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Other House renovations

Discussion in 'General' started by Awoken, 23 Aug 2017.

  1. Awoken

    Awoken Gazing at the stars

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    We've finally got the money to buy and have found a place but its in a bit of a state as its been an abused rental property which has had no work done on it since it was built 15 years ago. It's our first non-rental and we need some renovation advice.

    They've got light grey carpeting throughout which is filthy and worn.The decorating choices are a little questionable and so a repaint is in order (fortunately they stuck to light pastels - no black or red 'feature walls' but some big print wall paper feature walls instead).

    The kitchen carcasses are water damaged and have blown in places as have the bottom of the doors. The worktops are laminates and in a similar state. The ultility room cabinets and worktops are hanging off the walls.

    All the white goods are wrecked.

    The ensuite and bathroom are a little tired but everything works and there are no obvious leaks.

    The boiler is 15 years old and was completely refurbished for sale.

    Fortunately there is no serious building work to do, just interior stuff (cabling, decoration, flooring, kitchen and utility).



    We've still got out work cut out.

    I'm going to cart off the dead white goods to the tip and remove the kitchen/utility room units and worktops myself (leaving hob oven and sink alone unless I can simply unplug and remove the oven - a kitchen fitting team can get rid of these as I'm not confident about plumbing/gas).

    We want networking cable with sockets near the main BT socket downstairs, in the lounge, office, kitchen and on the upstairs landing (in case we want to add an access point up there).

    We're planning to put down a hardwearing textured wood laminate in the hall, lounge, and dining room (easy to clean due to marauding children). Rugs in the lounge for warmth (and replaceability).

    We're putting Karndean vinyl tiles in the kitchen and utility room (fewer smashed plates and warmer than regular tiles - no need to get down to scrub grout).

    We're getting new units, wall cupboards, sink and worktops for the kitchen and utility room from http://www.diy-kitchens.com/

    New white goods from wherever is cheapest (we need oven, hob, dishwasher and washing machine).

    We're getting carpet for the office, stairs, upstairs landing and bedrooms - Any recommendations? (no cream carpets as we've hated the ones in our rental place and they're impossible to keep clean)

    We need to get some fresh paint up - no idea about colour, how do you choose when there are 100 shades of pale grey alone?

    We're in rental and I work full time (7am-7pm with some work to do at home plus some work to do one the week). My wife works one day a week and looks after our one year old for the remaining 6 days a week. We've got a one month overlap of tenancy and ownership to get all this done and move in.

    Family have offered to help with painting and moving. We're planning to hire a cable thrower for the networking ports, plasterers to cover up the mess the cable fitter makes, independent flooring/carpet fitters to do all the floors (~ 65m^2 downstairs and slightly less upstairs) and a kitchen fitting team to take care of the kitchen. My wife can be around on occasion but I can't get on site except in the evenings for an hour or two and for a few hours on the weekend.

    Should we look at getting a project manager to keep on top of it all?

    I think the work (if we paint on the weekends) should take about 2-3 weeks (4 at a stretch).

    Do any experienced renovators have any tips for planning/managing this project?
     
  2. blackerthanblack

    blackerthanblack Minimodder

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    By the sounds of it, I don't think you'll need a PM for this. There's not really a critical path here, and most of the work can be done in parallel and aside from the kitchen, there's nothing in there to actually stop you moving in if the work isn't finished. You will need someone there to let the workers in though, and even if you can't physically be there, they need to be able to contact you quickly while there if something comes up. So be prepared to make an immediate decision (even if it's just 'stop working on that and do this until I get back to see').

    It's sometimes a good idea to either use Post-It notes on a big wall to plan it, or do reverse planning yourself (i.e. - kitchen units need installed, so what needs in place before that? White goods? probably, to ensure fitting. Flooring? Not really, but account for heights in white goods spaces. Finished walls? Nope, but needs to be sound for cupboard fixing, etc.). It's also good to 'act' out the work, even in your current house to physically see any hiccups or things you haven't thought of like plumbing/drainage, can the leads and you reach sockets - where will dust go when working on plaster etc.

    For stair carpets - definitely not cream! It may be worth getting a pattern or speckled effect as a flat colour will show up flattened pile more, and the stairs get lots of use. We have a light brown(ish) stair carpet with some darker and lighter speckles through it and it seems to bear up well. The better and thicker underlay you can get, the better it will hold up.

    Edit: Forgot to add, if you'r not going to be there, you need to be VERY CLEAR about what you need them to do, things like sketches or drawing on the actual wall can help.
     
  3. Awoken

    Awoken Gazing at the stars

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    Thanks @blackerthanblack that's reassuring and will save us quite a bit. We'll make sure someone is there to let them in.

    The one thing I'm unsure about is the kitchen and the order of work. It seems a complex task as it requires a number of different trades. I'm assuming that it goes something like this:

    1. Old kitchen is removed, gas capped and electrics made safe.
    2. Plastering to repair and damage to walls following removal of old kitchen.
    3a. Walls are painted.
    3b. New kitchen floor goes in (if it was installed at the end it wouldn't go under the white goods and any leak would be able to get in under it and wreck it where as if it is installed at the start then it could be sealed and leaks would be contained on top (we're planning on using vinyl tiles).
    4. Electrics and gas are routed to where they need to be.
    5. New cabinets are installed and smaller filler pieces are used to plug gaps.
    6. Worktops are cut to fit sink and hob (if the budget will stretch we want a seperate hob and double oven) and then fitted.
    7a. Gas and electric appliances are connected.
    7b. Tiles are put up on walls and splashbacks are fitted.
    7c. Sink and hob are sealed to the worktop.
    7d. Any damage to paint during fitting is repaired.

    Items under 3 and 7 could be done in any order.

    Trades required: Plasterer, Joiner, Gas Engineer and Plumber (possibly a painter).

    Internet research indicates we'll need to budget ~£2000-2500 in labour - we intend to use an independent fitter and hire locally for gas and electrics (it isn't a big kitchen 5.3x3m with only half of it having cabinets added but we're getting our little utility room done at the same time and we'll need a sink plumbed in, a few cabinets and a worktop in there as well).

    Are we roughly correct with the order or does it need to be changed?
    Is our estimate for labour sensible?
    We may struggle to be there to open up every day for the kitchen fitters, could we use a keysafe on days on which we can't make it in?
     
  4. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    This seems bass ackwards to me... surely you'd reroute any relevant cabling, pipes and/or sockets before re-plastering and repainting...
     
  5. Awoken

    Awoken Gazing at the stars

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    @RedFlames fair point. If they need to be routed in the walls then routing them will need to be moved up to item 2. If they only have to be moved a short distance (behind cabinets) they can stay as item 4.
     
  6. Kronos

    Kronos Multimodder

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    Would you not be best served finding a smallish company that will do most of the work? When I had my kitchen done the one firm did the it all apart from floor covering. A kitchen can be a small room so you needs trades/guys that work together so as not to get in each others way.
     

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