We, Richard – the contractor and Diane – the designer, have over 40 years experience in home refurbishment between us. We’ve also worked together on projects for the last twelve years. Some have been single rooms and others have been a total reworking of the interior space, so we understand how hard it is to make choices when you’re not really confident in what you’re doing. New Homeowners are so enthusiastic and full of ideas, but along the way it is easy to make mistakes and that can come at a high cost.
We want you to love working on your home and we also want you to do understand your limitations. No-one wants to pay for anything twice and some jobs are just better left to the professionals – but it can be hard finding a good one who will work with you and allow you to explore your vision. So it helps to know what questions to ask.
Don’t worry if you’re struggling for ideas, either. We can help you with that too because we’ve seen a lot of what works – and what doesn’t.
Knowing where to spend the money is key. When you first move in, money is always tight, agents and solicitors fees chomp through the budget and you may need to purchase furniture as well, but do not try and cut corners with things like wiring and plumbing. Both of those areas are governed by strict regulations – and they change regularly. A good contractor will be up-to-date on this and will tell you what you can and can’t do within this framework. He will also explain the process. Anything that is hidden, as plumbing and electrics usually are, involves ‘making good’ (reinstating the smooth decorative appearance of the wall or floor.) So don’t be fooled, the price of the work should include the making good. If it doesn’t, don’t use that firm.