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Small extension - do we need a project manager?

(12 Posts)
Tinykitchen Tue 30-Dec-14 11:45:22

Just looking for some experiences to help us decide how to go forward.

We moved into a 60s house a few years ago. It already has a single story extension jutting out at the rear of the house, kind of in the middle, and we want to add on two walls to basically make the room almost the full width of the house, and make this into a kitchen / diner.

It involves building two walls & roofing it, removing a window & changing to glass doors, and a bit of internal jiggery, but not much.

We're right at the start, and have spoke to a couple of architects, both of whom quoted us with an ongoing project management role, which works out at around £350 per week (build estimated at 8-10 weeks).

I suppose I'm wondering whether we need this. It's not a particularly complex project, only single story & adding onto what's already there...

What have other people done? I'd be keen to try & minimise cost, we've saved up to pay for the work, but ideally I'd like to save some to do 'living life' - we've not had a holiday for 5 years!! My Dh is a bit like a kid with 50p in his pocket & seems desperate to spend the whole lot...

Thanks for advice!

newstart15 Tue 30-Dec-14 12:59:00

I don't think you'll need a project manager, speak to builders and you'll get an idea of timescales.I imagine a PM woukd be useful if you were not it around to discuss the build but if you are its not necessary.

Most of the building is governed by building regulations and a competent builder builds his own schedule.

I suspect you will need to remove existing structure as its unlikely to meet current building regs and build from new. Will you open the back up further or retain existing width? If opening up the wall it will involve more disruption, especially to a kitchen so I would budget to move out for a few weeks rather than project manager.

Get a few builders to give quotes and they will talk you through the phases so you can determine if you can deal with it.In the building projects we've completed the relationship with the builder has been the most important factor as you will be dealing with them on a day to day basis.

Springsintheair Tue 30-Dec-14 13:11:55

If you are prepared to find, hire and manage the builders and source your own materials, you don't need a project manager. However at £350 a week you are getting a brilliant deal (if in s/e at least) and you wouldn't have to supervise and chase the workers. If it were me I'd have a project manager, for sure.

Marmitelover55 Tue 30-Dec-14 18:22:53

We had a single story kitchen/diner extension done this year which also involved some demolition and knocking through (17 weeks duration). We didn't have a PM and it all worked our fine. We did have a good relationship with the builder and he managed his bit and told me when I would need to get in floor/doors and windows/kitchen etc. We did get our architect to visit a couple if times during the build which was helpful as she came up with a few minor amendments I wouldn't have thought of. We didn't move out, and although it was sometimes difficult, I am really glad we stayed as we were on hand when issues cropped up, as they inevitably do.

Kieron79 Tue 30-Dec-14 18:39:01

Personally wouldn't bother, we are going for a 3m x 6m with kitchen being fitted new downstairs wc/utility bifolds, new boiler etc etc and our builder is doing fixed price. A good builder will/should be able to liaise with all trades, he will have a team he uses anyway. We are moving out for 1 week of build when knock through and going on holiday for 1 week, away from all the mess

kayessbee Fri 02-Jan-15 22:36:32

This is one of those situations where, if you manage it yourself & it all goes smoothly, you'll never see the need for a PM ever, yet if things go awry & there are problems then you'll wish you'd said yes to the architect! No easy answer....

Look carefully at the list of responsibilities that the A will take on board & ask, "are we honestly able/willing to deal with them ourselves". 8-10 weeks is a long time to keep on top of everything....

Watch a few eps of Grand Designs & see what the owners have to deal with, and take it from there.

IMHO if I had the funds to pay someone to do the job, then I'd pay them.......

MuscatBouschet Sat 03-Jan-15 04:21:20

As long as you use a building company that is bringing in all the trades themselves you shouldn't need a project manager. They are perfectly capable of dealing with building control etc. It sounds a pretty straightforward job so I wouldn't go for it. We are doing pretty complicated work without one. Sure, issues have arisen but having the architect around wouldn't have stopped the need for us to be around (and we've had to reconsult the structural engineer). For £350 a week is a lot of money. Accept it won't be a fun time in your life and save the money for interiors!

shebird Sat 03-Jan-15 21:08:24

We are doing an extension at the moment that sounds very similar and to a similar age house. For us an architect plus project manager is an unesessary expense for a pretty straight forward project. The drawings have been done by a planning consultant to meet building regs and his job is also to liaise with the council and make any amendments where necessary. The builder orders materials and co ordinates all the trades which I think this is pretty standard with most builders unless you have specific tradesman you want to use for things. The builder is pretty good at communicating what is going on and gives us an idea what his plans and timescale is for each stage. i am not sure what a project manager would add to the situation.

Wormatthebottomofthegarden Sat 03-Jan-15 22:41:05

We're extending and haven't used a project manager. Our builder has his own team to deal with everything, there's no contracting anything out.

blueshoes Sat 03-Jan-15 22:57:16

Our builder was our project manager and did it beautifully and seamlessly because he co-ordinated with his men and knew and recommended the other tradesmen. The architect who provided the designs and plans would have been a very expensive project manager as well as probably rubbish at it as he turned out to be a more creative type but less practically minded not particularly good at people management.

golemmings Sat 03-Jan-15 23:19:07

We did a small extension a couple of years ago and managed it ourselves. We found someone to draw some plans, found a builder who could deliver what we needed, who sourced his own subbies and liaised with building control. It was all pretty straight forward and took about 10 weeks.

It helped that the builders worked 9:30-7 so were still around when I got home from work so we could discuss anything they needed for the next day.

Tinykitchen Thu 08-Jan-15 19:12:36

Thanks for the replies, it's really helpful to have heard your opinions.

We've ended up finding an architect who we have instructed to do the drawings for planning & building warrant, with options to pay an hourly rate for additional tasks. Her fees seem really reasonable, so I think we will see how we get on with the planning process and how comfortable we feel at that point, and we can get her to do some pm if we feel less confident. Tbh I think we will probably do it ourselves, but it's good to have an option to change our minds if we suddenly have an attack of anxiety!

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