In my recent post on buying a newly refurbished place, I mentioned that nothing was going to be exactly to your taste. You need to assess how much you can live with and what any changes will cost.
Here are my top 5 pet peeves as illustrated by a recent development that I visited.
1. uPVC Windows
I hate uPVC windows. The sun glistening off plastic in the morning sunshine will just ruin my day before it has even begun.
Sure, people dare to be a little different in decorating the downstairs loo but things like paint, wallpaper and other accessories are much cheaper to replace. I love this downstairs loo with its striking feature wall. Everything is neutral allowing the wall to really take center stage. When you get tired of the tiles, it’s cheaper to replace than a washbasin.
3. Mismatched Architectural Details
Dinky Greek pillars on an Arts & Crafts/Mock Tudor house are not my cup of tea. Knowing the Arts & Crafts movement was an architectural style that moved away from traditional classicism, this detailing would set my nerves on edge.
Presumably the developer put in pillars to add gravitas to the house. You can class up a joint and still not be a jarring with its original style.
A cottage is a cottage is a cottage. If you want a mini-Windsor castle, tear down the cottage and put in a castle. By the way, I don’t have a personal hatred of pillars. Our Georgian house in St. Johns Wood had pillars which were pretty and appropriate for the architectural style.
4. Discordant Flooring
The flooring was just all over the place and made the place look bitty for no reason. On the ground floor we had wood in the family rooms, smaller ceramic tiles in the kitchen, larger ceramic tiles in the entrance way and fully carpeted stairs.
The small scale ceramic tiles in the kitchen were close but not the same as the large scale tiles. There was just enough difference for people to notice and It was also not helped that they used a wooden divider between the junction of the two sets of ceramic tiles.
For heaven’s sake, why?!
Upstairs the flooring was just as jarring. The carpet on the stairs went into the landings but then the carpeting in the bedrooms was drastically different in colour and texture. Outside, by the Greek pillars, the ceramic tiles looked pretty slippery.
In a rainy country, when you put in ceramic tiles for outside use you need to make sure they have ridges to make them slip resistant. When we bought our last house, there was an entire path of terracotta tiles which turned into a slip and slide in the rain. The American in me just sees a bad fall on the path that leads to hospitalisation and litigation.
5. Bad Landscaping
The back yard has grass which is just encouraging children to run around. Yes, they will run. And Run. They will keep running and fall of the ledge onto slate which will hurt, at the very least. And trying to get your kids not to run or to goof around? Good luck enforcing that.
Presumably with 7 bedrooms, the plan was for there to be some little children in this house. You can just see that this garden design was not put together by a mother!
This problem can be easily fixed with landscaping. Perhaps some low hedges to the edge so that the children can see when to stop. Or some hedges at the bottom so that when the child does go off the hedge, it’s scrapes and scratches instead of sprains and breaks. Of course, that would break up the open look of the garden and highlight that this garden is pretty small for a family home with 7 bedrooms.
Many of these changes require some serious money to make the house right for me and why they make my top 5 annoyances in a refurbishment. What are your no-go areas when looking at houses?
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