Being approached at the NSBRC show in Swindon our client was attracted to the product with the desire to learn more about what it can do. We exchanged e-mails and I met him on site to offer a vision and costs.
They were a young couple and first-time buyers. They had purchased a very old joint cottage which suffered from damp, rotten joists and broken sewage pipes. It wasn’t in the best shape but it was perfect for what they wanted for their first home. The owner was very keen on modern technology, being in the techno industry himself, and took a liking to the performance Niko had as well as its ever-changing technology. He wanted to integrate all the lighting into one system, monitor his energy consumption and have the freedom to make software changes at his own leisure.
The planning was fairly straight forward. The client already knew what they wanted and where, so after issuing us with a layout design we proceeded to install the system as required, making any minor changes where needed. The client had us in at a very early stage and did not have any trades lined up for his project, so he also asked us to provide a cost for the electrical installation as well as Niko to which he accepted.
The electrical and Niko installation went forward without any problems. Everything had been allocated where needed, but the first problem came towards the end of the first fix stage where an internal wall was meant to come down and a RSJ was meant to be put in its place. We asked the client when this was going to happen as it was holding up the socket positions and cabling routes. He responded by telling me that the builder he had lined up had changed his mind last minute and went to take on a larger project somewhere else. The back-up builder he had was also messing the client around between not turning up and being very vague with his price and what it covers. The client was stuck, and in turn so were we. I sat down with the client and asked him what exactly he wanted the builder to do. In general, the work required was:
· Remove supporting wall and replace with RSJ, hidden inside the joists to create a flat ceiling.
· Dig all the ground floor up to a depth of 500mm and re-fill with correct insulation and base structure to create a solid floor to allow the UFH to work.
· Remove the cracked sewerage pipework and replace with a modern material and build up access points externally.
· Render an exposed external wall and re-paint the wall to match the rest of the house.
After about an hour of the customer explaining his goals I asked him if he would be objected to giving us these responsibilities and allow me the chance to get him back on track of moving in before his existing tenancy ran out. He accepted my offer and I called my building team who came out that afternoon to discuss times and costings. We provided the customer with an estimate, to which he accepted, and proceeded with the work.
With anything up to 5 people on site every day we worked hard to pull the project back on schedule and managed to complete on time with only a few more additions that had arisen during the work. All things considered we finished approximately 5% over the estimate, which the client was pleased about.
The client was left with a finished working system and layouts that they wanted. Another company, who was already commissioned, came in to complete damp works and plastering and the client wanted to carry out the painting and finished themselves.