Salcombe refurbishment and project management

Interview with the owner: refurbishing 25 Island Street

Elaine Jones is the proud owner of a holiday home, which was in need of much care and attention to make it suitable for modern life.  

Despite having managed a number of her own property renovations in the past, living in Buckinghamshire meant the distance was too great to effectively manage the changes to the standards which she and her family wanted.  

Elaine discussed her ideas with Katherine from REFURB - from Pebbles, and after five months the result is a beautiful holiday home, with contemporary finishes that enhance and celebrate the original fisherman’s cottage that it once was.  

Here, Elaine explains what refurbishment works were done and how Refurb helped turn her vision into a reality.

Salcombe refurbishment and project management

Why did you approach REFURB - from Pebbles about the project?

"We bought the cottage and struggled to find a builder initially.  REFURB - from Pebbles was over the road and so we popped in to have a chat.  We live in Buckinghamshire and have busy jobs so we had wondered how we were going to coordinate a building project at a distance.  We met the team who were very friendly, then Kat came out and met us at the cottage and everything went from there!"

Salcombe refurbishment and project management

What  were the barriers to managing the work yourselves?

"We didn’t have any of the right contacts in the area.  We needed to get planning permission, find an architect and surveyor, and although they are all things we could have done on our own, it would have taken a lot longer and cost more money.  What was great was that Katherine knew the people she recommended, so every trades person we needed she had used before and knew they were trustworthy, reliable and local."

Salcombe refurbishment and project management

Did you have your own ideas  for the property?

I had my ideas about what I wanted to do with the cottage, yes; it’s small so we had to think carefully and what I liked about Katherine was that she understood my vision and helped me with that but also came up with ideas for achieving it.  It still felt like our project, and I was very involved - but I got to keep the enjoyment factor without the stress.

Did working with Refurb take the stress out of the project?

Absolutely!  Obviously it's an additional cost that you have to keep in mind, but for us it was worth every penny because we now have a lovely cottage we will really enjoy using and it’s worked out really well.  If we hadn’t used them it probably would have cost more in the long run and we probably wouldn’t have finished it yet either.

What are the stand out features that you’re happy with?

We kept the original sea wall and had it stripped right back, which gave us more space but kept the original features.  We had to put in a new staircase with balustrades to let more light in which has made a big difference, and we added an extra space at the back of the property which Katherine really helped us turn into reality.  The extra space we gained has been invaluable.

What were you most pleased with about the process?

The way it was managed; if Katherine saw there was a problem, she would look for a solution and then she would contact me and say what had happened and what the options were, so all I had to do was make a decision.  She made sure everything got finished and followed through on the snagging list, which is always painful at the end, she took deliveries, she organised things, she sourced everything including the lights and wallpaper - she took care of all the little things that take time.