|What Can You Do When Your Home Won't Do?|
We find out from Chiswick's renovation experts De Spaey Interiors
The dilemma over whether to move or renovate your existing property has become significantly easier of late with market instability. However, without Ms Beeny or Mr McCloud by your side, how many are confident, or indeed have the time, to manage anything larger scale than changing a tap?
This is where Chiswick based De Spaey Interiors becomes an invaluable partner. The company was founded in 2000 by husband and wife team Colleen and Ric De Spay, who after many years of renovating their own homes, found themselves continually being asked to help renovate and design friend's houses and business's.
“It used to be the case that people would move before spending money renovating their existing property,” says Colleen, “But with the housing market in such turmoil more and more people are deciding to build that side return or go into their lofts.”
Whether it’s a complete structural overhaul, loft conversion, sourcing and importing unique pieces of furniture or liaising with Planning Departments, Architects and Structural Engineers, the De Spaeys have been able to carve a unique niche in the market for themselves.
“Our service is unique in nature in that there is no cost to our clients; we receive our payments through the trade discounts from our suppliers and professionals.” explains Colleen, “People are often scared of hiring a Project Manager because of the perceived costs involved but in reality we can actually save our clients money. We do all the liaising between our clients and our tradesmen, we deal with planning permission, building control, we do all the sourcing and the ordering; ours is a real a to z service. And because we have established relationships, it means that we can pass on any trade discounts we receive to our clients.”
Local Knowledge Is Key
De Spaey’s other USP is their extensive knowledge of Chiswick both as homeowners and as a business. “The key is to know how much money can be spent on a house before it starts losing value for example there are only so many houses that can take a basement or an amazing Poggenpohl kitchen. There is only so far you can go before you over spec a house. You don’t need to spend £50k on a kitchen, you can spend £10k because it’s about what you put with it, the quality of the work tops, the finishes etc.”
“It’s the attention to detail like handmade cabinetry and furniture that adds value not overstated wallpapers that will be out of date within a year. We advise out clients to spend money on the right things, the things that will be seen as quality and will in turn add value to the house.”
“People are scared of interior designers but they can save you money. For example Chiswick Interiors can organise made to measure sofas that come in cheaper than Sofa Workshop. You can then put the money saved into the handmade cabinets and inbuilt furniture.”
The relaxation of planning laws in October 2008 means that now is as good a time as ever to renovate.
“No planning permission is required for a side return as long as you don’t exceed 50% of the existing width of the building and take it out no further than the end of the existing building.
“Lofts are done on cubic metres no larger than 40 cubic metres for a terrace house, 50 cubic metres for a semi detached house and 70 cubic metres on a detached house. The limits are the same on a loft extension but before you only had a total cubic metres you were allowed to extend on the entire house so if you exceeded it on the loft you wouldn’t be able to do the side return without planning permission. It has opened it up and made it a lot easier for side returns.”
New research shows that many buyers are prepared to pay up to £10,000 more for an environmentally friendly home.
“75% of the energy used in the home is for heating and hot water so installing an energy efficient boiler or introducing renewable energy sources like solar panels will help the environment and add value to your property in the long term.
“It’s definitely the way to go. We’re constantly sourcing new environmentally friendly products and services and are asking that our suppliers and tradesmen do the same.”
March 5, 2010