Large project - tips needed

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    Large project - tips needed

    I have converted a large Victorian house into 6 flats (five 1 beds with lounge-kitchen and one 2 bed with lounge-kitchen). This is actually my first project so the learning curve is steep and I have been reading as much as I can. With this in mind, I have some specific questions I'd like some help with from those out there who are far more experienced and grizzled!

    The market I am aiming for is young professional singles/couples, post-grad students etc.

    Flooring
    What type of flooring would you suggest? Is carpet recommended in the bedrooms?
    I was thinking of water proof laminate or luxury vinyl planks/tiles throughout each flat (inc the bathrooms).
    Is something like Polyflor worth it for the bathrooms?

    Skirting
    Should I put down the flooring first then skirting on top for a better look or do the skirting first to save problems later?

    Extractor fans for bathrooms
    Wiring is such that these will come on with the light switch and remain on for some time after, however, are humid-stat recommended? Any recommendations for which?

    Blinds/curtains
    Should I install blinds, curtains with/without net curtain or nothing?

    Colour scheme
    I know magnolia and white is done to death - should I stick with this or go for something different such as grey? Any recommendations for paint brands? Should I bother with Dulux, Farrow & Ball or just use own brands?

    Drying of clothes
    The flats will be electrically heated (panel heaters) and given there is no where to really hang clothes, should i opt for washer/dryer? I've read these aren't very reliable but what other choice do I have? Any suggestions for brands?

    Kitchens
    As the flats are relatively small, I was thinking of the 'Elfin' kitchens as whilst they may cost a bit more, they are all integrated and space saving. Any comments on there?

    #2
    Originally posted by Ken_Johnson View Post

    Flooring
    What type of flooring would you suggest? Is carpet recommended in the bedrooms?
    I was thinking of water proof laminate or luxury vinyl planks/tiles throughout each flat (inc the bathrooms).
    Is something like Polyflor worth it for the bathrooms?
    Carpet is cosier and more soundproof, but will need replacing sooner. Laminate is tough and waterproof, but can be noisy.


    Skirting
    Should I put down the flooring first then skirting on top for a better look or do the skirting first to save problems later?
    Definniitely fit skirting over flooring; anything else looks terrible.

    Blinds/curtains
    Should I install blinds, curtains with/without net curtain or nothing?
    Curtain poles are good, with neutral curtains preferably.

    olour scheme
    I know magnolia and white is done to death - should I stick with this or go for something different such as grey? Any recommendations for paint brands? Should I bother with Dulux, Farrow & Ball or just use own brands?
    Definitely avoid cheap own brands e.g Wickes. Also avoid F & B emuslsion - it's overpriced and poor value. Dulux Trade is better. If you like F & B colours get them mixed in Dulux Trade. Avoid magnolia - it's very boring. Gardenia is an acceptable alternative but a grey-white is more contemporary.

    Drying of clothes
    The flats will be electrically heated (panel heaters) and given there is no where to really hang clothes, should i opt for washer/dryer? I've read these aren't very reliable but what other choice do I have? Any suggestions for brands?
    Apparently they are better nowadays. We've had nightmares with Hotpoint, sadly, so I wouldn't recommend them. Miele are good, but expensive.

    Kitchens
    As the flats are relatively small, I was thinking of the 'Elfin' kitchens as whilst they may cost a bit more, they are all integrated and space saving. Any comments on there?
    Sorry, no experience of Elfin. IKEA do a compact one too, though. And Wren are good.
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

    Comment


      #3
      I would go with the above except the curtains. Blinds are much more fashionable. Absolute no no to net curtains.

      I've ditched the magnolia paint now. I have started using a trade paint mixed by Johnstone's (Acrylic Durable Matt). The colour is a Farrow and Ball shade called 'Strong White'. The actual colour is a white with a hint of grey. The beauty of this paint is that you can apply it to the skirtings, wall and ceiling - all out of the same tin, so no cutting-in to worry about. The light on the paint makes the walls, woodwork and ceilings all look a slightly different colour. It's brilliant!

      Comment


        #4
        Claymore,

        Do you mean Venetian blinds?
        How does the paint you mention look all over the room (floors, ceilings, skirtings)? I want to avoid the Dentist's surgery look!

        Comment


          #5
          Tenants kill Venetian blinds and don't clean them.

          I agree with MTG - curtain poles in wood or composite. Don't do the metal types as they often rust.
          Don't do 'eyelet curtains' as they never close properly and tenants end up pulling the lot down. Get standard ones on header tape. Range or Dunelm Mill are good sheds for that sort of thing.



          Freedom at the point of zero............

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            #6
            laminate is very noisy, all other things being equal I'd rent a property with carpet in bedrooms if the layout is the same on each floor. Definitely skirting board over laminate where you use it as you need an expansion gap, which the skirting board should cover. Otherwise you fit strips to cover the gap, it doesnt look as good.

            Some of your prospective tenants may be light sensitive. Blinds never cut out light, even if they are blackout blinds. Curtains do - and also retain more heat than blinds. Fit poles above the window and ideally at a height that allows a ready made curtain. The range, IME, is poor quality - try Dunelm or Wilkinsons.

            Yes to the washer dryer but remind tenants that the driers usually take a smaller load than the wash.

            Kitchens - no idea about elfin but check if there is space at the back of units for wiring/ plumbing. Ikea kitchens dont have that and can be more of a pain (and therefore expense) to fit. Recommend thick wood worktops as they put up with a lot and can be sanded down (at tenants expense) if repair is needed.

            Comment


              #7
              I'd definitely second Wilko for curtains - and poles. We have had them for years, and they do the job really well.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Ken_Johnson View Post
                Skirting
                Should I put down the flooring first then skirting on top for a better look or do the skirting first to save problems later?
                Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                Definniitely fit skirting over flooring; anything else looks terrible.
                Whoa - what? Is that a typo? After the actual floorboards, next to be fitted is the skirtings; and then the floorcovering - be that vinyl, carpet, whatever. Surely nobody expects to remove the skirting boards (and then refit, refill and repaint them) every time the floor covering gets changed? It certainly looks perfectly fine if the floo covering is fitted properly.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Ericthelobster,

                  Not a typo at all, I agree with it. This is a project where the OP is, by the sound of it, planning to put in new skirting. you wouldnt take off and put back skirting that is there already for carpet but you might for laminate. For laminate flooring the skirting covers the expansion gap and gives a much better look.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Fair enough - was thinking really of carpet or vinyl...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yes, I meant wood or laminate flooring. Carpets can be fitted up to skirting, with gripper rods an appropriate distance from the skirting (depending on thickness of carpet).
                      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                      Comment


                        #12
                        So I got some quotes from a local friendly large flooring place and discovered that carpet isn't much cheaper than laminate. Prices I got were:

                        7mm Balterio laminate = circa £6.25 sq.m if I buy more than 100 sq.m
                        3.6mm Timbermate XL underlay = £3 sq.m
                        TOTAL = circa £9.25 sq.m inc fitting

                        Carpet (decent hard wearing) = £6 sq.m
                        10mm underlay = £2.5 sq.m
                        TOTAL = circa £8.50 sq.m inc fitting.

                        So what I think I will do is go for the laminate with the above Timermate XL acoustic underlay for the lounge/living rooms and even bedroom and some good quality waterproof vinyl for the bathrooms.

                        With regards to shower rooms, tiles seem blooming expensive these days! Does anyone have any experience of shower panels (e.g. Mermaid, Wetwall etc.) in terms of fitting and longevity instead of tiles?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Ken_Johnson View Post
                          With regards to shower rooms, tiles seem blooming expensive these days! Does anyone have any experience of shower panels (e.g. Mermaid, Wetwall etc.) in terms of fitting and longevity instead of tiles?
                          Shower panels last longer, don't need regrouting and are easier to clean. Can be more expensive to buy per sq m but there again professional tiling doesn't come cheap.l
                          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                            Shower panels last longer, don't need regrouting and are easier to clean. Can be more expensive to buy per sq m but there again professional tiling doesn't come cheap.l
                            These were my initial thoughts but my concerns are that the shower rooms (as the property generally) has quite high ceilings (even after lowering) so should I panel all the way up or just as much as the panel goes? Secondly, fitting - as these are relatively new, can all bathroom fitters fit them properly?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Ken_Johnson View Post
                              Secondly, fitting - as these are relatively new, can all bathroom fitters fit them properly?
                              There's nothing 'new' about bathroom panels.
                              There is always scope for misinterpretation.

                              If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

                              Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

                              Comment

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