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Anyone used a project manager to refurbish a property?

(10 Posts)
BeenieBaby Fri 23-Aug-13 09:41:33

We've seen some properties with lots of potential but they all need a fair amount of work- new floors, room layout redesigning, new kitchen and bathrooms, possibly loft extension, and central heating installed in one property. It seems incredibly daunting especially as DH works long hours and if we didn't have a pm, it'd be me overseeing it with DS (2.5) and dd(1) in tow! We would also have to stay on in our rental property while the work is being done, so the quicker it is done the better it would be. These properties are well within budget so we think we can set aside enough for the refurb + pm fees + rent. Has anyone used a pm? Or had experience of doing it without a pm? Is it going to be a waste of money or money well spent? And anyone recommend someone they've used in the London area?

wonkylegs Fri 23-Aug-13 12:06:41

I'm doing it myself for our newly bought house BUT I'm an architect.
I'm finding it much more difficult than working for clients as their PM partially because juggling it with childcare is really difficult and it's hard to emotionally distance yourself from the project. As it is I'm taking on less clients so I can fit in the co-ordination so I guess it's a kinda swap for my skills rather than paying somebody else.
I think if I wasn't an architect or even if i was working FT (which i'm not atm due to other things) we would be paying somebody to do it.
A) because it's time consuming and stressful b) it avoids wasting time or getting it wrong both of which cost money anyway.
It would depend on how much needs doing and what it is though.
We are doing the following to a period house in a conservation area : new windows, new electrics, new plumbing & heating, insulating & decorating throughout, roof repairs & guttering, new kitchen & bathrooms, new floors, new back door & small extension.

TheWookiesWife Fri 23-Aug-13 13:29:07

hi ! a good PM will divert the crappy stuff from you and involve you in the nice stuff ( if that's what you ask of them). so unless you want to have to make decisions on the removal / replacement of the site portaloo as it's leaking or ordering miles of pollypipe and electrics etc - instead off concentrating on beautiful light fittings , fab bathrooms and a stunning kitchen etc
if it's really out if your budget and you have no choice but to tackle it all yourselves - then plan plan and plan some more - it's the only way !! best if luck to you !! :-)

MrsTaraPlumbing Fri 23-Aug-13 15:48:17

Blatant advert coming up....
my company do this work...
ie all of it. Project manage, provide all the labour, source the fixtures & fittings. Work with building control can work with your architect if you need one - possibly you will not depending...
We mostly work in Kent but London and surrounding areas are within our area for larger jobs like you describe.

We can provide references, copy of our insurance and many of our clients would be happy to show you their homes - this is what you should look for in any project manager or builder that you choose.

BeenieBaby Fri 23-Aug-13 19:01:07

wonkylegs do you mean an architect would also take on project management? I'm certain we will need an architect as a couple of the properties will need a fair amount of redesigning to make it work for us. Should I be looking for a project management company / pm that will hire an architect for me? Or should I look for an architect who will oversee it for me? I'm so confused! And mrsTara you've confused me as well- I gather you run a plumbing company? But also project manage? Do you then also hire an architect or do you do the design yourself?

wonkylegs Fri 23-Aug-13 19:17:14

Architects will project manage if you want them too. You can hire an architect to just do designs or do further stages of work including project management /contract management etc.
Some domestic architects don't do all stages though so it's worth checking before you start.
I've always had a project management background and actually often take on projects for long-term clients where they buy land already with planning permission (and the designs up to this level) which I then take on up to completion. This includes sorting out contractural arrangements and only releasing money to contractors once work has been completed to the right standard, overseeing disputes/changes etc.
Project management is a huge part of my job really, I do much less actual design now I'm at a senior level. sad

MrsTaraPlumbing Fri 23-Aug-13 20:03:16

Let me go to your other question about waste of money.
Of course not every one can afford it.
Good PM should save you £ because the job should run smoothly, efficiently and should be completed swiftly.
Bad PM could be costly if you have to pay tradesmen who turned up to work but were unable to because materials haven't arrived or preparation was not complete.
Things being done in the wrong order and then having to be ripped out and redone.

MrsTaraPlumbing Fri 23-Aug-13 20:31:18

Now my business. We started years ago doing plumbing & heating. A bathroom renovation, for example involves carpenter, electrician, plasterer, tiler, painter and plumber and it can involve moving walls, creating wall and moving windows.
And it can involve applying for building regulations approval.
so
It was a natural progression to move to whole house renovations and building extensions for clients. All of this work has come WOM & repeat business from existing clients when they move into properties like you are describing.

What you are describing is exactly what we do from start to finish. Ideally we see the project then we advice you if you will need building regs approval or planning permission. And we would sort out those things for you.

Of course - you may prefer to work directly with your own architect but you may not need one.

We can PM.
The majority of labour is usually our own team
- we can design or work with you to design.

PigletJohn Fri 23-Aug-13 23:54:54

A good Project Manager earns more than you do, and is worth it.

S/he will get to accumulate a surprising range of skills and experience, and will know what and who is needed when. Having seen many tiresome ways that things can go wrong, s/he will have an interest in having an easy life by making them go right.

If s/he is employed by a building firm or contractor, s/he will have their best interests at heart. If s/he is employed by you s/he will have your best interests at heart.

S/he may sometimes appear on websites offering advice.

bonechina05 Sun 28-Aug-16 00:33:45

Anyone can recommend a good PM, we need one too, albeit our project is to completely refurbish / refit a one bed london flat.

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