Our project was for the extending on two sides and completely re-modelling the remainder of a Victorian detached house, to include just about everything other than the main outside walls.
A very large project for us.
We first met Vince at a Homebuilding and Renovating show in Surrey. We were in the process of obtaining Planning approval, with the architects also completing Building Regulation drawings.
We had spoken to the architect and a couple of local builders who were indicating rather high budget prices so warmed to the idea of a Project Manager to organise individual sub-contractors rather than one main builder. Our logic being that if we could not quite afford to complete all of the planned works, we could simply draw a line at a certain stage, something we could not easily do with a builder commissioned to take on all the work. In the event, we were able to complete all works except for the external landscaping etc within our budget.
With a project manager and individual contractors, we were able to see the cost of every trade and if necessary trim back to suit the budget. It soon became apparent that to have someone on side with a huge knowledge of both building mechanics and also how to deal with aspects such as building control and a rather petulant architect was a huge advantage.
The architect had actually offered his services to project manage but after speaking to Vince, we decided that to have someone with a working experience in construction would benefit us more.
Sub contractors all have individual personalities that we might have found a little difficult to manage but having a project manager to deal with them meant that all workers slotted together at the right time. We had decided on a couple of suppliers already so again it was easy to integrate them with the other contractors.
We realised that if we had employed one building contractor, we would not have been able to involve ourselves in the decision making process in the same way. Many of the final finishings needed to be explored early on in the project and Vince guided us through them ensuring that when the time came, we were prepared and avoided delays.
The works completed when everyone said they would and the only differences to the budget were because changes were made.
We will no doubt be considering another project in the future, perhaps build a house totally, but in any event we will definitely use a project manager and individual contractors.