Fully renovated with New Wiring, Fake Ceiling, Radiator, Carpet, Door and Windows.
The bedroom is 2.6 Meters wide and 4 Meters long, making it 10.4 Square Meters.
The balcony is 1.2 Meters wide and 2.1 Meters long, making it 2.5 Square Meters.
The bedroom has had new a cut-off tap fitted for the radiator.
The junction pipes, thermostat and heat meter are new too.
The fake ceiling has hidden 99% of the pipes and given the bedroom a new look.
With the original floor being concrete I did not want a flat feel when walking on the carpet.....
.....so I chose to have a thicker underlay fitted to give the carpet a springy feel.
The Balcony is 2.1 Metres long by 1.2 Metres wide, enough for a small table and two chairs to fit comfortably.
The Balcony also has a lamp and plug socket, so you can use your electrical equipment (i.e. laptop) in the night time.
Below are some of the before and after shots of our newly renovated bedroom, in our apartment in Szeged, showcasing how much work and fine detail was put into its renovation.
When I was viewing the apartment I knew the bedroom just needed a cosmetic makeover - New Door, Radiator, Carpet, Wiring, Lighting, Windows and three coats of paint! And because the apartment was getting new double glazed windows and balcony door I decided to pay a little more and have a mosquito-net (mesh) door made for the balcony. Yes, a hot country like Hungary has mosquitoes I'm afraid. Do not worry though, the mesh really does help!
Mosquitoes (Female Mosquitoes) only come out to bite in the summertime, after 5:30pm, and normally in areas where there is a river, lake, pond or build up of stagnant water (to lay their eggs in). This is because they like wet, damp, air and not dry heat. They do not like too much wet or damp though such as rain, snow and the winter chill. So in reality mosquito nets (mesh) are only needed in the summertime if you want to sleep with your windows and/or balcony door open.
The wallpaper was so old and dried out that most pieces only needed pulling off the walls. It was not all easy though. Other pieces were so stubborn to remove they needed the steaming machine.
The smelly, worn out, carpet (underlay) needed throwing away simply because its backing had turned into a yellow powder/dust! To imagine someone lived in that filthy bedroom with its awful "cannot breathe / cannot sleep" smell and water damaged (leaking) walls is unbelievable. I was told the previous seller was a penniless squatter at the time. The new (current) owners were going to renovate the apartment, prior to selling it (to me), but never got around to it.
The original carpet was so old its backing had turned into a yellow powder!
Although there was nothing really wrong with the condition of the ceiling, apart from some old water-damage marks (long before the new roof was renovated), I decided to strip the ceiling of its current plaster, clean up the water-damage marks, and then have a fake ceiling made. Mainly to hide the ugly pipes that went around the top half of the room but also to hide the electric cables that would be installed for the new spotlights.
The new fake ceiling will hide ugly pipes and spotlight cables
The radiator pipes would still be visible, but that is natural as they cannot be hidden of course. They will not cause a problem though because they are on the back wall and not going all around the skirting board area, like in a UK house.
The windows should of been a simple case of measuring the living room, kitchen and bedroom window frames, manufacturing the windows, delivering them and fitting them but in my case I had to wait 4 weeks for the window frames to be measured and a further 7 weeks for the windows to be fitted. On top of this I needed air holes/vents made in each window frame whereby it took a further 2 weeks for a workman to arrive.
When the workman arrived with air vent tools and equipment for 1 window frame only I was surprised because I had ordered for 2 window frames to be done that day. Never mind I thought, he will do the kitchen window frame now and come back at a later date to do the other window frames. I was crazy to think that! Instead of doing 1 window frame, 15 minutes maximum, he just walked out of the apartment doing no work at all. He did not even call his boss for advice. He just drove back to the office. So he ended up wasting 1 hour of his company's time and my entire day.
To make matters worse, when the balcony door was fitted they put the door the wrong way round. Instead of it opening towards the wall, as standard, they made it open into the room. When confronted they said "It was ordered that way"; obviously pointing the finger at me, the customer. Who the hell asks for a door to open in an abnormal way? Furthermore, they never offered to change it over so it opens the correct way; a small job only. In the end they rectified their mistake, but it cost me another 6,000 HUF (£16) for the pleasure.
The quality, workmanship and fitting of the windows and frames is not in question here. I am 100% satisfied with these services. The double glazing company's customer service in terms of little mistakes, time wasting and blaming the manufacturer for delays is a different story. In hindsight I would still use and recommend this company for the windows, frames and fittings, but throw caution about their customer service.
The old balcony door and windows were rotten, cold, damp and ugly!
It was not just the double glazing company blaming the manufacturer. The door company also blamed the Budapest manufacturer for delays, even though in reality it should never take months to have something custom-made and fitted. My bespoke-kitchen cupboard maker never made excuses and never took months to complete his work.
Many companies in Hungary take on too much work and end up hopping between them, not concentrating on one job at a time. This inevitability leads to problems whereby workers and/or manufacturers are purposely blamed in order to make excuses and/or further delay the job (stall for more time). Why take on work if you cannot carry it out or cannot give time to concentrate on it? I had this problem with the plaster company. I was told four days work because four workers would be on the job. In reality I got varied days of work with only one man doing the job. In my case I cannot complain too much because I was getting free labor.
The balcony was really filthy and full of junk when I first viewed the apartment. And although it was cleared by the original sellers of the apartment, as part of the pre-contract, it was used time and time again as a rubbish dump by the plumber, tiler and other workmen; mainly to store old wood, tiles, cement buckets, pipes and general rubbish.
The balcony: Repainted and re-tiled with new shutters and net blinds installed
The balcony has since been repainted, had new floor tiles and new shutters and mosquito nets (blinds) installed. A different company (Nestor Trade Kft WebsiteNestor Trade Kft) did the shutters and blinds. They did a great job. They said they would start work two or three weeks after payment, but to my surprise came around three days later.
In the near future I will stop the light from coming through the bottom of the balcony by covering that area with a piece of wood or wired-glass, which I might then paint. Apart from the light issues of the balcony, the shutters were initially installed to block direct sunlight, wasps, pigeons and direct cold weather. The mosquito nets being blinds as opposed to fixed nets are an excellent investment because you can still poke your head out of the window if you open up a blind and shutter.
NOTE WELL - Builders in Hungary tend not to clean up after themselves and do not like to take their own-created rubbish home with them. Some builder's will tell you "If you give me the job I will clear your apartment of ANY rubbish" (meaning your rubbish, their rubbish and other builder's rubbish) as appreciation for giving them the work. Unfortunately, in many cases, these will be empty promises. And even if they do take away ANY rubbish, make sure they do not just dump it in your and/or your neighbour's dustbin.
With the bedroom and lounge doors I wanted them to lock, with a latch knob from the inside and a key from the outside, just in case I rent out or have some guests over who feel the need to lock their room for whatever reason(s). With the bathroom lock I went for the standard inside latch knob and standard outside slit (screwdriver open) lock. I also chose to have a mocha wood style to blend in with the beige hallway walls. The orange-tan lounge and light blue bedroom also blend well with the mocha.
The bedroom door can be latch-locked from inside or key-locked from outside
When planning your renovation you should consider having locks on the doors, especially if you are thinking of renting out more than one room to multiple people, as installing locks later can be more expensive. Locks also add security of course and piece of mind and privacy to individual tenants with their own room.
I had my doors custom-made by a company, as opposed to visiting the D.I.Y shop and calling out a locksmith and carpenter, so that my specifications were met. The price between custom-made and locksmith/carpenter is more or less the same (between 66,370 Ft and 70,000 Ft). The beauty of custom-made is that the locks, hinges, etc are assembled and checked before leaving the factory. In my case the doors came from Budapest.
The bedroom was pretty straight forward to renovate once the wallpaper, water damage marks and old carpet were removed, and the rubbish removed from the balcony. The rest was simply a paint job and paying for the double-glazing, carpet and furnishings.
I think the overall cost of the bedroom, compared to what it would of cost in the UK, was very affordable; especially when you consider that I got the labor for free whereby at certain times I had three workers on a particular job. And there was not really too much I could of saved on in terms of buying the materials.
NOTE: The grand total below is estimated because the fake ceiling costs, for example, were for the whole apartment. Also, the furniture makes up 320,670 HUF (£855.12). So 530,475 HUF (£1,414) for double glazing, fake ceiling, plastering, painting, balcony tiling and shutters is pretty fantastic I am sure you will agree.
|Product(s) / Service(s)||HUF Price||GBP Price||Notes|
|Fake Ceiling / Plaster Work||130,000 Ft||£346.66||FREE LABOR - Plasterer Did Work For Free|
|Tiles Purchased||15,000 Ft||£40|
|Grout Purchased||7,000 Ft||£18.66|
|Tiles Pasted||10,000 Ft||£26.66||FREE LABOR - Tiler Did Work For Free|
|Paint And Other Materials||37,500 Ft||£100|
|Shutters||65,800 Ft||£175.46||Includes Mosquito Nets (Blinds)|
|Carpet||85,000 Ft||£226.66||Includes underlay and fitting|
|Bed Frame||28,000 Ft||£74.66|
|Computer Desk||19,875 Ft||£53|
|NEW Radiator + Cut-Off Valves||41,800 Ft||£111.46||This includes pipework for radiators|
|NEW Double Glazing||150,000 Ft||£400|
|New Door Purchased And Fitted||66,370 Ft||£176.98|
|GRAND TOTAL||851,145 Ft||£2,269||Rough Estimate (more like £2,000)|
NOTE WELL - The reason why I got free labor from the electrician, tiler and plasterer was because they were in some way related to my friend, Tünde, or friends of those relations. Furthermore, the labor prices shown on this web page are rough quotations of what a standard client might of paid. In other words, I asked the electrician etc what they would of normally charged a client so that you have a rough idea of labor costs in Szeged. If you want to get a quote from them and/or hire them please e-mail me for their contact details.Disclaimer: At the time of renovation, where 1 GBP (Great British Pound) was equal to 375 HUF (Hungarian Forint), the HUF and GBP prices and costs shown in this renovation section were 100% correct - GBP prices and costs were based on and calculated at an exchange rate of 1 GBP to 375 HUF. With exchange rates, prices and costs naturally being variable, you should therefore take the prices and costs shown throughout this website as guidance only.