How scuseme helped Cambridge resident find home builder for cottage renovation

Wanted: Local home builder for renovation project

In June 2016, we received the following customer enquiry:

“I am looking for a local home builder for a small extension for my cottage in Cambridge. I want the bathroom and kitchen extended and refurbished.  I’ve got the plans and would like to start ASAP. Many thanks.”

We passed this enquiry onto our recommended local home builders.  Three of them were keen for scuseme to share their profiles with the customer.

The customer received details of the home builders including recent customer reviews, he then contacted them for more information and quotes and finally selected one to take on the project.

Our customer said: “I decided to  use scuseme because the local builders you use have confirmed recommendations.  And knowing that you meet them in person is reassuring.”

The customer’s final choice was influenced by the builders’ ability to offer a full design and build solution; as well as someone highly competent, personable and who offered good value for money.  “He found solutions that I would never have thought off to make the most of every square inch of space.”

The project

The bathroom was located at the back of the house and occupied the largest room downstairs and the kitchen was the smallest room.  The goal was to reverse this and create a dining area.

Extras and additions

Planning is one of the most important steps of the project and while nobody wants surprises at the end of the project, extras and additions will inevitably arise. Raising these at the very beginning of a project and discussing how they will be dealt with help project management.  Our builder firmly believes, “At the end of the project it is unfair to expect the client to pay without any knowledge of these extra or additional cost.  Before we start any job, we always meet with our client, discuss the potential extras and agree them in writing. This is the only way to manage that possible outcome, plus lots of contact and updates along the way.”

What lies beneath?

Stripping the area back to reveal the state and position of the main services, the condition of the foundations, walls and woodwork, and finding solutions that neatly conceal ugly cables and pipes was key to the flawless, faultless finish.

Taking shortcuts is never an option as skipping any of these stages can result in astronomical costs if anything goes wrong once the project is finished.

Opening for kitchen window and sink

Opening for kitchen window and sink

Spectacular space saving solutions

The space allocated for the bathroom looked like it could only accommodate a shower, toilet and sink.  Sadly, no bath. Fortunately, our builder found a way to maximize the space and squeeze in a bath so that it didn’t look cramped. Clever use of space and design – the toilet set into the space below the stairs, frosted glass, neat alcoves, simple tiling and lights, and innovative ventilation – completed the stylish bathroom.

Neat lines, straight walls

When using bi-folding doors from an outside to inside space, it is important to consider the visual impact looking out and in.  Taking full advantage of this our builder created a new corridor with radiators that matched those in the kitchen, a uniform kitchen design and understated wall tiles and floor tiles that extended to the garden.  Building out internal walls to minimize the crooked effects of a Victorian cottage, plus finding a solution to accommodate the chimney breast in the bathroom were details our builder solved.

Transformed

Transformed

Sympathetic yet sensible restoration

Good architects will plan any restoration with faithful consideration to the period of the property; to find a builder who takes the same pride is important.  Our builder worked with the customer to help find the right furniture and fittings, and source them at a good price.  From the period Belfast style sink, to the cute radiators. The bespoke country style bathroom door (handmade with tongue and groove to match exactly the other doors in the cottage) to the little windowsill. clever storage can be found in the discrete drawer below the oven and the charming little alcove in the bathroom.  Clever storage solutions found in the discrete drawer below the oven and the charming little alcove in the bathroom. All welcomed additions; touches which add to the overall effect.

The all-important finish

So often builders are great at the big jobs at the start of a project but it’s the attention to detail in the closing stages that shows the real quality and pride in workmanship.  On inspection, careful attention is clear in the positioning of the light switches, the solid outdoor tap, the uniformity of the tiles, the smooth plastering and the neat grouting.

Our customer was full of praise at the end of the project:

“Throughout the whole project there has been meticulous attention to detail.  Great project management including staying on top of  the budget.  We had lots of interaction and were well informed on progress and well advised.  We were consulted on all decisions and are thrilled with the outcome.  The cottage looks fantastic.”

Twist on modern

Twist on modern

Attention to every detail

Attention to every detail

Detailed restoration

Detailed restoration

Functional and stylish

Functional and stylish

Now a beautiful stylish light and roomy kitchen dining area takes up the largest room downstairs.  The small but perfectly designed bathroom is set off a newly created corridor downstairs.  Both designed with a sympathetic leaning in keeping with the cottage and period feel of the house.

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After

After

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