Renovations – experience is paramount

It’s all well and good generating ideas and concepts to improve a property, but everyone has a budget, and for that reason it’s of paramount importance to ensure that you are working with an experienced, professional firm of builders who can help you prioritise and do the important things first. The following article demonstrates where experience and good advice really can pay dividends.

The majority of property owners aren’t from a building background and therefore have a different perspective from an experienced, professional building firm. For example, the property owner may want to freshen up the bathrooms and kitchen and would therefore be interested in looking at new tiles, new sanitary ware, new kitchen cupboards and appliances, which is perfectly normal.

The potential pitfall here is that an inexperienced firm of builders might strip out the old bathrooms and kitchen, fit new tiles, sanitary ware, kitchen cupboards and appliances, everything looks great and suitably updated to your specification and you are happy with the conclusion.

However, six months later the plumbing springs a leak in one of the bathrooms, and the only way it can be repaired is by going to the expense of breaking up those beautiful new tiles on the floor and the walls.

Whereas an experienced, professional company would have listened and taken on board what the client wants to achieve, and then started by looking at the existing structure of the property and its infrastructure, specifically looking at the age and condition of the plumbing. In many older properties here in Portugal, the plumbing will consist of obsolete iron pipe work.

The best advice in this scenario would have been to begin by renewing all of the plumbing with modern PEX (HDPE – High Density Polyethylene Polymer), which consists of a water pipe within a plastic tube. Therefore, whenever the plumbing springs a leak in the future, which can happen, the tiles don’t need to be broken up, no disruption is necessary, the affected pipe can simply be removed and replaced, with a relatively inexpensive repair bill.

Similarly, in every aspect of a property renovation project, it pays to use an experienced, professional firm of builders. It might appear to be more expensive on the overall quotation, but it will save you money in the long term.

By Brett Hawkins
|| [email protected]

Brett Hawkins is the managing director of GMT 24:7, a local expert in all areas of general building and property maintenance, with offices in Lagos and Almancil. |