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Budget or luxury materials and finish?

Is spending a little more on home refurbishment, maintenance and decoration worth it? We asked three Which? Trusted Traders about what ‘luxury’ means in their industry and whether it’s worth the extra cost.

Kitchen and bathroom fitting

Ricky Williamson, Richard & Richard's Design & Installation Specialists Ltd, Stockport: 

“In the kitchen and bathroom fitting industry, luxury doesn’t necessarily mean expensive and designer doesn’t always equate to quality.

“Some kitchen and bathroom manufacturers sell more because of their recognised brand rather than the quality of their products. A good manufacturers’ warranty shows that a brand has confidence in the quality of its products.

“Cheaper products usually only have a one-year statutory guarantee and tend to need repair or replacement more quickly than those with a longer guarantee. Imported items can sometimes be tricky to fit as they’re not manufactured as accurately as quality products."

Paying for a luxury, unique item like a granite, shaped bath probably won’t save you money in the long run. However, buying a £90 branded tap with a lifetime guarantee on the cartridge instead of a £30 imported version will, in the next 25 years, likely avoid premature repair or replacement and associated costs.”

Carpentry 

John Nicoll, 5 Ways Carpentry, London:

“In carpentry, luxury means high quality, well made and bespoke. It’s definitely worth the extra money if you can afford it. Luxury items will last longer, add more value to your property and give you more pleasure.

"My advice would be to always buy the best quality products you can within your budget. A good tradesman will help you make these decisions.

“A great example is wooden flooring. A really good quality hardwood floor might cost four times as much as a cheaper, softwood alternative. But it won't shrink or warp, it will withstand more abuse and you'll be able to sand back and varnish it repeatedly over many years so it always looks as good as new.

“You don’t always need to go right to the top of the price scale. Listen to the advice you’re given. A good trader knows that it's better to do a fantastic job and get three or four referrals than to use cheap materials in the hope you'll need to hire them again in a couple of years. In the long run, everyone benefits from a quality job, using premium materials, with a high class finish.”

Painting and decorating 

Gill Murphy, Gill Murphy Decorating, Ramsgate:

“A luxury job, in the painting and decorating industry, means spending time on thorough planning and preparation, as well as careful use and application of products. For me, it also means ensuring a client’s home is treated with care and respect at all times.

Luxury also means using top-of-the-range trade products. They’re definitely worth the extra money as they have better opacity and durability.

“Always get the best products and service that you can afford. It’s a false economy to get a job done on the cheap. It won't look as professional and certainly won't last the test of time as much as a quality job that's done properly.

“I’d only ever recommend a cheaper approach when perhaps you’re selling a house and just need to property to look clean, tidy and modern for viewings.”

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