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How to get the Best Price for your Refurbishment

Published On: June 6, 2019 at 10:00 am


Categories: Property News


By Sonia Pash, the Founder of Temza interior design and build

Refurbishing a property is really exciting; you get the chance to design the home of your dreams and have your say throughout every step of the process. However, all this responsibility can feel a little daunting at first. Here are some tips on stress-free, cost effective refurbishments to make sure you get the most out of your investment.

Don’t neglect the design stage

Often, people are so worried about buying or moving into the property and finding reliable builders that they neglect the design stage. Unfortunately, looking through glossy magazines and Pinterest, or shopping for pretty wallpaper isn’t really going to cut it. Interior design involves in-depth planning, organising, testing the options and managing. It’s one thing to pick pretty objects, but quite another to make the whole space and elements work, and work harmoniously.

Spend enough time planning and preparing. In an ideal world, before the building work starts, everything needs to be prepared: technical drawings, specifications, all of the key items specified and confirmed, all details confirmed by suppliers, e.g. delivery lead time, etc. 

This is the ideal scenario, but, in reality, most of our clients come to us saying that they need to start the building work tomorrow. Here at Temza,  ( we always try to be flexible: we design while the demolition process takes place, we juggle things, we do the impossible and, yes, there are compromises along the way. Although we can adapt to any situation, it’s much easier for everyone involved if all the planning has been done beforehand.

The more detailed information you put together, the more accurate price you will receive, with less chance of variation in the final price.

Before requesting a quote for your building project, make sure you have:

  • Set of drawings
  • Specifications for electrics, finishes, such as wall and floor, doors and ironmongery, bathrooms, including sanitaryware and tiles, kitchen and appliances, and fitted furniture
  • Planning permissions, licence to alter, party wall awards 
How to get the Best Price for your Refurbishment

Top tips to keep control of the budget

Before construction

  • Be realistic about what you want to achieve! Know your budget and stay within those limits. 
  • Try not tostart construction work on site before you have the design stage complete. You need to have all the plans locked, all planning permissions obtained and party wall awards agreed beforehand, as any delays will cost you dearly once construction starts.
  • It’s better to spend more on preparation and analysis than being faced with nasty surprises during construction for something you didn’t consider and plan for. It will always cost less to plan ahead for something than trying to come up with a last-minute solution.
  • Before you start on site, you need to get a CAT survey for the ground. If you find out about any sewage pipes, BT cables, etc. in the ground before you start, you can plan ahead for it.
  • Experienced consultants are everything. For example, a good engineer can come up with cost-effective solutions that will save you thousands.
  • Remember that construction never goes quite as it’s planned. It’s all about finding solutions instead of creating problems. Be ready to compromise.

During construction

  Once construction has begun, just being organised can save you considerable time, money and stress. Here are a few tips to make sure that costs stay down while you keep on top of things:

  • Set your budget and keep to it. Do weekly cashflow updates to know where you are.
  • Make sure you meet the construction team on a regular basis, and give them prompt and clear replies to any queries.
  • Have a site manager who you can communicate with every day. A key saving on any construction site is labour. If the construction team is well-organised and you provide them with enough information, they will deliver on time.

Shopping around

Another way to save is by making sure you’re getting the best deals for your money. Follow these tips to cut costs without scrimping on quality:

  • In order to get good discounts, buy materials in bulk; you will pay less if you order 100 lights instead of ten. Make sure you get comparable quotes from few trusted suppliers before you order.
  • If you are working on a smaller development, go to your local shop and check for job-lots. They often have 30-50% discounts on end-of-the-range products: for example, we recently saved 60% on flooring by choosing a range that was running out of stock. Go to sale yards, where they have leftover amounts for amazing prices, or wait for Christmas or any other seasonal sale to lock in those holiday deals.
  • Price is not the only key element; lead time is also important. You might be saving on materials, but you are losing more with your workforce standing around waiting. Make sure your suppliers can actually deliver on time and check on them regularly for updates on your orders!

Other useful tips

  • Never try to save money on main services: electric, plumbing, gas. The cheapest price doesn’t always provide you with best solution, and it’s better to pay a higher rate for an experienced professional who can do a good quality job and quickly. If you choose an inexperienced tradesperson, they will most likely take longer and you ultimately end up paying more.
  • Make sure you recycle and separate the different waste materials. Not only do you protect the environment, but you will also get discount from the skip provider. 
  • Be kind to thy neighbour! They can be real lifesavers, helping you out in unexpected situations.

How to Style your Property for Easy Renting

Published On: January 29, 2019 at 11:02 am


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,

Accessorising your property well is crucial for easy renting. It’s the last touch that completes the interiors, the first thing potential tenants notice, and it has the highest ratio of impact to investment.

With tips from Sonia Pash, the Co-Founder of Temza Interior Design Studio (, you will have no trouble successfully styling your property.

Research your area

The first thing you need to pin down is where the property is located and what your potential tenant profiles are like. This needs to dictate the style of the interior (as opposed to what’s on sale in IKEA at the moment). Area wise, just to give you a few examples, you need to stay very classy and luxurious in somewhere like Knightsbridge, while with a property in Shoreditch it’s more about creativity and personality. Just look around on the market for some research and inspiration, taking into particular consideration any show homes near your property, as they have been designed by professional interiors designers who already have a good knowledge of current trends, as well as the area and the client profiles, and honed their design to cater for this particular market. Talking to an estate agent is also a good idea.

Style and colour schemes

It’s always a good start to consider the age, professional status and family background of your potential tenants. For a corporate type of property, go stylish and elegant, creating a hotel-inspired look with natural colours and a few dark or bright accents. For families, one of the most important things will be practicality and plenty of storage space. So, while easy-to-clean, durable and practical materials are a must for a family house, bachelor pads can benefit more from wow effect finishes and furniture, even if slightly harder to maintain, as that won’t be their main consideration.

Quality is must

Getting quality furniture and accessories is one of the things that many landlords get wrong. Everyone tries to save money and go for the cheapest options, especially if you already completed a full refurb on the property and don’t have much budget left for styling. Cheap furniture can break and get scratched or damaged, even before tenancy ends. Spending slightly more will ensure not only longer lasting items, but also winning overall look of the property. If necessary, break up the package and don’t buy all the items at once, but concentrate on the main items first and purchase smaller items at a later date, so you can ensure the quality.

Sonia Pash, the Co-Founder of Temza Interior Design Studio

Window dressing

Not everyone is prepared to spend on window dressing, however, it is one important element without which the interiors look incomplete. You can optimise the costs by using curtains in the living areas and opting for a nice roman or roller blind in the bedrooms, which can be a cheaper option than curtains. The bottom line is, you don’t want your tenants starting to put up their own curtains poles etc., which can lead to damage to the wall and costly repairs.


You don’t need to go full-on with accessorising the property – at the end of the day, it’s not a show home and you do want to leave your tenants space to display their own items, but a few touches can play a big role to create that special feeling to the room and connect to potential tenant, as well as just making to property look cared for and lived in. Think a couple of artworks, mirrors and a few vases and plants. That’s all it takes to make space come alive!

Extra step

If you are renting a top-of-the-market property or one that is located in a well-off area, you are probably facing tenants with higher expectations, thus, you need to take an extra step to stay ahead of the competition. Try candles and scents to fill the home with warmth and generate pleasant emotions from the viewing. We all know that people buy with their eyes, but we can sometimes underestimate the importance of other feelings, such as smell. If you have chance to, put a few flowers or bowl of fresh fruits before the viewings for an extra special finishing touch.

Sonia Pash is the MD and Co-Founder of Temza, an interior design studio with in-house construction team, based in Pimlico. Sonia has a real estate background, and her team brings together diverse skillsets in design, construction and project management, approaching projects from different angles and delivering the best solutions for complex briefs. Temza ensures all stages of projects can be handled in-house, from family homes, compact apartments and grand houses with cinema and spa facilities, to investment projects with strict budgets, and commercial spaces such as cafés, restaurants and offices.