many cases they are not even plastered - it is recommended to fix the plaster (if available) where needed are the plaster them. A whitewash is a cheap option for painting the house.

Windows

New PVC windows are a good option if the old ones are of poor quality. In case your old wooden joinery is hale but strong just re-paint it for refreshment effect.

And finally do not forget to re-paint all the rooms in the house. Applying new colors in the different premises will make your house more attractive and unique.

These cheap repairs will not cost you much but they can have a big effect for the successful sale of the property. If you decide that you may save the repair be aware that your property will continue to ruin in time and it is possible that you will have nothing to sell one day. More over most of these properties were purchased with bank loans and this necessitates taking prompt action by the owners for their quick sale.

A new tendency is being observed in the beginning of 2010. Some owners of such old houses prefer to make a full renovation of their property and to use the house for themselves, for permanent or seasonal living or for renting it out. Recently, we receive more enquiries from UK owners who are interested in full renovation valuation and some of them really proceed further with the project.

See also related article about Cheap facelinf of your home in Bulgaria on Questbg:
A Bulgarian home: cheap facelift


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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Renovating to Sell


Buy, Renovate, Sell and make profit?

house in Bulgaria in need of renovationMany property buyers in Bulgaria look to renovate an old property in Bulgaria to make it a home to live in or to resell it. In our previous post we hafe informed you about the Potential of Renovation and Renovating in Bulgaria. In this post we will try to look at the best way to approach buying a run down old Bulgarian property with the intention to resale. Many of the points would be valid too if you are buying such a property for you and your family. Even if finance is no problem you should always keep an eye on the budget in case you have to sell the property later in the future.
Old buildings in need of renovation are to be find in the Bulgarian countryside in the smaller villages. Just a few kilometers from the sea you will find beautiful villages with lots of old houses. you’ll The British have long been advocates of renovation and usually do a great job in bringing back these buildings to their former glory in a sympathetic manner.

Can you handle it?

Improvements are certainly adding value to the property; the key is not to take on more than you can handle. A large renovating project in Bulgaria will cost you time and personal engagement. Unless you can do the design (select, source and transport materials) and manage a team of different builders it is advisable to hire a tradesman (small building company) to do most of the jobs for you. If the builder is professional he will take care for things to go smoothly and your job will be to observe the process. If you have no experience in renovations in Bulgaria this will save you time and money for sure.

Can you make a profit?

As in any other business you can make more profit the more you plan and organize your business. Property price is a function of location and type of property. Make sure you buy in the right location and you buy the right type of property. When buying an old property the price strongly depend on the expenses made to renovate the building. But nevertheless what you need is a property with charm that will suit your potential buyers. During the work you should always keep in mind who will be using the home and design it correspondingly.

Where to start from?

Select and research an area that you think has a potential. Research for old properties and get an idea about the asking prices. Prices of old properties in need of renovation vary in a wide spread but what you mainly should be interested in is how much would be total to buy the property and to renovate it. You should also do a research about the prices of similar properties on the market – new built or renovated. This will help you to determine a budget for the project. You are better off buying a smaller property in a good location than a larger property in a poor location.

Additional cost

There will be some extra costs to consider when working out your budget. There will be property purchase fees (about 4 %), solicitor cost, company formation & annual bookkeeping, property insurance, maintenance if you are not onsite and cannot sell immediately, transport cost (flights, car, gasoline). Also do not forget the real estate agent commission when selling the property plus any taxes on the capital gain.

There are many hidden things in one house that might need repair but are not obvious because there is no access to them. A roof is a good example – it might look OK or “not that bad” but you will be able to check its condition only when you “open it” and see inside.

The golden rule is, whatever you do, don’t be rushed into buying the property. Take your time and visit as frequently as you need. Take a builder to look at the property and give you a quotation, then make the math and take a decision. If the property is sold in the meantime do not worry – the next property will come. We have a saying in Bulgaria: “You never know what you win when you lose”

Hiring a Builder

If you are going to employ builders or a project manager, do check out the quality of their work and get in touch with past clients if you can. Check our guide: "How to find a good Builder in Bulgaria". Get all quotes in writing, together with a timeframe of the work to be undertaken and a payment plan. There should be penalties for late completion - but on the other hand, you could add in a clause for a bonus if they finish early?

Decorating and Furnishing

With a renovation project it is all too easy to see the money slipping away. It is really tempting to splurge on extras, particularly fixtures and fittings. Think carefully about where you allocate your money for maximum effect. When considering decoration, neutral is best - it is usually brighter and most buyers won’t object as they can then make up their own mind about colour.

Tip - if you can affford to furnish the house, do so as it is much easier to sell a furnished property than one with empty rooms.
We are wishing you luck with your renovation project in Bulgaria and would be happy to help you.


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. Click here to >> Contact us <<


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Renovating in Bulgaria


Where to start with a renovation

House in Bulgaria was not structurally sound and had to be demolished
To renovate an old Bulgarian house is in general cheaper than building a new property. This depends on a couple of factors like purchase price and the cost of renovation – the volume of works to be done and materials used.
When renovating an old Bulgarian property you will be rewarded with a home full of charm and character. The renovation might require some more self commitment from the property owner as the house is to be totally refurbished there are some decisions regarding design and material to be taken, but with a an experienced builder this will not cause any headache.

A skilled builder will give you tips and ask the right question from the beginning on and this will save you time and more important money.
One thing to bear in mind is that renovating a property in Bulgaria is far more than a quick paint job and a few plush soft furnishings. Most old buildings are bordering on dereliction. They have faced years without investment and improvements and consequently are often in need of major structural repair.

Survey - It is not common to have a survey carried out in Bulgaria and if you are buying a building which you intend to demolish, then it really isn’t necessary. However, if you are buying a house to renovate, you would be well advised to organise a survey. Many Bulgarian houses look pretty but hide a multitude of sins; damp, rotten wood, dangerous electrics, old water pipes, the list is literally endless. Naturally if you have your potential house surveyed, you must expect it to come back with a daunting list of problems, but ultimately what you must determine from this is whether it is structurally sound. If it is not structurally sound then only a large amount of renovations are going to mask the underlying problems which will make the project (sometimes) more expensive than taking the house down and building a new one. A building survey is fairly cheap in Bulgaria and is a must even if the old property seems to be in not that bad condition.

Once you know that the house is in good condition and repairable you need to estimate the cost. Here we have prepared tips on “How to find a good builder in Bulgaria”.

It is essential that you hire a builder who can give you a quotation for the entire renovation project. Ask for references, speak to previous clients and you will now if you can trust him and his quality and price estimates.
There are a lot of building and construction companies in Bulgaria but you should be aware that not many builders are English speaking. The language barrier should not be underestimated – it is not a small thing if you cannot communicate directly with your builder. The services of translators are not always reliable and sometimes unavailable when decisions has to be taken quickly. Our advice: look for English speaking builder.


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Potential of Renovation


Potential of Renovation

Renovation of old property in BulgariaThere are many old properties in the Bulgarian villages that have “lots of potential”. Buyers often have high expectations of what they will get for their money in Bulgaria but after making endless visits to many properties often way out of the budgeted price range, many buyers change their perspective and decide to take on the renovation of an old Bulgarian house with the aim of turning it into a real home with modern comforts.

This article explores ways to help you get the most for your money when looking to renovate and old bulgarian house

Research is the very first and most important step and will pay off later.

There is no risk when buying a property if work together with a trusted and skilled builder. The advantage would be that you end up with a home full of character and old world charm with a hint of modern living combined.

Before Renovation

Renovation beforeBeofore buying a property you should contact a builder in Bulgaria (with a good builder you don’t need a surveyor) to get a full picture of what you are about to undertake. A builder will point out any major structural defects and could save you thousands in the long run. He will be able to furnish you with potentially better layouts or ideas that will enhance the value of your home.

Any builder worth his salt will see major defects in a building and warn you about them early on. He should also be able to see the best and most cost effective way to alter a building

The next step woul be to get in writing an estimate or quotation and a payment plan prior to any work commencing. It is a standard in Bulgaria to pay an amount of the quatation usualy 30 to 50 percent before the renovation begins. No matter how small or large the project in hand do try to use local tradesmen, particularly if you are not doing the work yourself.

When the building work is going on try to make regular visits to the site to ensure the work is going to plan. Between visits to site, your builder should be able to send you updates and photographs by e-mail.

After Renovation

After RenovationThere is great satisfaction in renovating an old house because you end up with a home, which matches your ideas and designs and a space, which really suits you. It may seem like an eternity to wait for your work to be completed, the building work itself would take several months depending on volume, but the pride and fulfillment you experience on the day you move in will be well worth the wait. Probably the best thing about a successful renovation is that you will have a wonderful home with a higher resale value compared with the money you put into the project.

Renovation Rules

If you want the advantages of renovating without the risks, follow our 10 simple rules.

  1. Determine your budget and stick to it. Don’t even start if you cannot afford it.
  2. Don’t underestimate renovation costs. Keep aside an additional 10% contingency budget
  3. Avoid buying on impulse. Take your time looking round the property.
  4. You or your builder should check if there is and an electricity supply, is the water supply sufficient for your needs?
  5. Verify the condition of drainage, particularly if there is a septic tank. If inadequate or non-existent, a new one would be needed (more costs).
  6. Let your builder get a copy of the land registry plan (known as the ’skitsa’) to check that the boundaries are correct and all the buildings are marked
  7. Major repairs - watch out for the condition of the roof and walls
  8. Use common sense - don’t buy an old property that can be renovated just to take it down and build a new house.
  9. Get a builder to check the condition of the property and give you an idea of likely costs
  10. Ask your builder for references. If you don’t like his previous jobs, why should yours look better when finished.

Investconsult Ltd is family run building company based in the city of Bourgas, Bulgaria. We are specialized in renovations and building new homes in the Bourgas area. If you are owning a property in need of renovation in close proximity of Bourgas or planning the purchase of such property you can contact us. We would love to help you!

 

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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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