19 Jun The false economy of scrimping on your home refurbishment
Let me ask you a question. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you imagine your home refurbishment? If it’s the glitzy gadgets – the 60-inch TV, the built-in speakers streaming music in every room or the fully kitted out cinema room then, well, you’re just like most of us. However, beware of the temptation to scrimp on the other less glamorous elements of your home transformation to afford the things that flash and go ‘beep’ or you could be paying for it long into the future.
We’ve been helping clients to refurbish their homes for more years than I care to remember, and whether we’re knocking down walls that then require supporting steels, laying new flooring or replacing old French doors with bi-folds, it’s a false economy to scrimp on the less ‘sexy’ areas of your refurbishment.
Imagine your new kitchen with fancy units, but cheap worktops that scratch or warp in no time, a loft conversion with squeaky flooring, or beautifully replastered ceilings and walls that need to be knocked through again when you find you need additional lighting not considered in the original plan.
I’m not suggesting that you go out and find the most expensive of everything – far from it. But do remember that if you look to cut corners on materials or expertise you may well find that you’ll need to pay more later to fix mistakes than it would have cost to do it right in the first place.
As you can imagine, we’ve seen too many shoddy jobs over the years, so we understand the importance of planning, of collaborating with the right trade partners and working with the right materials suppliers. There’s an old adage that’s as true today as ever, ‘fail to prepare and you should prepare to fail’, which is why we take the time to not only listen to our client’s wishes, but to critically analyse them as well. We make the time to establish where improvements can be made, where issues might arise and to manage expectations.
Here are our top five areas of your refurbishment that you should be spending extra time, and possibly money, on:
This is where it all starts – get your floorplan wrong and you could end up with cramped, impractical spaces that simply do not suit your lifestyle or needs. And to make matters worse, this is usually the starting point for other trades to develop their plans for their parts of your refurbishment. Take the time to make sure that your builder is able to help you visualise how your floorplans will transform your home.
2. Wallcoverings (paints and papers)
Whether it’s paint or wallpaper, what you cover your walls with can either leave you with long-lasting clean lines, or a pitted, scratched, discoloured surface to be embarrassed about. The quality and type of paint or paper you choose to use will have a significant impact on the length of time you can enjoy your refurbishment before you start thinking that it all needs doing once again.
Where do I start? From the quality and type of fittings to the positioning and number of lights in a room, every decision needs to be laboured over by an expert before you begin. Failure to do this correctly may result in fabulously refurbished rooms being dimly lit oppressive spaces, incorrect fittings could smother your light, and poor quality or poorly installed fittings could detract from an otherwise lovely job.
4. Kitchen surfaces
As already touched on earlier in this article, worktops in a kitchen are so important to the look and feel of a home. They are often considered last behind the units and flooring, as functional elements of the kitchen, but that’s so wrong. Worktops can add a touch of luxury and glamour to the room, especially when you choose granite or quartz surfaces, but if the wrong one is selected it could end up looking decidedly ‘DIY’. Choose the wrong worktop or worktop supplier and you may get something that’s poorly fitted, that looks dated, or that quickly starts to look past its best.
Electrical cables are your home’s arteries, feeding every area with the energy it needs to function – from lighting to powering everything from your tech to your broadband connection with the outside world. Get it right and you can have a safe, reliable home with all the capacity you need for all the technological upgrades you may wish to treat yourself to over the years. Get it wrong and you might not only have to get it fixed, but in order to do so you may need to damage your pristine, newly refurbished home… not to mention the very important matter of safety.
If you need help with your refurbishment or extension, call us on 0203 021 2140 or email email@example.com and let us know what you have in mind for your home.