What is a deep retrofit renovation?
A deep retrofit is a complete overhaul of the fabric of your home and it’s utilities, with the aim of improving energy conservation and comfort levels in a home.
A deep retrofit includes: roof, wall and floor insulation; new windows and doors; airtightness, ventilation, and improved heating, plumbing and electrical systems.
Uniquely, a deep retrofit by RENOVA includes interior design plus a complete refurbishment and redecoration of your home. This means that not only will your home feel more comfortable, but it will look better than ever too. It may even be reconfigured and extended.
What is a cosmetic renovation?
A cosmetic renovation involves the refurbishment of the aesthetic elements of your home, i.e. its finishes and fittings. A cosmetic renovation improves how your home looks. It does not address its insulation or heating. electrical, plumbing and ventilation systems.
After a cosmetic renovation your home will look great but it won’t be any more comfortable or energy efficient.
A cosmetic renovation typically includes kitchen, bathrooms, storage, fireplace, flooring, doors, skirtings, light fittings, painting and decoration.
What is the difference between a deep retrofit renovation and a cosmetic renovation?
Until recently a ‘house renovation’ meant renovation of the fittings and finishes in a house to improve and modernise the aesthetic of a house. This would include the following and is described as a ‘cosmetic renovation’:
- Internal doors, skirtings, architraves
- Painting and decorating
‘Deep retrofit’ is a new concept and focuses on the renovation of the fabric of a building plus its mechanical and electrical services. These are:
- Heating system
- Windows and external doors
- Wall insulation
- Roof insulation
- Ground floor insulation
- Acoustic insulation
- Air tightness
A deep retrofit requires a far more comprehensive strip out of the existing house, right back to bare walls and timbers.
If you take on a deep retrofit renovation you are committed all of the cosmetic renovation works in addition. It is not possible to carry out the deep retrofit works above without needing to do the bulk of the cosmetic works too.
In our experience a deep retrofit renovation is twice the effort, twice the duration and twice the cost of just doing a cosmetic renovation.
What are the benefits of a deep retrofit renovation?
If you undertake a deep retrofit renovation your home will become the equivalent of a new house. It will be comfortable and energy efficient, and naturally your running costs will be reduced too.
While undertaking a deep retrofit you will have the opportunity to reconfigure your home to perfectly suit your needs too.
An often overlooked benefit is that you will know that your house is perfect and can rest assured that you will not need to carry out any upgrades or maintenance for many many years to come. Your will know that your home is perfect right back to its blocks and foundations.
When is a cosmetic renovation appropriate?
A cosmetic renovation is appropriate if the insulation and utilities at your home are modern and functioning properly. In this case it is reasonable to carry out a cosmetic renovation and just install new fittings and finishes.
While RENOVA specialises in deep retrofit renovations we are perfectly happy to carry out a cosmetic renovation if that is all that is required.
However, if a client asks for a cosmetic renovation but we feel that the house needs more we will always advise that the ‘under the bonnet’ retrofit works are addressed before a cosmetic renovation is undertaken.
We would never undertake a cosmetic renovation if a deep retrofit is needed. We could never cover over poor insulation and heating for example with new finishes.
What does a deep retrofit cost?
As with all construction works, the cost of a Deep Retrofit renovation depends on the scale of the project and the specification of materials and finishes.
As a very rough guideline, we advise customers to budget from €1,700 per m2 for a Deep Retrofit renovation including finishes, design and management as detailed below.
In our experience mid-specification Retrofit works costs from €900 per m2 for the following:
- Strip out works
- Wall insulation (drylining)
- Attic Insulation
- Windows and doors
- Electrical re-wire
- Light & power
- Heating system and heating controls
The cost of fit-out and finishes are additional and, in our experience, the budget for this part of the works needs to be from €800 per m2. Fit out & finishes normally consists of the following:
- New ceilings
- Internal doors
- Skirting boards and architraves
- Kitchen allowance
- Bathroom fit-out
- Timber flooring
- Tiled floors
- Painting & decorating
- Attic flooring and storage
The rates of €1,700 per m2 also includes the following:
- Concept design + budgeting
- Interior design
- Working drawings
- Project planning
- Structural engineer
- Project management
- Contractors insurance cover
- Health & safety
- Site operating overheads
Total cost above for a RENOVA Deep retrofit renovation is from €1,700 per m2
The following are excluded from the works listed above and would normally incur additional costs:
- Furniture removal and storage
- Insulating a suspended ground floor / installing an insulated concrete floor
- Heat pump instead of boiler
- Underfloor heating
- Solar panels
- AluClad windows instead of PVC
- High end kitchen, e.g. Noel Dempsey Design
- Built in joinery, e.g. alcove units
- Repair works – e.g. re-pointing, re-roofing, damp treatment
- Asbestos removal
- Kitchen appliances
- Loose Furniture
- Paving, gardens, boundaries
- House extension
- Planning applications
- BER consultant & SEAI application
Always bear in mind that tastes and expectations vary greatly when it comes to fit-out and finishes, so naturally the cost of fit-out and finishes can vary greatly.
At RENOVA, we will always endeavour to tailor a scope of works to suit your budget. So, if you budget doesn’t quite stretch to €1,700 per m2, speak to us and we’ll advise on how best to spend the budget that you do have.
The figures above are based on a typical 3 bed semi-detached house with 1 bathroom and a WC, circa 100m2. Economies of scale have an impact on the rate per m2. A smaller house will cost more per m2 and a larger house can cost less per m2 for the same works.
NOTE 1: Our pricing always includes design and management plus all fittings and finishes and VAT for a full turn-key service.
NOTE 2: The information above is provided as a guideline only. Do not make any financial decisions based on the information provided here.
What does a cosmetic renovation cost?
In our experience approximately half the cost of a deep retrofit renovation.
What do house extensions cost?
This is more difficult to say. However a good place to start is the RIAI Construction Cost Guidelines that are available here
On page 8 they advise a budget of €1,900 – €2,300 per m2 excluding VAT, design fees, external works and fitting out.
When do I find out the cost of my renovation?
Our quantity surveyor will be the first person you meet.
After their first visit to the house they will be able to provide you with a reliable budget estimate for your project.
What if my renovation cost is higher than my budget?
Because of our experience we are able to notify you of the potential cost of your renovation after our first visit.
It is not unusual for the first budget estimate to be higher than expected. When this happens we can advise on the best possible alternative scope of works that would be affordable.
It is essential that the brief and budget are aligned before proceeding to the design stages of the project.
What makes RENOVA different to other companies?
At RENOVA we are the only company in Ireland that specialise in domestic deep retrofit renovations.
We are also a genuine design & build company. This means that we take care of everything for our clients and they need only deal with us from initial enquiry through to handover.
We guarantee a completely stress-free experience every time. Our service is swift and prompt, and when we say that your projects will cost €X, you can be confident that this is correct.
RENOVA will also bring strong management skills and quality of service to your project and then combine the best people and products to complete the job to the highest standards. If you scratch the surface of other retrofit companies, you’ll often find that they are really insulation or plumbing companies that have decided to expand the scope of their services.
Above all else RENOVA personnel are all experienced. Our management team have renovated hundreds of houses and have an average of 20 years experience each.
Our studio is a great location to learn about the technical elements of the project and to select all of your finishes too.
No one else we know of provides the professional input at design stage to ensure you get the right end result.
What is design & build and what are the advantages?
Design & build is when a single entity is responsible for the design and construction of a construction project.
A true partnership:
Design and build promotes the partnering of the builder and the homeowner from concept stage right through to handover. This allows us to fully understand you and your expectations for your renovation project.
With design and build, we alone are responsible for the quality of design and construction, for sticking to the budget and for meeting project deadlines. So, whatever your questions or concerns, you can come straight to us.
You deal with one firm only throughout your project. As a result, you do not need to co-ordinate the efforts of a designer, a builder and assorted sub-contractors.
Our design and construction specialists work closely together to complete their tasks concurrently, which compresses the time frame for project completion.
All of the above factors contribute to a more successful and satisfying renovation project – for you and for us.
Do RENOVA really take care of everything?
Yes we do.
We have a complete design office and several construction crews.
We can manage every aspect of your renovation from the first meeting right through to handover. Naturally we do all of the design and retrofit and fitout works, but we can also do the finishing touches such as blinds, carpets, gardens if required.
Will I need to employ anyone else?
When you engage RENOVA we take care of everything from initial budgeting right through to final handover.
Do RENOVA build house extensions?
Yes we do.
While we specialise in making existing houses better, we occasionally make them bigger too. Approximately 20% of our renovations include a modest extension, which we always design ourselves.
However, if your brief demands a large architectural extension then we may advise you to engage with an RIAI registered architect instead.
Do RENOVA do planning applications?
Yes we do, but only as part of an overall contract for the actual construction works. Our planning applications happen post contract.
If you just need a planning application prepared then we recommend that you engage an RIAI registered architect.
I have an architect, can I engage RENOVA just to build my renovation?
I’m afraid not.
We never assume the role of building contractor under the traditional procurement method of architect + builder.
If you have retained the services of an architect then you are in good hands and they will engage a building contractor on your behalf.
I have a design, but I do not have an architect. Can I engage RENOVA?
Yes you can.
If you have a design that you are happy with then so are we.
In this case we will provide a ‘build only’ service. This service will still include the preparation of working drawings, technical specifications and selection of fittings and finishes.
Click here to read more about our build only service.
Do RENOVA operate nationwide?
We are restricted in where we can operate because we need to travel to site each day to carry out the work.
Click here to see the areas we cover is a link to the areas we cover
Do RENOVA do small or partial jobs?
The only ‘partial job’ we would do is when we do a complete suite of works to the ground floor of a larger house.
We do not do ‘small jobs’ like the following:
- Bathroom renovation
- Kitchen renovation
- Removal of a wall
- Extension only
Who designs my renovation?
We have a fully staffed design office providing the following services:
- Quantity surveying
- Architectural design
- Interior design
- Technical specification expertise
- Structural engineering
Our design office provides all of the professional disciplines required for a domestic renovation.
Will you help me to select the finishes and fittings?
Absolutely, this is one of the unique benefits of working with RENOVA
Once your contract is signed we arrange a series of design workshops at RENOVA where our designers and technicians will assist and advise in the selection of fittings and finishes for your home.
This is made easy because we have samples of everything you will need at our design studio.
Will I be restricted to certain suppliers and materials?
No, we are not agents for any product or material. We have several suppliers for every product that we require for a renovation. We will recommend these suppliers for your materials because we are familiar with their products and service. We are not obliged to any particular supplier.
Who specifies the retrofit works?
We will specify the insulation and airtightness works.
We will advise you on the various options for heating and ventilation. We will tell you the costs and benefits of the various options and you will make the final desision.
When you have made your choices we will prepare the design drawings and specifications.
How do I know I’m getting the best advice?
At RENOVA we are experienced. We have renovated over 100 houses as RENOVA and prior to this John & Alan spent 15 years as quantity surveyors on 100’s of other domestic renovations. You will always receive pragmatic advice from experienced professionals.
But more importantly, we are not agents for any product or supplier. We have no interests other than a happy client and systems that function properly. We will always present you with all the options and allow you to make an informed decision.