We understand that undertaking a large project on your home can be a very exciting time, but one that can also be filled with worries. In most cases, it is one of the largest investments you are likely to make aside from buying a property, so you want to make sure you get it right.
With this in mind, people tend to worry about the same issues.
How do I choose the most appropriate fitting company for my project?
Do your research. In the first instance, talk to people you know for a personal recommendation. Looking online is also useful including review sites and social media.
Look for specialists! A general builder will hardly ever fit a kitchen or bathroom to the same standard as a specialist fitter. Ensure they offer a decent guarantee on their work.
Make sure they have experience in your particular project requirements and look out for similar projects in their completed project images and in their customer reviews. You can also request examples of their work and customer reviews in specific areas or of a similar finish to what you have in mind to help make your decision and make one particular company stand out from the rest. At this stage you can also make sure they have all relevant qualifications and accreditations for the work so it is completed to the required safety standards.
You may also want to look out for companies that can provide a number of different services rather than you having to appoint lots of different tradesmen yourself. A kitchen or bathroom refurbishment often requires tilers, plasterers, electricians, plumbers, decorators, as well as fitters and you may want just one point of contact/company to complete the entire project for you.
At this stage, you’re likely ready to request a quotation. Most people would recommend getting three quotes. We understand that having contractors in your home can feel intrusive and uncomfortable so take the opportunity when they visit to ensure the decision feels right for you. Don’t base your decision purely on price.
There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only, are this man’s lawful prey. – John Ruskin
What services do you offer?
We are kitchen and bathroom refurbishment specialists working across Surrey and Sussex. We welcome the opportunity to provide an estimate for any of the following additional services within complete kitchen or bathroom refurbishments:
- Plumbing and carpentry work
- Plastering work
- Wall & floor tiling
- Electrical work
- Karndean and Amtico flooring
- Underfloor heating
- Insurance work
Do you offer additional work, like adding en-suite bathrooms or knocking through and extending rooms?
We offer additional refurbishment works when they are directly related to a kitchen or bathroom.
Please give us a call to discuss your specific requirements.
Can you provide references?
We take tremendous pride in our work as well as our reputation and take great pleasure in going the extra mile for our customers. We feel that this is clearly reflected in our customer feedback.
We’ve been trading for nearly 20 years and have many delighted customers who will be only too happy to speak to you and put your mind at rest.
What’s the process if I choose to use Thomson Properties?
Once we’ve received your initial enquiry, we arrange to visit your property to assess your existing kitchen or bathroom alongside your requirements.
We will provide you with a written estimate within seven working days. If you decide to proceed then please notify our office who will send you our terms and conditions. These help to explain the process in more detail. (They also ask for a £600 booking deposit). As soon as we have a returned, signed copy as well as the deposit, we will be more than happy to hold a booking for you. Please keep in mind that our lead time does keep changing up until this point.
Who will do the work?
We have a fantastic team of highly skilled, polite and conscientious tradesmen who will carry out the work for you. They love their work and will do their best to exceed your expectations.
All projects are managed and overseen by Jamie Thomson to make sure our own high standards are upheld.
Do all of your tradesman have the relevant qualifications and are they able to provide any certification we might need for the work?
Yes, we hand-pick only the best tradesmen to join our team, and each member has the required skills to be able to carry out any work for you. For any gas work, we use only Gas Safe engineers and any electrical work is either completed by, or tested and checked by NICEIC / ELECTRA electricians. You will be provided with all relevant certification on payment of your final invoice.
Is your work guaranteed?
We are fully insured and all workmanship on new installations is guaranteed for three years. We are also members of the Installsure insurance backed guarantee scheme which means that you can, for a nominal administration fee, upgrade your guarantee with us to an insurance backed guarantee with Installsure. In addition, we are members of the Guild of Master Craftsmen and are registered with the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers.
Why aren’t your labour guarantees transferable to subsequent owners of the property?
This is because we often carry out work in a way or to a specification that is determined or requested by the existing owner.
For example, in some situations we will recommend “tanking” a particular area of a bathroom as an added precaution. If the customer declines (not wanting to pay for slightly more materials) then we don’t mind at all. However, it’s hard to then guarantee this particular element of the bathroom when a new owner comes along.
How much will it cost?
Our estimates are for the fitting aspect of the project and are “labour only” estimates. This gives you the freedom to purchase your own bathroom/kitchen-ware from wherever you choose.
(A typical job for us usually costs between £3,750 to £5,750 plus materials and plus vat).
The size of a room will of course impact the cost of tiling, plastering and lighting. Another factor that has a big bearing on cost is if sanitary ware and appliances are being moved to different locations. How much wall area is tiled, as well as the tile size is another factor.
We have no hidden fees and you can be confident that the estimate we give you is accurate and you won’t pay a penny more unless you ask us to carry out additional work, or there are unforeseen issues that require our attention. Where anything unforeseen does arise we will inform you as soon as possible. We will only proceed with any significant remedial works at your instruction, and we will keep you updated regarding any significant additional costs every step of the way.
You will not find our services to be the cheapest on the market, however, you will always get the best quality and highest value from us.
You can find more about our pricing here.
Can I buy my kitchen / bathroom through Thomson Properties?
Our estimates are for the fitting aspect of the project and are “labour only” estimates. This gives you the freedom to purchase your bathroom/kitchen-ware from wherever you choose. You are welcome to purchase through our trade accounts. Please enquire for more details.
Can I measure up how many tiles I will need?
Yes – it’s quite simple to do yourself:
- Measure the length of the wall area in metres
- Measure the height of the wall area in metres
- Calculate the area of the wall by multiplying the length by the height which will provide the answer in square metres
- Do the same for all the walls you are tiling and then add them together to get the total area in square metres
- Add on the additional 12.5% to allow for cuts and breakages
Are you happy to come and measure up for us for tiling?
Yes, once a booking deposit has been paid, we will be more than happy to come and measure up on your behalf.
Do you do the decorating?
We are more than happy to decorate if required. However, using your own decorator rather than our multi-skilled fitter will most likely be a slightly cheaper option for you.
I don’t know where to start – can you help?
Of course! We’ll happily give advice when asked and can point you to some quality local suppliers.
Can we reuse our existing appliances?
Yes. If you have appliances that are still working then we are happy to refit them.
How long will the work take?
As a very general rule, an average kitchen or bathroom takes two to three weeks to complete.
We understand that having contractors in your home can feel intrusive and uncomfortable so we want to minimise this inconvenience for you. We will discuss a schedule of works with you so that you can see how long the project will take and follow the phases throughout the process.
Once a project has begun, Jamie will visit the site regularly to check works as well as to discuss progress, any changes or simply to give advice where appropriate.
Will I be able to use my bathroom/kitchen at all while the work is being carried out?
Water, electrics and heating may need to be turned off for short periods of time. This is normally for a matter of hours and very seldom longer. We will always notify you prior to turning these off and will let you know how long they will be off for.
If you don’t have an additional bathroom to use while the work is being carried out, we will do our best to minimise the time that you are left without being able to use it, and if necessary can ensure we re-fit the toilet for you every night.
When installing a kitchen, we try to keep the sink, oven and washing machine available for as long as we can and then do our best to fit the new appliances as soon as we can.
What if I want to change something once work is underway?
Before work begins, a detailed overview is agreed with you. We want to make sure you get exactly the kitchen or bathroom you want so if you decide to change something during the project, you can raise this with Jamie and we’ll do our very best to accommodate any changes. Please be aware that any changes or additional work could potentially fall outside of the original estimate and may therefore be chargeable and impact the works schedule, but this would of course be discussed and agreed with you before proceeding.
Do we need to be at home during the project while the work is taking place?
No, we often work in empty properties or while our customers are out at work or on holiday. It may well suit you better not to be on site anyway! You can leave us a key and we’ll focus on getting the work completed for you, minimising disruption for your return at the end of each day or getting ready to welcome you back to the completed project. We find video calling very useful in these situations.
What condition will my house be like for the duration of the work?
Nobody wants to come home to a house that looks like a bomb site! We aim to leave your home in the condition we found it in that morning or better. Our tradesmen come armed with carpet protectors, dust sheets, vacuum cleaners, industrial strength cleaning products and much more. So you can rest assured you will not be living in a building site!
Will you take away all the rubbish? / What will happen to my old kitchen or bathroom suite?
We will usually arrange for a skip to be delivered to your property. The average kitchen or bathroom requires a 4 yard skip and the approximate cost of delivery to Cranleigh is £227 excluding vat, and to Guildford, £204 excluding vat. If there is no space for a skip, we will make alternative arrangements to ensure any rubbish is removed and disposed of responsibly, for example, Hippo bags or a ‘man and a van’ service.
You are of course welcome to make your own arrangements, however if you would like us to coordinate this, there will be a £10 (excluding vat) handling charge.
What if there is damage to my house during the project? Are you insured?
We of course always do our utmost to avoid any possibility of accidental damage, but it is always sensible and reassuring to have protection. We have public liability insurance for your peace of mind.
How soon can you start?
Our work schedule is continually changing depending on our customers’ needs and requirements. We usually work on a first-come-first-served basis. If you have already purchased all your bathroom/kitchen-ware and it has been delivered on site, then we may be able to fit you in sooner. Please contact us to discuss your project and when you would like work to start to see if we’re able to work within your dates.
If you can be flexible with scheduling, i.e. you don’t mind us coming and going from your job, please let us know. It may mean that we can get your job booked in and completed much sooner than we would normally be able to.
I was hoping to have the work carried out sooner than you can book me in – is there another company or installer you can recommend?
There are a number of websites that can help you choose an alternative company who may have availability sooner including checkatrade.co.uk, which.co.uk and mybuilder.com. Your chosen kitchen or bathroom supplier may also have recommendations.
For bathrooms, both Jeremy Colson Bathrooms and Gregmar Bathrooms & Plumbing have exceptional reviews online (Houzz, Checkatrade), although we have never met or worked with them.
When do I need to pay?
Once you’ve received and agreed your estimate, a deposit of £600 is required to confirm your project start date. During the project, weekly interim payments are usually required. The final balance is paid upon completion of the project. All payment is requested via BACS.