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One builder or several trades?(7 Posts)
We need to get the following done:
New boiler (replacing hot water tank with combi)
New kitchen (small-med sized) -units falling apart so need ripping out. Not fussed on posh replacements but want good appliances.
New bathroom- v small
We have a sum of money but it is going to be v tight. All on last legs really.
Would you look for a single building firm to do all or do boiler separately from heating engineer.
Boiler/bathroom together by heating engineer/plumber? But will need tiling and flooring.
From personal experience and a recent shocking experience from SIL (who used one “builder” to do the lot) I would always go with individual trades people. You just have to be happy to micro manage the situation. Also word of mouth and do your research and then do some more. Exciting but scary times when it’s on a budget. Good luck.
Marking my spot here as we're doing similar and at the moment and finding it more cost effective and easier to use individual trades i.e. a plumber specialising in boilers and electrician for general rewire. Seems to be easier to carry out background checks and less risky. We may use builders or smaller Companies for specialist blocks of work such as kitchen fit and bathroom fit also but we also had a lot of headache trying to find a general builder to do the lot.
I would say go for separate trades. We had a shocker a couple of years ago when our bad builders walked out mid job. Luckily I had arranged the electrician, gas engineer, flooring, windows and decorators myself. So between them they pulled in contacts and we got it finished and managed to keep their bookings. I was project managing and had everyone booked in in the correct order. It was coming up to Christmas and if I hadn’t been able to get them each in when they were due it would have all fallen apart. I was so, so glad I had all the separate trades and didn’t lose everyone.
Also the guy who has done three bathrooms for us is amazing but absolutely hates doing kitchens so just does bathrooms now. We have a guy who did a kitchen for us who is brilliant at them but won’t do anything else. I would rather use someone who does those things day in day out, knows the problems and pitfalls etc rather than a bit of a jack of all trades. Although obviously sometimes you strike gold and get someone who is great at it all. But they’re rare.
Also having independent people they tend to be more loyal to you. We had some of ours mention things they had spotted that the builders had done wrong etc, or one nasty builder was slagging me off one day (as I made him relay steps he had done with a foot drop each!) and the flooring guy totally stood up for me. It was great. It made me feel really reassured, whereas even if one trade spots another trades problem they aren’t likely to mention it if they owe them for the job etc.
Eek ok will go for individual then. I think the boiler person is key as the general plumbing is rubbish so they might spot some of those things to be corrected.
Do kitchen and bathroom fitters usually do floor/tiles in their areas?
Our bathroom guy does tiling. Our kitchen guy doesn’t, he says he is good at it but as he doesn’t do it much he is very slow so says it’s more cost effective to get someone in who is quick. In a bathroom the room is usually quite small and so the tiling isn’t a huge area. If a big kitchen, probably worth getting a flooring specific person to do that.
Hmm we have a really good floor guy who has done other rooms but chances of him and a kitchen fitter being available at the right times together probably slim!