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Pointer on house renovation project - I'm lost on how to start

(9 Posts)
MrsFogi Thu 04-Aug-05 21:13:22

Dh and I bought a house in SE London (on a bit of a whim, it's not great but I could see the potential) and now that dd/ds is on the way I'd like to get it sorted out before we have a baby in the house (from Jan so may be cutting this a bit fine). To get it in an acceptable state the whole layout of the house needs to change (which will involve knocking out internal walls and putting up new ones), new bathrooms put in and a new kitchen. Luckily we have somewhere to stay while work goes on.
But, here's my question - how do I go about getting this all done - do I get individual companies to do kitchen/bathroom etc or are there companies/people that can organise the whole thing (if so, what am I searching for i.e. what is such a company/person described as? - I don't know what to google for)
+ if anyone can reccommend anyone/a firm that does this sort of thing I'd be grateful for names!

WestCountryLass Thu 04-Aug-05 21:54:15

You can order bathrooms and kitchens from the likes of MFI/B & Q/Moben etc and either pay for them to install or get someone else to install but this is usually costly.

Have you any friends who have had good builders in the area? A builder will do all that kind of stuff. If not then look up Institute of Master Builders and you should be able to find one that works in your area. You would need to tell them exactly what you want and project manage, or you could hire an architect/interior deigner.

Skribble Fri 05-Aug-05 00:17:07

You sound like you need a project manager, you can choose an architect or designer to do this. This doesn't have to mean handing over control of everything you can still choose individual companies to do certain things but the project manager will organise when they are brought in and coordinate the different companies.

It really depends how much needs to be done, sounds like a lot if moving walls. I would recomend a full survey before you do anything as boring things like re roofing and rewiring can eat into budget and affect desisions.

I managed to do our flat with the help of FIL who is a joiner and we did all the work ourself. It was strange being able to decide exactly where I wanted to put a wall.

Hattie05 Fri 05-Aug-05 00:27:35

Find yourself some good tradesmen (ask for recommendations). And try and get a couple of quotes at least for each job.
Get each one over to quote for you - pick their brains for tips and ideas whilst there, also ask them to bring brochures of stuff they can get at trade price, e.g bathroom/kitchen stuff.

Then enjoy planning!

Shop around for the type of kitchen and bathroom stuff, being able to compare with what your tradesmen can get for you. Get ordering as some of things can take a while to be ordered esp. kitchens!!

Once you have an idea of how you want things you can get your electrician round - so you'll need a rough idea of how the kitchen will be for all sockets and lights.

Then have a builder knock and replace walls, and have them plastered.

Then get your plumber in to do heating/bathroom and kitchen appliances. Then a carpenter to fit your kitchen!

Hey presto beautiful home.

You can pay a project manager, but its fun (maybe stressful if you are heavily pg), to do yourself and far more sense of achievement, and saves a lot of money.


Chandra Fri 05-Aug-05 00:53:01

The only thing that I would like to add is to try to get somebody ASAP, good builders are normally booked up for months in advance and the process of doing a change of structure in the house always brings surprises that can cause delays or increase costs, for example, we moved the kitchen to the living room and the living room to the kitchen and booked the electrician to fit extra several electricity points ans some hallogen lights. The project manager calculated the electric work would take about two days, instead it took about twoo weeks because while doing the hallogens the electrician found out that the previous owner's electrician left live cable without isolation between the floor and the ground floor's ceiling that was aparently too dangerous to leave as it was, to sort that problem took him 2 weeks and most floorboards from the landing and a good number of a bedroom had to be lifted! which, brings me to another point... always get a closed quotation that way if there's a problem they are charging for doing a job rather than for the hour and in case of delays they can't charge you extra.

Carla Fri 05-Aug-05 00:53:46

I think you'll need a surveyor to oversee the whole thing (at least I did). Then if any of it goes tits up you have an independat person who can adjudicate on your behalf.

Also get a clause that says if any of them take longer than they originally said they have to start paying you money.

MrsFogi Fri 05-Aug-05 13:27:15

Thanks for all the ideas, I'm starting to get an idea now. We've just moved to the UK so I don't really have anyone to ask for recommendations so I'm kind of going to have to rely on finding via the internet I think (unless anyone wants to pass on names to me?)

pesme Fri 05-Aug-05 13:40:00

Don't know about england but in scotland you need building control permission from your council before starting this kind of work. they will require architects drawings and probably a structural engineer report. if you get a good builder they will help project manage.

get an price agreed before employing a builder.

good luck and don't watch any of those horrific programs about renovating your own house they will just scare you.

Prufrock Fri 05-Aug-05 13:42:56

Sounds like you need an architect - the savings they make you in terms of less costly mistakes/knowing where to get things more than outweight their cost.

SofiaAmes is one, or you could try \link{} people

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