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Quote for victorian 2 bed flat in Streatham, London - Full Refurbishment - Is this reasonable?

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Hi All,

Would be great if I can get some advice on the below quote:

I've also attached the floor plan to add some context.  In short, I've turning my flat which I'm moving out of into a BTL property, I've already converted the property to a BTL mortgage and moved the property into a limited company but it needs renovating before it can be let out to tenants.  Apart from the double glazing windows which are newish 2-3 years old, everything else needs replacing as this is a very old converted victorian flat which is in need of full modernisation - No structural changes.  It's probably been 15-20 years since any updates have been made to the property. 

I've estimated the work based on research to be around £35K-£40K including VAT with contingency of £5k-10K based size of the property and work required.  I thought this was a very generous budget and was hoping to come a bit under this budget but I had a shock when I got a quote for £56K.  I've put the breakdown of the quote below.  From my side, the contractor is very experienced and does good work based on pictures I've seen and recommendations and I've got a good gut feeling he would do a good job and this would be the final price.  However, I feel this is quite expensive based on my original expectations.  I also received another quote for £36K but I feel things are missing from this quote and the cost would increase a lot.  I am still waiting for other quotes but I think the question that I'm asking is:

1. Is the quote a realistic quote for the work required, if not, what be would be a fair quote? (rough estimate or range being in London, finger in the air type guess) for the size of flat and a full refurbishment required.

2. What information should I ask for to get a better understanding on the quote and to check if things are being priced up.

3. What strategy should I use to bring down the price of the quote if it's not fair.

4. Just any advice in terms of what I'm doing wrong or should start doing, would be much appreciated.

Thanks again for reading or responding to this post.

Floor Plan of Flat



£56K Quote:



£36K Quote:


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I'm not hugely experienced but off the bat, quote one looks far too high and quote two is far too vague (and looks unprofessional). I can't give you an estimate and I don't invest in London, but I do live just outside London so have a fair idea of what some activities would/should cost. Demolition, plastering and painting costs look especially high to me. Plastering the whole house and the ceilings are essentially the same job as far as I'm concerned and +10k seems extortionate.

The only thing you can really do is identify a full schedule of works and then try and price that up individually. Use multiple quotes and get various trades out to price up specific tasks (such as the painting and decorating). Then present this to potential builders so they can see how you have estimated particular tasks to cost and then they can try and match or beat it. Or project manage it yourself using various trades although this will be stressful!

Unfortunately the trades are overwhelmed at the moment. The whole of the UK has been saving money under lockdown and is now splashing the cash on improving their own homes. This means that builders can chuck out high quotes as they don't really need the work and if someone accepts they make a tidy profit.

Sorry I haven't been much help but I would just keep getting quotes and recommendations and the best way forward may be a hybrid approach where you use a builder for most but sub some activities out.

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