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    • shellstar
    • By shellstar 6th Sep 17, 2:49 PM
    • 98Posts
    • 125Thanks
    shellstar
    Hugely varied quotes for extension
    • #1
    • 6th Sep 17, 2:49 PM
    Hugely varied quotes for extension 6th Sep 17 at 2:49 PM
    hello,

    I'm in Oxfordshire and I want to do a small 2 x 4 meter kitchen extension. I have architects drawings and a certificate of lawful development pending. I'm now seeking quotes.

    I've found it very difficult to get personal recommendations for builders because I don't know many people who have had building work and still fewer who would recommend the builder that they had. On top of that there is a lot of work for builders right now and most have said my job is too small. I've managed solicited four quotes, two of which are from personal recommendations. I've had two back:

    Quote 1, not personal recommendation - £38k inc vat but not including cost of the kitchen or tiles, decoration etc. but does include installation of these things

    Quote 2, recommended by neighbour (although she said they did not stick to a schedule) - £16k inc VAT. leaving me with a blank room, I would then arrange fitting of kitchen and decorate/tile myself.

    Although I have two more quotes left to come in, I suspect they will be nearer to quote 1. If this is the case, I can neither afford to do the extension nor is it a good investment to do so as the ceiling price in my street is a lot less than £40k above what my house is currently worth. If I keep the project within £25k it should be a good investment in the medium to long-term.

    I asked Quote 2 how it could be so cheap and they explained that instead of following my plans, they would provide me with an 'equinox' room. From what I can tell, this is similar to a conservatory, but I would have more brick than glass and it is a tiled roof. They say this would be very similar to my current plans, but it would have a different roof construction (theirs is an aluminium frame) and also that they would not be adding a new steel across the current front because they believe there is already one there and a new one isn't needed. My architect had added this to my plans because there is one there but he recommends a new one as the other one is from the 60s.

    So it turns out my neighbour has an equinox room rather than a 'proper' extension. She paid a similar amount and has been happy with it. However, it's only been there 1 year so I'm not sure if she would have come across any problems anyway.

    Does anybody have any experience of equinox rooms? It seems a highly cost effective way to achieve what I want, but I'm worried about the quality of the build and their advice on the steel. Can anyone advise next steps in my research so that I can confidently determine if this is a good option for me?

    Thanks in advance!
Page 1
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 6th Sep 17, 3:22 PM
    • 23,969 Posts
    • 66,531 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #2
    • 6th Sep 17, 3:22 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Sep 17, 3:22 PM
    Another one of these conservatory roofing systems?

    Conservatories do not meet building regulations. They are built with insufficient foundations, amongst other things. My structural engineer spends far too much investigating subsiding conservatories for people who think they're built to last. The people that sell these roofing solutions specifically allow people to think that it's all approved stuff and you're actually creating an extension, but it doesn't usually need approving because conservatories are supposed to have doors dividing them from the main house and no heating - this allows them to escape meeting any kind of regulations at all. The roof insulation in the ones that I have looked at do not meet regulation levels.

    If you want this room to be your kitchen then you're going to create a huge problem if you use those people. In fact, you'll render the house unmortgageable if you put a kitchen in a conservatory without building regulations, especially if there is no attempt to meet those regulations. A kitchen is an essential room for mortgage purposes. You need an extension for a kitchen and it must be built to regulations.

    The steel is the last of your problems with these people.

    I presume that there is more work than just a simple 8 square metre extension?
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 6th Sep 17, 5:17 PM
    • 3,569 Posts
    • 2,233 Thanks
    Furts
    • #3
    • 6th Sep 17, 5:17 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Sep 17, 5:17 PM
    You are going about matters with the wrong approach, and the wrong mindset. Having got architectural drawings you should have a detailed specification, and then a Full Plans Application for Buildings Regulations. This is to protect your interests, to stipulate exactly what is required, and to ensure all quotes are based on the same details.

    By not following this procedure, or by being vague, you have allowed an underhand quote to come in which is now swaying you to act in a potentially illegal manner.

    It your choice on how you proceed, and on your attitude to the Law. However it is unreasonable to compare the quotes, and a waste of the first contractors time and effort if this is how you wish to move forward.

    On a pragmatic note small extensions can be very expensive, and you have to think laterally here. This could be value engineering, that is cost reducing, or it could be doing DIY or seeking family or friends help. Incredible value can be achieved in these ways - I have done this with my home. But do not think this is an easy, or laid back approach.
    • Nile
    • By Nile 6th Sep 17, 5:26 PM
    • 14,225 Posts
    • 14,162 Thanks
    Nile
    • #4
    • 6th Sep 17, 5:26 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Sep 17, 5:26 PM
    Hi, we move threads if we think they’ll get more help elsewhere (please read the forum rule) so this post/thread has been moved to another board. If you have any questions about this policy please email forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com.

    I’ve moved your thread from the ‘In my home’ board to the ‘Is This Quote Fair?’ board, where it is better suited.

    Regards

    Nile
    Hi, I'm the Board Guide on the In my home (includes DIY) and the I wanna buy-it or do-it boards which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember that Board Guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    10 Dec 2007 - Led Zeppelin - I was there. I wear my 50 (gold/red/white) blood donations pin badge with pride. Give blood, save a life.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 6th Sep 17, 5:30 PM
    • 3,569 Posts
    • 2,233 Thanks
    Furts
    • #5
    • 6th Sep 17, 5:30 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Sep 17, 5:30 PM
    It is now on another board, but this board gets far fewer responses. OP would have been better served had the post remained where it was, even if that is the wrong board!

    But far be it from me to fall out with a moderator. We all have to follow the rules!
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 6th Sep 17, 6:35 PM
    • 23,969 Posts
    • 66,531 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #6
    • 6th Sep 17, 6:35 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Sep 17, 6:35 PM
    I absolutely agree with Furts.

    No one goes on the Is it Fair board. In fact, it's going to be me and Furts and exactly the same people responding to any thread there, just less of us in any one go. I only check there a few times a week as it's so quiet.

    The Is it Fair board is surplus to requirements, given how often it is used. We often reply late to threads and they die before they ever get started.

    Even this board doesn't really have the right name or attention from board guides, given the number of threads that go and stay in the House Buying board and are answered by people who have made up their own board version of building regulations
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 06-09-2017 at 6:38 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • shellstar
    • By shellstar 6th Sep 17, 8:17 PM
    • 98 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    shellstar
    • #7
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:17 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:17 PM
    Thanks for the replies, they are helpful and I won't be proceeding with that quote.

    In my defence, I have followed the right process. I have full plans and structural calculations. I could not get my other quotes without them. All that happened was I asked my neighbour about her extension and became suspicious of the quote her guys gave me. They were trying to say this equinox room would be the perfect solution and structurally sound. They wouldn't quote off my plans which again I didn't like. As my neighbour had gone this route I thought I'd ask here as the rest of the internet had no info. I'm glad I did as I now know why the quotes are so different.

    My next steps will be to choose a builder and work with them to see if the plans can be adapted to my budget. I suspect though that I will have to go with plan B which will mean a slight adaptation to the current kitchen and no space for a table - but I've been eating off my knees for the past 18 months so it won't kill me to continue.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 6th Sep 17, 8:40 PM
    • 23,969 Posts
    • 66,531 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:40 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:40 PM
    Did you want it to be £25k including the kitchen?

    What did your architect say it would cost?

    Small extensions are expensive because there's a lot of surface area to create for relatively small floor space.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • shellstar
    • By shellstar 6th Sep 17, 9:29 PM
    • 98 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    shellstar
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 17, 9:29 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 17, 9:29 PM
    £25k is the max building cost I can go to. I can source a low cost kitchen etc. But more than £25k and I'm too close to the ceiling price for my street. It's a two bed terrace so not a forever home. Although I want the extension to create the home I want, I do have to factor in that I'm likely to move at some point.

    Most of my neighbours have done this extension but most of them did it years ago. The neighbour I mentioned is the only one who has done it recently and now I know how! In a street of 10 houses, mine and one other are the only ones not to have done this.

    I think in the past my budget was reasonable so the architect and a friend in the trade who lived locally until a year ago both thought it was doable. Feedback from builders though is that there is a bit of a boom on building in the area. Oxfordshire is so expensive now most people are extending instead of moving. They are all really busy, cost of supplies is going up.

    I'll keep researching different builders - most have been local but medium sized companies. Might try small and see if that is any better - though I will likely have to wait at least a year for them to be able to start.

    If now isn't the time I will go to plan B. No use waiting for a down swing in the local industry when I'm likely to move within 10 years. I could rejig the existing kitchen (move a door to give a longer run of units and workspace) and maybe consider adding a conservatory at some point to at least give a bit more useable space, if not actually a bigger kitchen itself.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 6th Sep 17, 10:08 PM
    • 23,969 Posts
    • 66,531 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    The conservatory fits your budget. As long as you understand that it isn't an extension, won't last forever and should be separated by a door. And don't put your kitchen in it. It would give you a dining area, perhaps.

    Could you knock through from kitchen to somewhere else? Move the kitchen location altogether?

    There's always some sort of solution. It may not be the biggest one, but there's usually something workable.

    I'd be nervous of anyone coming in near the price of your conservatory builders.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
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