The Easy Buy To Let Property Experiment: Why I Wimped Out

4 Jul

I am not one of life’s quitters.

But, it’s important to recognise when you need to give up.

Hacking tiles off walls, dismantling kitchens, removing bathrooms and moving piles of rubbish is hard, physical work.  Especially in this heat.  And on your own.  I’m not averse to manual labour – it’s just I am not used to it!

When doing a property refurbishment it’s very easy to get carried away and try and do everything yourself to save money.  This is fine, if you have the time and skills – although you do need to consider if your time could be more productively spent on an alternative task.  Time is the only resource you have – so you need to make sure you are using it to the max.  Or at least enjoying it.

Maybe it’s the chav gene in me – but I take great sadistic pleasure in smashing things up.  Smashing things hard.  And watching stuff fall apart.

But this time, I just didn’t feel it.  This time after a day of  hard ripping out I woke the next morning with a stiff, bruised and bloodied hand and thought: “WTF – is this really a good use of your time and are you really enjoying this?”

The answer was “no”.

I still had a partition wall to demolish, a fully-tiled bathroom and kitchen to strip bare – including all floor tiles, the actual bathroom itself to remove and dispose of, the actual kitchen units to remove and dispose of, a mountain of rubbish including a massive wardrobe to dump (and which I doubted fitted in the car), a dilapidated shed to dismantle and dispose of and a built-in eye level double-oven to somehow lift out on my own and get rid of.

And it was the double-oven which gave me cold shivers.  Built-in to the kitchen units and greasy to the touch, I just couldn’t figure out how I was going to get it out on my own without doing myself an injury.


And I know I am already over my refurbishment budget – what with the extra money for the property deposit, the new windows and now the decision to replace the boiler – but the waste management of property renovation is a BIG deal.  And the rip out cost is something many people overlook.  But it’s a massive use of resources – especially when you’re trying to do everything yourself!  It takes up a hell of a lot of time in trips to the tip, loading the car and just basically trying to get rid of the shit to actually start with a blank slate so you can get on with the actual job of refurbishment.

You can get a skip – except if you’ve ever hired a skip before you’ll appreciate how small a skip is when you’re clearing a property – so you’ll need several.  Added to that – skips don’t come cheap and I’d also need a permit which is yet more cost.  And, of course, skips still need filling.  Which again is another use of resources that could be deployed to an alternative task.

And so I’ve learned from experience that for rubbish disposal it’s best to get big, burly blokes in and pay them.  Yes, that’s my tip for you.  While these strapping men rip out and dispose of your rubbish you can get on with other stuff.

So I’ve paid the grand total of £450 to get the bathroom and kitchen ripped out and all the rubbish removed.  It took four men just one morning to clear the property to a state that would have taken me days to achieve.  And most likely would’ve buggered my energy levels.  In the meantime, I’ve been stripping wallpaper and meeting with double glazed salesmen.  Of course, I should’ve mentioned early on – not every alternative task will be fun!

Here’s what I got for £450 (the shed’s also gone – but I forgot to photograph that!).  Money well spent I say 🙂


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