Reply To: Advice to consider – buying new or remodel old

Chris Nation

Gary’s tale of woe is most disheartening. It shows, for one thing, that despite opportunities for renovation work falling off a cliff, contractors/tradesmen are making very little effort to up their game. Clearly, those guys were still operating as if there were projects stacked up like jets over Gatwick.

With prices as they are, renovation is obviously the sensible way to go, from an investment, not to say personal point of view. Ideally, you start with a dog’s dinner costing X and end up a few months later with Cordon Bleu worth X + Y [refurb] + Z [added value]. I’ve done a few in my time – and when I say ‘I’ that does mean me, the one in the overalls wielding the pneumatic chisel and installing the bathroom – tiling, sanitary ware, pipework and all.

I had hoped that for my next – I think I have one last project in me – I could be the one walking around with the clip board and in clean clothes, not the one spattered with plaster or contorted under a sink unit connecting up the waste trap. But it looks like tradesmen in Spain can’t be trusted.

As someone who really needs to be able to buy a project to get best value for my modest capital, is Gary’s experience more common than not or has be been particularly unfortunate? I’d very much like to hear from anyone who has had experience of renovation in Valencia city or thereabouts.