Cost estimates for certain items in an Irish semi-D retrofit


In all cases the quality of the work and the specification of the materials and design will greatly affect the cost. Remember compare apples with apples! ‘I’ll do ya a cheaper job Misses’ normally means ‘I’ll significantly drop specification then charge for extras once I’m on site’!


Refitting a bathroom: allow €1000 for supply of typical sanitary ware (bath, wash hand basin, toilet and shower unit) & €400 for fitting of same. Allow €50 per sqm for supply and fit of tiling. A typical bathroom could be fully tiled (floor and all walls) for ~€1500. Make sure to go for dual flush low volume toilets and shaped baths both of which reduce wastage of water.


New windows and doors: Prices range from ~€8k-25k. PVC can be half the cost of good Scandinavian pine windows. Remember most of the trade in PVC windows these days is in replacing older PVC windows: don’t listen when suppliers tell you PVC windows have no maintenance and don’t age! Get the best ‘whole window’ thermal performance (U-Value) you can afford and think about the width of the frame: how much light are you losing? Some window systems have very wide frames, to the extent that they reduce light ingress and can actually result in the external appearance of the house disimproving! Walk down your street beforehand and see what window replacements compliment the original design of the neighbouring houses and which don’t.


New wooden floors throughout: Allow €10-60 per sqm for supply and ~€25 per sqm for fitting. Remember a solid walnut wide board floor will be a very different cost and feel to an engineered oak finish floor. Try and source sustainable timber whenever possible. Look for the PEFC and FSC-certified marks.


Attic conversion: Standard price could be about €15-16k. A specialist creating a fire-rated, well-insulated bedroom can be at €20k. Prices for an installer travelling from outside Dublin could be as low as €10-12k. Remember that if the attic conversion is to be used as a bedroom you need to obtain a fire safety certificate for the works which will include upgrading all doors on the First Floor landing to fire-rated with door closers. The custom of the builder, homeowner and estate agent all agreeing (with a nod and wink) that it’s not a bedroom but a ‘store’ puts children’s lives at risk.



Monday, April 11, 2011