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Old 06.03.2011, 00:29
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Recommendations Needed, Heating, Walls & Alno Kitchens

If anyone can reccomend a firm that is able to knock down 2 walls (the architect gave me 2 quotes, but I can't believe its that expensive)!

Also, a heating expert - we have to move some heaters and add a couple of heaters - if anyone had anyone they can reccomend - we are meeting with Sanitas Troscht again, but I wasn't overly impressed with the guy in our first meeting he didn't have the courtesy to even look at me, let alone speak to me (my husband is Swiss and I am not) - and for that reason I would rather find someone else! Just got irritated but him, mean I know!

Kitchens - anyone have an Alno kitchen? I know there is a supplier here, but I also found wohnwelt-rheinfelden - got their flyer through the post, any feedback would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06.03.2011, 09:44
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Re: Reccomendations Needed, Heating,Walls & Alno Kitchens

Re: Alno - make sure you understand what the cabinet body is made of. And if you are looking for real wood, make sure you understand which fronts really truly are solid, and which are veneer.

We used Sanitas Troesch products for our bathrooms, but everything went through the plumber who did the installation. Yes, the Troesch salesman was a bit of a jerk - but the only contact I had with him was when he walked behind the Sanitär and I as I picked out fixtures. If you are set on Troesch, find a Sanitär you like. (FYI, we are very happy with our fixtures, six years down the line.)

Do be aware that you should not pay the Troesch list price - your plumber should be able to get you a discount. How much of a discount depends on the plumber - push for this. This is true of most everything where you buy through the Handwerker rather than direct from the supplier.

A comment though - in my next house I will get as much of the materials as possible from Hornbach. I've seen some very nice stuff, same quality as Troesch, same brands even - at a fraction of the price. I figure that even with Handwerker discounts I could have saved half the cost of my bathroom fixtures had Hornbach been available when we did our renovations.

(I think that Hornbach also has a list of tradesmen with whom they work...)

One thing I learned during our renovations:

I had to make it very clear that I - not my husband - was the person whose opinion would close the sale. I had the same experience as you; salesmen acted like I was invisible. I don't think it was a language or Auslander thing - my German is far better than my husband's - rather just an ingrained cultural thing. (Then again I do live in the Heart Of Darkness.) So learned to be very blunt whenever my husband was along - I simply said that this was my project, I was the final decision maker, punkt. If a salesman continued to ignore me, I went elsewhere. Better yet, I left my husband at home most of the time.

Were I to do it again, I would try to avoid an architect but rather go with only a construction manager. I found that all important problem solving was done by the Bauleiter anyway, he was the one with real construction knowledge - where the architect was pretty useless when it came to anything other than drawing pretty pictures. For our project, the architect was, frankly, a millstone around our necks, a cost that I felt was not justified by any added value. Now, some projects require you to have an architect, especially if a Bewilligung is needed. But I'd look for a local architect, someone who has a good relationship with the Bauamt - because sometimes personal relationships determine whether you will get a permit or not - at least in small towns.

The Bauleiter organized the demolition work - he brought in several young men, apprentices I believe, who did the knock-down. He explained that they needed the experience, their rate was a bit lower - and they were fully insured, would work under his direction. For that kind of thing, unless there are structural issues to consider, one often does not need skilled craftsmen. Although, if you are taking out walls, have you determined that the walls are not load bearing? What I would do, assuming you feel comfortable with the architects you have quotes from, is ask them to go back and try to reduce costs - see what they come up with.

I'm afraid I can't recommend a firm, as the wonderful Bauleiter only came as part of a package with the useless architect - but what I plan to do next time around is ask the Bauamt for recommendations of local builders.

Best of luck with your project.
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Old 06.03.2011, 10:19
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Re: Recommendations Needed, Heating, Walls & Alno Kitchens

HI there,

I know of a gud company that makes kitchens, they made one for my house, and we have another 3 kitchens that will need to be done by them.
They are called FX ruch in Singen Germany, they will go to your house for free to takes the measurements. they did a good job and i would like to recomend them to you.

regards canuck
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