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Last updated on March 31st, 2022

Flat refurbishment cost guide

flat refurbishment cost

Has your flat seen better days? With a little care and attention, you can easily turn a tired old apartment into a bright, modern living space. Flat refurbishment can make your bachelor pad suitable for family living, or add value to your property if you plan to sell it. Or perhaps you just fancy a whole new look or colour scheme for your flat, to make the space work better for you.

As with any considerable refurb project, consider whether the work will make your flat easier to sell, or if it will appeal to a smaller circle of buyers. Of course, it’s your home and you must enjoy living in it, but if structural alterations result in less sleeping space or bedrooms, it could be a turn-off to potential future buyers.

If you’re planning a new interior design project, we’ve put together a handy guide to the average flat refurbishment costs. We’ve covered it all, from a basic lick of paint to an ambitious top-to-toe renovation project.

Refurbishment typeLow costHigh costAverage cost
Basic facelift (redecoration)£2,000£3,000£2,500
Basic refurbishment - (incl. new kitchen, painting, new flooring, joinery work, modifying bathroom)£15,000£18,000£16,500
Full refurbishment (incl.all of the above, plus new bathroom, new boiler and radiators, structural work, new electrics, re-plastering)£33,000£48,000£40,500

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

How much does flat refurbishment cost?

The cost of refurbishing a flat depends how large it is and how much work needs to be done. It also depends on how much of the work you plan to do yourself, if any. Consider speaking to a building contractor who can manage all the work themselves. In flats, space can be at a premium, so a ‘one-stop shop’ contractor is likely to be able to manage all the interfaces between trades.

You can do a basic facelift for around £2,500 (which would include decoration and a general spruce up) or spend as much as £48,000 for a full flat refurbishment covering every room.

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Basic flat renovation costbasic flat rennovation cost

If you don’t plan to do any structural work, you can expect to spend £15,000 – £18,000 on a basic flat renovation.

However, ‘basic’ in this instance doesn’t just mean a fresh coat of paint. For this overall cost, you can expect to complete the following:

  • Fit a new kitchen
  • Modify the existing bathroom
  • Install some new lighting
  • Paint the whole flat
  • Lay new flooring
  • Joinery work such as installing shelving or bespoke cupboards, or replacing skirting boards.

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Full flat refurbishment cost

If you want to fully overhaul your flat, you can carry out an extensive refurbishment.

For an average full flat refurbishment cost of around £40,500, you can accomplish the following:

  • Fit a new kitchen and bathroom
  • Lay new flooring
  • Install new electrics
  • Replace ceilings
  • Install a new boiler and radiators
  • Structural work such as knocking down walls and changing the size of rooms
  • Replastering walls.

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How long does flat refurbishment take?

It depends on how much work needs doing, but it should take around four to eight weeks for a basic flat refurbishment or eight to 16 weeks for a full renovation. However, the schedule also depends on the size of the flat and whether any unexpected problems crop up.

Can I live in my flat during renovation works?

You can live in your flat during renovation works, but it’s not recommended. Unlike in a house, you may find it difficult to escape the noise and work of renovation work in a flat.

Do I need planning permission to renovate a flat?

It depends on what you have planned, but you shouldn’t need planning permission for internal renovations. The only exception to this is if your flat is in a listed building or in a conservation area. You should also check whether you need permission from the leaseholder to do structural work. Another thing worth checking is skip access, especially if you intend using a shared car park.

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