Say aloha to botanical prints, tropical patterns and all things Frida Kahlo inspired this summer.…
Add another bathroom they said. It will increase the value of your property they said. A change is as good as a holiday blah-blah-blah, but what they don’t tell you is to vet the builders, never the full amount upfront and meticulously check the workmanship. After encountering some shocking recent renovation experiences, we share what you need to do before even changing a lightbulb.
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Better the builder your mother knows
If you plan to open Google and browse “builders near me”, please think again! This isn’t one of those times when the Internet knows all (#trustus!). Hiring contractors and suppliers that have been vetted by people you know and trust is critical. You wouldn’t have your hair done by the stylist who botched your friend’s latest colour job, would you? Ask those nearest and dearest to you to share their suggestions and experiences and even walk you through the end result of their own home facelifts. After all, the proof is in the straight bulk head and even tiling.
Price check everything
Builders and suppliers make money by slapping anything from a 20% mark-up on all building material, so choose furniture and finishes wisely. Yes, you’ve wanted that Victorian bathtub with the ball and claw feet like your granny had for as long as you can remember. It’s gorgeous and screams bubble-bath soak – we get it. But your builder may forget to tell you that it’s also double the price of the oval freestanding tub that would look just as good in your new bathroom. If you still want it and the item is too pricey, consider shopping around before you sign the dot on your builders’ quote with the abovementioned mark up. It’s often less expensive to source the tub yourself.
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Don’t show them all the money
The surest way to be ‘ghosted’ by your builders is to pay them in full. Of course, you may need to pay deposits along the way, but put some of your funds aside until the end. Don’t be afraid to tell your builders and contractors that this is what you’re doing either. If they know from the start that you’re a tough customer, they’ll be far more likely to get the job done right the first time around.
Snag for days
Once completed, inspect the work carefully and speak up sooner rather than later if you aren’t happy. After all, you have to live in this space. Skew wallpaper will drive you nuts while sitting on the porcelain throne or soaking in the bath (the one you choose wisely). And don’t let anyone tell you that once it’s stuck, it’s stuck. Wallpaper can easily be removed and
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Carly has a decade of wild, weird and wonderful experience in the media industry. After graduating from Rhodes University with an honours degree in journalism and politics, she tried to change the world as a journalist. She helped launch the country’s first integrated newsroom at Times Media (then called Avusa). After getting bored of politics and news, she joined forces with a brand activations and event company before joining a global PR agency – WE Worldwide as a Senior Account manager. This is her dream job but she still loves to be fancy with words and interview cool people so she writes for Hello Joburg.