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Cost of renovating a house

Does your home need a new lease of life? Or are you buying a new property to renovate? Either way, renovating a house can be an incredibly rewarding one, which is why we’ve put together this guide to show you the cost of renovating a house.

For the purpose of this guide, we’ll be focusing on the average cost of renovating a 3-bedroom house. To get a better idea of accurate prices and professional advice for your project, we recommend speaking to local house renovation experts.

We spoke to the online estimators at My Build Estimate – a professional estimating company monitored by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). They’ve provided us with their estimated average costs of renovating a house in the UK.

Item (for an average 3-bed house)Cost rangeAverage cost
New gas supply£500-£2,500£1,500
New heating system£4,500-£8,500£6,500
Replaster walls£1,500-£3,500£2,500
New toilet (including retiling)£400-£750£575
New kitchen£4,000-£10,000£7,000
French doors£1,500-£3,500£2,500
Kitchen extension (12 m2)£15,000-£24,000£19,500
Skirtings for new extension£200-£500£350
Knock down walls£1,000-£2,500£1,750

What is the cost of renovating a house?

Every house renovation project is unique, with its own set of components that make up the project. Consequently, the total cost for renovating a house can vary considerably.

Although it’s hard to give a price for renovating a house, as a guide you can expect to pay between £38,000 and £74,000 for renovating a 3-bed house.

There are so many potential costs to consider so it’s important to start by making a list of the jobs you think need doing in your property. From there, you can calculate the renovation costs and start planning your budget accordingly.

Factors affecting the cost of renovating a house

As mentioned, the list of jobs and costs for a house renovation can be long and be influenced by many factors. Some of the main ones are:

  • Size of the property
  • Age and condition of the property
  • Complexity of renovation
  • Any structural work
  • Building extension work
  • Quality of materials, fixtures and finishings
  • Decoration
  • Where you live

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Average cost of renovating a 3-bedroom house

Cost of renovating a house

The average total cost of renovating a 3-bedroom house is around £56,425. Below we’ve broken down that cost into the various elements, to help you see which costs you might want to mix and match for your project.

A new heating system will cost about £6,500, which includes a combi boiler and radiators.

The average cost of a new gas supply will cost around £1,500, depending on the route of the supply. There may be additional costs if you need to do any major work to extend the gas supply line.

The cost of rewiring a house is in the region of £5,750. That price will depend on the complexity of the electrical system and the size of the property.

Installing a new set of windows can range from £2,500 to £6,000, with an average cost of about £4,250.

Replastering walls will add a cost of about £,2500 to the total renovation budget.

Before and after shots when renovating a house

Installing a new toilet (including tiling work) will cost around £575. That cost will be lower if tiling isn’t disturbed.

A new kitchen will cost £7,000, on average. That often includes the cost of design, supply of materials and installation. For more details on the cost of fitting a new kitchen, take a look at our new kitchen cost guide.

Most renovations will need a new bathroom. The average cost of installing a new bathroom is around £4,250. To find out more, check out our new bathroom cost guide.

If you’re looking to install French doors, you’ll need to factor in a cost of about £2,500, including the doors, lintels, brickwork and plasterwork.

Many homeowners incorporate a kitchen extension into their renovation plants. A 4-metre kitchen extension with floorspace of roughly 12 m2 and a flat roof comes at an average cost of £19,500.

As part of the kitchen extension, if you need to add matching skirtings they’ll cost around £350. For more detailed costs about extensions in general, read our house extension cost guide.

If you’re renovating a house the likelihood is you’ll want to knock down walls. The average cost of knocking down walls is about £1,750.

TradespersonRange - Low (per day)Range - High (per day)Average cost (per day)
Double glazing installer£150£250£200
Painter and decorator£150£250£200
General builder£150£250£200

Labour costs

When you’re renovating a house you’re going to need to hire a number of different tradespeople, who’ll each come at a different cost. Most tradespeople will charge a daily rate, but it’s worth confirming with each one how much they charge and whether it’s based on an hourly or daily rate.

The average rate for plumbers and electricians are around £300 per day. General labourers and trainees are about £100 per day. Many of the other tradespeople (including roofers, plasterers, carpenters, painters and general builders) generally tend to cost a similar amount – around £200 per day.

How long does it take to renovate a house?

The time you’ll need to complete your renovation project will vary, depending on the extent and complexity of your renovation. Some properties can be renovated in a couple of weeks, if they only require superficial work, e.g. minor plastering, painting and decorating, and no structural work.

On the other hand, more extensive renovations can take 3-6 months (or even longer) to complete. To get a clearer idea of a realistic timeline for your renovation project, we recommend you speak to local renovation experts.

Should I renovate my house or move?

Hiring experienced tradespeople to renovate your home

If you’re a homeowner considering a house renovation project, chances are you’ve asked yourself: should I renovate my house or move?

Whether you need more space or a better layout for your home, renovating your existing house and moving home can both offer good solutions. Here are some of the pros and cons of renovating vs moving.

Benefits of renovating your house

  • Renovations often cost less. A well-planned renovation project can cost a lot less than upgrading to a new home. You can also renovate in stages, so the financial outlay can be spread over a longer period of time.
  • Achieve your perfect look. There’s nearly always some kind of compromise when buying a new home, whereas renovating means you can personalise everything. You’ll be able to achieve all the special touches and home improvements to make your ideal home.
  • Keep enjoying your home and neighbourhood. Renovating means you can keep living in the home and area that you know and love. There’ll be no adjusting to a new house, new commute or new neighbours.

Benefits of moving house

  • Enjoy a fresh start. Moving to a beautiful new house can give you a fresh lease of life. You can choose somewhere in a better location, nicer neighbourhood, closer to work and/or schools.
  • Avoid stressful building work. Moving house means avoiding months of living on a building site. It also means you won’t have to coordinate all the different tradespeople involved in a renovation.
  • Benefit from downsizing. If you don’t need more space, moving house offers the perfect opportunity to move to a smaller house and potentially save money. Choose wisely and you could have a lovely new home and reduce your mortgage at the same time.

Additional costs of renovating a house

Cost of renovating a house

As well as the obvious costs of structural work, installations and decorating, there are some other costs that can quickly add up.

Surveys & planning application costs

If your renovation project involves structural work or building extensions you’ll need to have surveys done and pay for planning applications. The more extensive the work, the higher the cost.

Stamp duty & legal costs

If you’re buying a property to renovate, don’t forget to factor in stamp duty and solicitor costs. If it’s a second property then stamp duty will be charged at a higher rate. (If you sell your first property within 36 months you’ll be eligible for a refund.)

Rent costs

If you’re renting before moving into your renovated home, or if you need to find temporary accommodation, you’ll need to pay rent during the renovation process.


With any large project, it’s important to factor in a contingency to cover unexpected costs. Discoveries like asbestos, dangerous wiring or rotting beams can all add hefty costs to your project. It’s sensible to add an additional 10-15% on top of your total budget for contingency.

Useful house renovation checklist

  • Plan, plan, plan – it’s important to think about all the details for your renovation and make a list of what you want to include in the project.
  • Calculate a total budget and add 10-15% contingency.
  • Speak to local renovation experts to get professional advice and understand renovation options.
  • Contact your local council to discuss any planning requirements.
  • When hiring tradespeople always choose qualified professionals with the appropriate experience and accreditations.
  • Always shop around for fair and competitive prices.

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