How to effectively oversee a rear extension build?

22 Nov 2017
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United Kingdom
We are about to have a rear extension added to our semi-detached. We will be knocking down the wall between the current kitchen and dining room, relocating the kitchen etc, etc. We'll end up with a big room covering the space of the kitchen/dining room and a full width extension to the rear.

We have what appears to be a decent building (project management) firm on contract. A fairly common set-up I think where they act as quality control but whereby we contract directly with a bunch of other tradesman. I understand there are pros and cons to think - too late to change at this stage but keen to understand how I can best manage the build.

We have our initial meeting with the project management company's lead building (who is in a quality control role); together with the principle builder they have proposed to do most of the work. (We will technically be contracting with their proposed builder - although by the contract, we could refuse and them propose someone else). The meeting is a bit of an intro, measure-up and build plan.

Does anyone have any tips as to handle a build like this?

- Anything to ask at the initial meeting? To insist on in terms of ways-of-working?
- To what extent to we trust the project management firm to do all the quality control vs trying to oversee things ourselves?
- Any things that we would really want to look out for?
- Or ways which we should insist things should be done?

For what its worth, we have an entirely good vibe from the project management company, but having had what in retrospect seems like sub-par work done in the past; I'm keen to keep on top of things.

Grateful for any advice - thanks!
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