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The MN surviving building an extension thread of hints and tips(56 Posts)
The ongoing Extension threads are full of useful stuff but I thought it could be helpful to have a separate resource thread with more hints and less chat.
Please feel free add things to that helped maintain your sanity!
Links to products are useful but please also include a description as links can go out of date or be removed by retailers.
Where possible, I have tried to credit MNer who had the tip...
Make sure you check or update your home insurance @MyNameIsJane
You may need to add a small premium. Some insurers will refuse to cover you but should refer you to an alternative insurer.
Zip up dust door @WorrisomeHeart
Keep the extension and "untouched" bit of the house separate
If you are having a skip on your drive, ask the builders to put down boards before it is delivered. This will protect your drive from damage as they tend to slide around during the changeovers
Various available on amazon
Hide your hoover from the builders!
This wet dry vac is cheap and well rated if you need to do your own clean up
The "various available from amazon" refers to zip doors!
The vacuum cleaner is still serving me well. Good idea to start the thread! Can we add my latest about waiting as long as you can before purchasing your electrical goods as you have more rights regarding your electrical goods if something goes wrong in the first 30 days after your purchase. Unfortunately, I have both a faulty Hotpoint microwave and a Hisense Dishwasher which we are finding hard to get replaced.
This website will give you for example a Dulux equivalent (if one exists) for a Farrow and Ball shade. It tells you if the alternative shade is a good match or noticeably different
Buy a cheap kettle and box of mugs for the builders sole use - then put it somewhere that they can access without traipsing through your central living area (especially if said living area also houses the temporary kitchen). I also put granulated sugar in a jar with a proper screw on lid which helped a little.
Avoid ordering stuff in August!
Many European factories shut down completely for the entire month.
Our kitchen is coming from Germany (factory shut), radiators and tiles from Italy (both factories shut!)
Great thread. A note to all neighbours just before start date apologising in advance for any nuisance and giving your telephone number.
If your building work will leave you without a kitchen -
Plan a temporary one in dining room or garage or end of the living room.
Stock up your freezer if you can keep it going - eating out and takeaways are expensive
IKEA Tillreda portable induction hob only £35 and you can use it at Christmas afterwards!
Serve microwave rice with everything!
I can't remember which mumsnetter said it but bare in mind the location of your gas meter if it is currently on an outside wall and your new extension will box it in- you'll have to budget for moving the gas metre to the new external wall!
Pack away all your crockery and use plastic picnic plates during any time with a temporary kitchen - much easier to wash up in the bath!
You can get big plastic bags from Amazon which will fit a four seater sofa, upright piano etc. Don't under estimate the dust.
And when you are done, you can get 5 litres of carpet cleaner from Screwfix and hire a carpet cleaner from HSS for less that those awkward rug doctors in supermarkets
Great thread. I'll be taking lots of notes. Thank you.
Have a stock of old towels available to mop up leaks etc so the plumber is less likely to use your best Christy's.
Take photos of any new pipes laid before the flooring goes down so you know for the future where they are.
Keep copies of all your emails to and from the builders in case of any he said she said about change orders. Also any time you have a conversation with the builder, take notes and send an email afterwards confirming what was discussed and any decisions taken
Accept that you will never lose the weight you put on due to:
An inability to get to the gym
Takeaways/meals out because you have no kitchen
It taking at least twice as long as you ever thought it would
I'm 2.5 years AE (After Extension) because it does almost split your life and am still about 2 stone heavier than BE (Before Extension)
@TeamRick every time the noise and mess gets too much, I put on my headphones and go for a three mile walk!
Hopefully this will mitigate the Gin
Make sure you check or update your home insurance *@MyNameIsJane
You may need to add a small premium. Some insurers will refuse to cover you but should refer you to an alternative insurer.*
Get ready for the premium to at least double, even for a short period of building. I was staggered at the increase.
Concrete floors. They take months to dry. 1mm per day if the area is well ventilated and reasonably warm. If you have underfloor heating you can speed it up but you still,need to leave a few weeks to allow it to cure. In reality you can't cover the floor for months.
Photograph all floors and walls before plastering. All the pipes and wires will be all over the place and they don't appear to have the discipline of paying in straight lines they did years ago.
Don't let the building use private building inspectors. They are all in the pocket of the builder. Use the local authority and make sure you are present when they do the inspections.
Have a full contract which details adherence to the plans. Have a full schedule of requirements, including all has, electrical, decorating etc if included. Make sure there is a payment schedule in there. Do not make any Up front payments and ensure you hold back 20% to be paid one month after completion and receipt of the building control certificate, and importantly customer satisfaction that all snagging is complete and to the standard required. Don't just accept an FMB contract as they favour the builder. Use it as a template but re write it if you are not confident writing your own contract.
Regular site meetings. Have a formal weekly review so you know what's happening the next two weeks and can plan, and also regular daily chats over coffee if you can. The builders I had really liked that as it helped them with minor details
I could go on.....but the result was we were delighted with our extension even though we and the builder had to get the contract out a few times
Walk through what lights you want turned on from where early on with the electrician. I wish we'd written it down! You'd be surprised how different your ideas of common sense light switching differs from the electrician. Once they have put cables into places and insulation and plasterboard is up they are very fussy about changes.
In the new bit, know if you want radiators there so they can put the pipes in place before putting the floor down. It might already be in the architects plan but ours was not!
Remember that the standard depth of a kitchen wall unit is not deep enough to put in normal dinner plates. If this is where you think you will be keeping the plates remember to ask for deeper units.
If you are having a bbar on an Island or peninsula along with the sink please remember that some of the depth might be taken up by the service void. We lost 5cm of the bbar depth to the sink pipes. It was a close call as I think anything less than 25cm makes the depth quite uncomfortable to sit at.
Worktops. I went for Minerva in the kitchen and laminate in the utility. Not all laminates are the same and some really do look very like wood. Egger is a good one.
Is a good review of Minerva. They have a realistic heavy veined marble/quartz look alike released this year that isn't as cost effective but generally Minerva is cheaper than other solid surfaces I found. We went for Calcatta White. If possible get a sample over night and stain test it with things you use often (red wine/curry/tumeric etc). It passed our stain test which was very impressive. We even used a sharpie and got it off!
I love the way our worktops look and feel. The light really bounces off them. Can't quite believe it's our kitchen and we have previously had granite in another house!
Any storage ideas for furniture books general junk during work?
If you are going to be staying elsewhere during the build, get yourself a Ring video doorbell. The motion sensor lets you check up when the builders arrive!
This morning I checked Live View just as they unlocked the front door and went Coo-eee! via the intercom....
Hint from @soakedat3
Might be shooting myself in the foot now but I highly recommend Stardrops Vinegar Spray to clean grout haze off tiles. I went to get more but all sold out in Aldi but got last one in Home Bargains.
I see B&M do it too now so will be off there next to stock up!
Warning - not for limestone or marble!
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