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5 things you shouldn't leave up to your trades or builder to select when renovating

Updated: Jan 18

As you begin planning your renovation, it's easy to become engrossed in the larger aspects of your project. However, it's the meticulous attention to detail that can truly make or break the success of your renovation. While builders can have wonderful ideas and fantastic problem solving, it is usually best that all details are planned out ahead of time so there are no surprises during construction. If you engage an interior designer, it will be their job to ensure these details are specified and documented clearly for the builder. Five important things you shouldn't leave up to your builder or trades are:


1 | Grout and trims

The tile grout and trims used in a bathroom or splashback can make a huge difference to the overall look and design of the space. Selecting a grout that is too dark or not the right tone, can completely ruin the look even if you absolutely love the selected tiles. It is therefore vital that you select grouts ahead of time and not leave this up to the tiler. Similarly, builders often want to add a metal trim to niches and hobs if a mitred edge is not specified. We always prefer to do mitred edges where possible, so it's important to make sure this is clearly communicated to your builder.


2 | Switching circuits

Even if you currently have all lights switched on together in one location, a renovation is the perfect time to reconsider if this is the best option. If you don't let your builder/trade know, it is likely any new lights will be switched as existing or all switched together. When we plan a renovation, we always consider the light locations, how to switch them and where from. Often in a large lounge, we might break up the lights into two circuits, or add a dimmer. In a bedroom, we might add a second switch next to the bed so they can be switched on and off without you having to get up. It's important to ensure you think about your needs and let the builder or electrician know.


3 | Power points

While a builder will allow for a standard amount of power points for a room, they might not know exactly how you plan to use the space. We always discuss the client's lifestyle early on so that we are aware of additional power points that need to be added to make the space as functional as possible. Consider things like USB ports integrated into power points in places where you are likely to charge phones and tables, and power points inside your broom cupboard for charging stick vacuums or in a suitable location for a robot vacuum.


4 | Paint colours

Clients often tell me that all whites look the same to them and they are happy for me to select a colour that works. As someone with over 8 years of experience in designing renovations and new builds, I feel confident selecting a white colour that will suit their other finishes and fixtures. However, builders are more likely to just refer back to colours they have used before or colours that are popular, even if it is not the best option for your home. Make sure you or your designer specify the paint colour and also the finish to be used in your renovation.


5 | Swapping out selected finishes

Something we see more often than we would like is a trade or builder suggesting to swap out a selected product or finish for one that is cheaper, more readily available or from a preferred supplier. However, make sure that you view the selected product together with your other selected finishes and fixtures in person before confirming this swap. Often the suggest material seems the same, but can be of an inferior quality or have a slightly different undertone or texture that means if does not work with the rest of the design. So many different finishes and products need to work together when renovating, that swapping out one small thing could create a domino of changes to make it work.


I hope these tips have been helpful! If you want to find out more about how we can help you with your project, get in contact with us below:


Have a wonderful week!


Nina xx


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