About to embark on a project. Any advice??

(7 Posts)
Twerking9to5 Thu 02-Jun-16 15:50:04

Apart from "don't do it" ? grin

Bought a semi detached Victorian house that needs quite a bit of work - mainly in the form of a loft conversion and then knocking through walls and extending downstairs to give us one big family area.

The initial excitement of being able to create the house we want is turning into "shit, this is going to be a bumpy ride". We have a toddler and a 10 month old to throw into the mix too....

Anyway, we have never done any work before and thinking we'd want to employ an architect who can oversee everything and project manage it.

What questions are useful to ask?
What do you wish you'd done differently?
What things did you do that you'd really recommend to just help us along a bit?

Basically, HELP! Any advice would be massively welcome.

Oh, and if anyone has any architect recommendations in the Tunbridge Wells area I'd love to hear them!

thisisbloodyridiculous Thu 02-Jun-16 16:16:05

Don't have your kitchen and bathroom out of action at the same time (like we have at the moment) & move as much stuff as possible out of the house so it won't get damaged or dusty. Make sure you have at least one room to use as a 'safe haven' away from dust and mess that you can cook, eat, watch TV etc in.

Good luck!

Twerking9to5 Thu 02-Jun-16 17:01:30

Thanks this. We want to get cracking asap, hoping to complete in august and dont want to put all our stuff in the house only to have to remove loads of it when work starts. Maybe i can dump it at my parents' house into storage for a while. Hope your work goes well too!

didireallysaythat Thu 02-Jun-16 20:53:44

If you are planning work in August you need to engage an architect and builder now. Our architect drew up plans last October, submitted for planning beginning of December, planning approved end if January, the structural engineer has only just returned the calculations and we're planning to start work late August. The builder, plumber and electrician put us in their diaries last December. Maybe we're slow but it's giving us time to make every decision without panicking on the spot.

namechangedtoday15 Thu 02-Jun-16 21:04:09

I agree, even if planning is straight forward, good builders are like gold dust and will be booked up for months in advance. I think we waited for about 9 months for our builder - should have been 8 I think but the weather was so poor earlier this year they were a month behind on a previous project.

Invite as many people as often as you can for play dates and dinner before you move and jokingly but mean it tell them they can return the favour once the work starts.

Put as much as you can (furniture junk) into storage. Particularly if you are moving, just put it in a self storage unit until the house it ready. Live with the absolute bare essentials.

Build in time to your lives when work is about to start for the decision making - you will lose days on houzz and pinterest choosing taps etc. Its actually quite stressful making the decisions and making sure everything will be ready for when the builder wants it.

I would also try to foresee what you might want in the future, don't design the house on what you want now unless you can be flexible. What you might want now with a toddler and a baby (where everyone will invariably be together) might not be what you want when you have 2 teenagers (who might want separate living space). I would actually suggest living in the house even for a little while before starting the renovations. we've been in this house 6 years and have only recently started an extension - what we're doing now is completely different to what we envisaged when we had the offer accepted.

Twerking9to5 Thu 02-Jun-16 22:29:05

Great advice, thank you! Sounds like we'll be living in the house for a bit anyway. I did think about the house for the future and thought same thing about when the kids get older. We're planning for the spare room to double up as a teen den when the time comes!! I'm speaking to architects now so we can at least get the ball rolling.

OnePlanOnHouzz Fri 03-Jun-16 11:51:28

Be wary of any trade or pro that can fit you on straight away ! Most good ones booked up well in advance !!!

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