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  • Commercial Property

    Commercial to residential conversion costs

    I'm considering the viability of a small office to residential conversion - 2 floors ~2k sq ft (largely open plan, not in a big city) looking to convert to 4 1 bed flats ~500 sq ft each.

    Looking at various discussion threads here and on the wider net, I think i should be budgeting (roughly) £100 psf, meaning conversion costs in the region of £200k.

    I know that splitting the services, appropriate soundproofing etc may be costly, but to me, this seems quite high. I know it is like asking how long a piece of string is, but is this the right ballpark for conversion costs?

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    200k, depending on where you are in country seems excessive. Friends just done one above a retail shop 4 flats 2 floors, total costs 120k inc staircase that was 20k and rendering front of building. These were done to good standard

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    check and see what agents would advise, but 500sq ft is small to me

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    Agree, 500sqft is relatively small.  Ideally would love more but 500sqft is a result of dividing each floor into two.  I think it should be ok for the area, but i will double check.

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    Do you have planning permission yet? The big ticket items as you mention are going to be utilities and sound/fire proofing. If you go all electric then you can make some savings there. If you budget 1.5k each for the 3 electric and same for water that's a good start. The rest really depends on sizes that you're working to. Do you need new access and stairs? Remember there are no min unit sizes on office to residential so you may find 5 units is possible. What's on ground floor?
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    All opinion and advice given should not be relied upon and the usual due diligence should be undertaken in all cases.


    No planning permission yet, but i dont think it will be too much of an issue as similar conversions have been done in the area, but it is another cost to add to the list.

    I think i can make use of existing stairs, so dont need new access.

    I think 5 units would be a stretch (or squeeze).  I think each of the two floors divide straightforwardly into two.

    The whole 2 storey building is office, largely open plan with kitchenette and wc facilities.

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    Allow 3k for planning and building regs. 25k per flat should cover the works to convert which will include electrics, plumbing, partitioning and plastering, joinery, sound proofing ceilings / floors, window upgrade / replacement for fire regs, bathroom and kitchen. Watch out for business rates, you'll want to get strip done asap to get it removed from ratings list with VOA check and challenge process. 30sqm is quite comfortable for a studio but 37 is better for 1 bed. 30 sqm tends to be min forcgettingvs mortgage on depending on your exit.
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    All opinion and advice given should not be relied upon and the usual due diligence should be undertaken in all cases.


    Sounds ok so far, just make sure you have a good plan for getting rid of the rubbish via skips and permits. It can be costly this and hold the job up a lot, there is usually a lot more comes out of these buildings that we first think.

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    Agreed! Trenches dug for services and a few tones of soil didn't fit back into trench even after compacting!
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    All opinion and advice given should not be relied upon and the usual due diligence should be undertaken in all cases.

    Thanks, yep, especially with open plan, it feels like there is nothing there...

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    Yes lol been there. Amazing isn't it.

    One of the things I always look at when looking at these buildings is what has to come out, where will it go when we are doing the works and where will it go when done and what impact will this have on costs and also how much longer will it take my lads to sort.

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