It’s your house – no-one elses! For heavens sake do what YOU want..

The Scenario.

So you’ve decided to think about renovating – good for you.  Maybe you and your partner in crime have been throwing ideas around for the past 6 months – or maybe even longer – about where the shower should go… do we move a wall…? Do we have a walk in shower…? Maybe you need a skylight and save on lighting..?  How about a nice big mirror as a feature…  Yes, this feels good and you are getting excited.


You’ve been noticing different things in the media and different styles appearing and one or two of them have caught your eye.  You’ve ideas scribbled down on the back of the latest water bill.  There’s a pen drawing on the bottom of the take-away pizza menu of the type of shower you want, and your iPad is a Pinterest punching bag overflowing with images of beautiful spaces and that’s it – you want one.


The Decision.

Yes.  You are going to do it.  Yes.  This morning while standing in the shower you actually observed the space you were standing in and decided it’s time.  No more wishing – you’ve got some money aside you were going to use for extra Christmas expenses but the holiday season has come and gone…. and you’re going to do it.

You tell your friends and someone hands you a number of a tiler – or maybe you just picked one from a simple google search – either way, the tiler is booked in and is set to come and pay you a visit later in the week.  Great! You feel fantastic, you’ve taken a step to actually do this – it’s now happening.  You’re even thinking of how you’ll decorate….


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The Tiler.

Jim-bob Bargain Tiling  is his name.  He arrives 2 mins late – no big deal.  Hey traffic, it can happen to anyone.  You lead the tradie into the bathroom first, you don’t quite yet feel comfortable leading this person through your bedroom into the ensuite, but that’s next.  Bathroom first – let’s get it out of the way.

You have been looking forward to this ever since you made the call earlier in the week, and without much delay you start reeling off ideas one after the other, drawing a picture of what you what for the bathroom, the style, the type of tiles, the paint colour.

Seemingly innocent comments start to come out of this trades persons mouth about this and that.  Hmm, maybe your tile choice is off..  Should tile to the ceiling – no – only half way.  Seems the tiles you want to use are too big – or too small – for whatever reason.

By the time the tiler leaves your ideas are changing and a little bit of that excitement has left you, but you don’t really know why.


The Tile Shop.

You walk into the store and inform the first person who greats you about the type of tile you need, because the tiler said so.  Yes, you’ve a scrapbook of ideas in your mind and the tiles you want are right there in front of you on display, but you’re led over to a different section of the room – to the ‘easy to lay tile because the tiler is lazy and wants to make easy money off you’ section.  Every sales person in every store knows this – as soon as the client opens their mouth they know that someone has been in their ear (normally a lazy trades person) and told them what to get from the tile shop.

You realise that the options in front of you are now not as nice.  You look back at the nice products across the showroom and hear the voice of the tiler in your head telling you just how expensive those choices are going to be (all lies but how are you to know..?).

You trust the tiler, after all he should know.  You take a few of these tiles home.  Yes, the price is good.  The colours – not so much but you can make them work you tell yourself – anything is better than what’s currently in there now.

All Done.

The tiler is gone and your bathroom is finished.  You are happy with the job you tell yourself.  It looks good.


The Afterglow.

A month goes past and you’re sitting in bed one night, flicking through social media before you go to sleep.  You open up Pinterest and instantly you remember exactly what you wanted, and you look over into the ensuite and realise it’s not what you have created.  You remember handing over all that money to the tiler – they did a really good job, no doubt about it – straight lines and nice cuts, a good job for sure.

But you were paying them to install the tiles.  Somehow you also paid them to choose them for you too.  They have moved on to another customer.  But you are left with a renovation that is not quite what you wanted.


Final Thoughts.

Trades people may see many different projects, yes this is true.  So, naturally we all believe that they must know, perhaps know more or better than us.

However consider the following logic – would you let a Trench Digger tell you where to dig the trench or would you trust the Plumber?  Would you let the Plumber tell you where to put your shower or will you trust the Designer?  Would you let the designer tell you where to put the structural supports for the entire roof or would you trust the Architect?  Would you let the Architect tell you what kind of home to build or would you trust yourself (and your partner).

All things considered it is a fascinating experience in learning – peoples understanding of choice, the role of money, the simple trust a consumer will place in a trade persons hands.  It is astonishing – people let others tell them what to do with permanent installations such as building works when it’s their hard earned money being spent by others.

Don’t let this be you.  It’s your money.  Invest in the exact space that you want to create, within your budget. 


By Pat Sgro

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About Patrick Sgro

Managing Director -

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