Save my home from the 1980s!
August 26, 2012 7:16 AM Subscribe
I recently moved to (West) London from overseas and have to do some reasonably major renovation work on a 2-bed flat. This will include re-doing the floors, removing the dreaded "woodchip" wallpaper and therefore possibly re-plastering, replacing or fixing Artex-ed ceilings and possibly some dated/inefficient windows, and re-doing a kitchen. I am not sure what type of professional to call to get an overall plan and estimates or where to look for such professionals.
posted by anonymous to home & garden (5 answers total)
The flat as purchased is in great condition so this isn't an emergency-homelessness-avoidance thing - there are no structural issues at all and its been surveyed and given an electrical safety certificate. This is basically a really extensive re-decorating job to make the flat more liveable and modernise it and to preserve our investment, since the flat was frozen in approximately 1982 when we moved in. If I were in the US or Canada, I would know who to call, but here...not so much.
It seems that all of the "Interior Decorators" or "Interior Architects" around will only look at large houses and really huge budgets, as opposed to the flat and reasonable-but-not-Beckham budget we've got. I am not sure a painter-decorator is qualified and don't know how to find a good one if that's the right way to go. Most of this is not stuff we can even try doing outselves - we can't mess with the ceiling or floors and woodchip, though nominally wallpaper, was meant to be permanent and is very difficult to remove without professional help. Please don't suggest DIY.
What we really need is someone to do what a good "contractor" would do in the US or Canada - come look at the place, help us itemize a list of jobs, and give us an overall quote for work he/she would then supervize. No one here seems to call him/her-self a contractor!
I know such people exist - I have seen them on UK shows like Homes Under the Hammer! - but don't know the first thing about where to find one or even what search terms to use on Google. Help...