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meeting builder on thursday- please tell me how to play it

(13 Posts)
whataboutbob Fri 28-Jun-13 19:39:50

Thanks to everyone who took the trouble to post. The breakdown of itemised costs is really useful. He's preparing an invoice and I will be in a better position to analyse it with all your comments. I don't mind paying a bit over the odds for the convenience of someone taking on the whole project but not 1000s and 1000s.
I'll post again when I've had his invoice.
Buildershateme: your name really intrigues me! Do they hate you because you won't let them get away with their builderly tricks? Or have you had some really bad experiences at their hands?
Poocatcher- I like to think I could do this but realistically, living in a different city and with 2 kids and a job I can't fit a new bathroom etc. With dad's illness I'm already doing lots of other stuff for him so really I have to use a professional.
Thanks again everyone.

flow4 Fri 28-Jun-13 17:34:57

Sounds high to me too (tho I think £2k is a bit optimistic, poo!)

Assuming you want decent and durable but won't want to go top-of-the range on anything in a student flat, I'd expect (comfortably) -
Remove bath, install shower - £500
Tiling bathroom and loo - £300
Extractor fan - £100
Carpets and vinyl (2 bed flat) - £800-1K
Repainting & mould treatment - £800-1K
Kitchen units - new doors £200 or whole new units £1-1.2K
... So about £4k (tho it could be done cheaper), plus VAT if he's VAT registered...
That's a big mark-up for project managing the work for you... I guess you need to decide - Is avoiding the hassle worth £4k to you?!

And no money up front!

lalalonglegs Fri 28-Jun-13 17:02:54

I agree - definitely toppy. Shop around.

sounds like lots of cheap tasks you could do simply yourself so that sounds v expensive to me. I'd expect a couple of grand Max.

Buildershateme Fri 28-Jun-13 16:20:39

I would get another couple of quotes. That seems high to me - unless the mould requires a lot of work and you're putting in a lovely lovely kitchen and bathroom and a super nice kitchen, for a small flat that feels like a lot. It might also be worth you organising separate quotes so one for redoing bathroom, fitting extractors and kitchen, one for all the flooring and then one for cleaning off the mould and repainting (treating the mould at the same time). Could work out cheaper.

whataboutbob Fri 28-Jun-13 13:50:20

So I met the builder and we went to Dad's flat. What greeted us (apart from 2 students) was: a broken shower and a very outdated bathroom, mould on all bedroom walls, peeling wallpaper, broken tap in kitchen, dirty carpets. The builder proposed to do a total facelift with new shower (remove bath), new carpets, new kitchen units (current ones not actually broken but quite old and worn), special non slip vinyl in kitchen (currently has carpet), removal of mould and re-painting, extractor fans in kitchen and bathroom. Also re tiling bathroom and loo. This he said is likely to cost more than the original £6000 inc VAT requested by the letting agents. The way I see it, it would be a better long term investment . It's in a very densely student populated area, so shouldn't be a problem renting it out. If we have to sell because Dad needs care, it is quite likely to be bought by a buy to let purchaser, and so it makes sense to remove all vestiges of family home (carpet in kitchen, bath) and just really update it to make it student friendly and obvioulsy a better place to live. The builder is preparing an invoice re the proposed works but I reckon he's going to ask for about £8000 inc VAT.
Any second opinions on this would be really welcome, thanks.

whataboutbob Wed 26-Jun-13 07:41:55

Thanks flow4, I'll report back tomorrow evening.

flow4 Tue 25-Jun-13 21:37:16

To be honest, having three different people will take an hour or two longer to arrange, but will probably save you time over all. If you think about it, someone who is a builder is unlikely to be a 'specialist' at decoration or cleaning: you will probably need to give more instruction, oversee, and perhaps even sort out problems. On the other hand, using three people who really know what they're doing at the three key jobs should be more efficient and less stressful overall.

whataboutbob Tue 25-Jun-13 21:19:24

Thanks this is useful. The flat is in a university town in the south east (not London). I like the sound of your approach flow4. With Dad's illness I have had to take on more and more responsibilities: tax returns, paying bills, medical appointments, making sure his money is safe etc etc. So the more time efficient the better. I am hoping not to have to employ several different people, but will bear it in mind.

flow4 Tue 25-Jun-13 21:12:38

I agree with wonky about this being three different jobs. smile

I don't know where you are, but I reckon your instincts about price are right... Around here, I'd expect to pay £150-200 for a very thorough clean, then £400-800 to decorate a small flat (assuming it's all one colour/magnolia or something else equally straightforward), then £1-1.5k for a bath and shower to be fitted.

I used to be very intimidated by builders, too. Then I realised that actually, it was quite simple: I'd just be myself, and if I felt uncomfortable or patronised with/by anyone, then I just wouldn't use that particular individual! Quite soon I found people I could trust and felt comfortable with, whom I have used many times over the years.

wonkylegs Tue 25-Jun-13 20:35:59

I'm not sure it's a job for a builder, the cheapest way to do it and get a good finish would be to pay cleaner to do the cleaning, a decorator to do the decorating and a plumber/bathroom fitter to do the bathroom. It's more of a faff but you'd be getting the right people to do the right job and therefore should get a better job done.

whataboutbob Tue 25-Jun-13 20:16:18

My Dad has a rental flat which sadly he's no longer able to manage as he has Alzheimers. I have power of attorney and have had to take on more and more of the management of Dad's affairs. It's rented to students through letting agents (fortunately) but now needs some fairly extensive redecoration. The letting agents made a quote for £6000 basically for cleaning ,redecoration and putting in a new bath and shower. It's a small flat and I think this might be excessive so I am meeting a builder (found through Which? local) to get his perspective on what needs to be done and ask for a quote. I have absolutely no experience of builders! I want to make the right impression ie I'm not a naive little lady, will pay a fair price but expect good quality workmanship. Any advice on how to handle this would be most welcome.

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