Major Renovations in Oxfordshire
A project with multiple challenges
We purchased a derelict/ dilapidated Grade II listed farmhouse and associated outbuildings in October 2014. Following the purchase we spent several months instructing architects and formulating plans for the renovation/ build. The works were to involve the complete sympathetic renovation and extensions to the farmhouse, a large new build barn to be utilised as a social enterprise, office buildings, and significant landscaping to include swimming pool etc
In July 2015 we gained planning permission and immediately pushed forward with a contract with the preferred builder of our instructed architect, for the farmhouse works. The contract negotiations with the builder were difficult mainly as we were keen to be able to move into at least part of the property by September 2016. Our builder only agreed to October 2016 which we reluctantly settled on.
Our relationship with the builder soon became quite fraught at times, not helped by the fact that even with the assistance of the architect we were supervising the project from 100 miles away and the building firm manager only visited site occasionally.
Having carried out and managed an 18 month renovation in London and new build in Dorset in the past, we were initially resistant to taking on a paid project manager. However the complexity and size of the project as well as the continuing fraught relationships with the builder and architect meant it seemed a very sensible avenue to take, and so it proved.
We instructed Vince in October 2015, initially to advise our builder who was already showing signs of being a little out of his depth, and also as an intermediary between us as the clients, the architect, other professionals and authorities and builder. This role expanded over time to taking on sole project management responsibility for the entire project, including the other large parts of the works and bringing in sub-contract labour. By bringing a project manager on board, even with a builder under contract for part of the works, we were able to regain control over the design, instigation and construction of the entire project.
In contrast to the sometimes strained relationships with our builder and architect, over a long period of two years we have retained a great relationship with Vince, even with a very stressful and complicated project at times. Having a knowledgeable professional on board with our best interest at heart was a huge benefit.
We were very happy to have utilized the services of a Project Manager and particularly Mr Holden!