Renovation affordability check

Help! Which renovations can I afford?

This is what can be done for budgets ranging from £10,000 to £100,000

By Emily Brooks |

From relatively inexpensive energy-efficiency measures to a whole-house renovation or innovative extension – take a look at the following house renovation cost estimates to see what’s possible for your budget

What can I do with £10k?

One way to make good use of a smaller amount of money is by improving a home’s energy efficiency. DIY loft insulation costs from as little as £100, and cavity wall insulation is at least £600 to £1,000 – less if you are eligible for either the ECO4 or The Great British Insulation Scheme.

Replacing draughty windows and doors is pricier, but still possible for around the £10,000 mark – expect to pay from around £7,500 for a set of A-rated UPVC windows for a semi- detached house.

If you’re eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), an air-source heat pump installation will cost you £4,000 to £10,000 or more after the grant is deducted, depending on which changes must be made to the existing heating system. An off-the-shelf kitchen starts at around £5,000.

Living room with yellow sofa and large glazing wooden table with fruit bowl large pot plants

Practice A Small Studio reworked the 82sqm lower ground floor layout of this four-storey, four bedroom Victorian house in Dulwich, south London. The project cost £227,000. Photo: Jim Stephenson

What can I do with £30k?

When refurbishing a rundown three-bedroom house, you can expect to pay from £15,000 to repoint the exterior brickwork and £12,000 to £20,000 to remove damaged plaster and replaster the walls and ceilings.

Budget £20,000 to £40,000 for a new roof. And £30,000 could buy a custom-made kitchen. You’ll need a bigger budget to upgrade the fabric of a home with solid walls. ‘There are many factors that impact the cost of an energy retrofit project,’ says Derek Horrocks of Sustainable Building Services. ‘Two important ones are the type of construction and age.

An older house with solid brick walls may call for three to five times more investment than cavity wall insulation.’ To install external wall insulation, replace the windows, electrics and heating system of a semi-detached house costs in the region of £25,000.

What can I do with £50k?

A comprehensive upgrade is possible on this budget, including renewable energy generation such as solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and solar battery storage. You could invest in a luxury kitchen, spa bathroom, or build a low-spec loft conversion.

‘To keep the cost of converting the loft down, choose roofline windows or a dormer,’ suggests Thomas Goodman of ‘These options average around £40,000, whereas hip-to-gable or mansard conversions are more like £60,000 to £70,000.’

house renovation cost. Beige walled loft with red RSJ and low peach coloured sofa and white bed

Daniel and Isabella Grey’s new loft from Studiotwentysix is lined with birch ply and has roofline windows that stretch from the roof apex to the floor. They completed the project for £145,000. Photo: Jim Stephenson

What can I do with £100k?

A rear extension costs upwards of £40,000, a side extension from around £30,000. But if you want something with a distinctive design and high-quality materials, these figures will easily double. An architect- designed single-storey extension with kitchen will cost at least £100,000.

All prices correct at time of publication