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  • Writer's pictureKyle Broughton-Frew

Interior Design Cautionary Tale

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

At KBF Interior Design when we speak to anyone that has recently completed a renovation and without a doubt they will have some interesting stories.

A recent project has completely blown our minds, check out the interior design project cautionary tale.

On a project valued at over £300,000 extension build, the principle contractor reduced the dimensions of a dormer section of the property without telling ANYONE! The client mentioned to me that the interior space seemed much smaller than it should be. Luckily the client had instructed us to do feasibility prior to construction so we knew the space inside and out.

As soon as we walked in there we knew something was wrong, this started a long debate which turned out the builder had tried to save money without telling the client. We were able to get some space back but eventually, the builder went AWOL and the client is left with about 90% of the space they should have had in the new dressing room and ensuite.

It we hadn't intervened the client would of been left with a fraction of this.

Anyway, that aside these are some of the common issues we come across.

There seem to be common threads that are the cause of the issues.

1) Incorrect quotation

So often clients will go with a cheaper quote thinking it's going to save them money, only to find the quote to be incorrect or items were excluded from the quote. Which only comes out after work has commenced.

We have a firm belief there is no such thing as a cheap quote, there are Correct quotes and incorrect quotes.

It's key when quoting to make sure the builder and architect are in proper communication during the tender stage to ensure that all points are clear and the builder is quoting correctly. Spending a little more time/money on this stage will save you money or even add value to the property.

Also asking the contractor for a list of any exclusions on the quote upfront or any assumptions made when quoting to you will at least be aware upfront of the possible changes to the quotes.

2) Amendments during the build

This happens often with renovations over new builds but I can happen on any project.

It's best to be prepared for this and be willing to flex to suit whatever may arrive. There are some things to consider when this happens.

Firstly, When this happens never rely on a conversation to assume that things will be done correctly. Always email and get a quote for a change of work prior to the work being done.

Secondly, builders will often have multiple trades on a project and the person you deal with is rarely the physical installer. So bare in mind that each change will cause a change reaction of alterations that will affect the end product you have to live with.

You cannot rely on a builder to take this into consideration as it's not really their job.

This is where an interior designer can be a massive help. They will have mapped out the entire interior if they are brought on early enough so they will be able to check and confirm that changes will not end up affecting the way you live it the space.

Thirdly, Most builders/architects will not care about the fine details of the finished product. However, Interior designers delight in the details. That's what allows us to take those beautiful pictures of finished projects.

3) Clients paying too much upfront

On large projects, you should receive a payment schedule. This will outline payment dates that should be linked to the stages of construction.

Payments should really only be made in arrears so that you are fully protected.

Always question what doesn't make sense and stick to the schedule.

If you would like help avoiding these pitfalls in your upcoming project, then please get in contact as soon you can to disucss.


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