If any of you guys out there are prospective or new home buyers in Andalucia and are hoping to renovate your new home, I have a few words of advice you may want to consider before you make any steps towards contracting workmen.
I will begin by telling you a story of my experiences and the mistakes I have made during my efforts to renovate my new home and I hope it will help someone avoid making the mistakes that I did. If you really don’t want to read on, just take a look at the photos through the link below of the work done by ‘Granada Property Reforms’ http://www.flickr.com/photos/90310703@N08/
After a few years of working and saving enough to buy a property in Spain, I spent almost 2 years searching for the right house in the right place. My work takes me to different countries and I had decided that it was time I had a permanent base to call home. My search finally came to an end last May when I bought a small place in the Lecrin Valley, and even though the house was structurally sound, it was in need of quite a bit of updating and cosmetic work.
Whilst I was house hunting and searching the internet for agents and properties, I had also been looking for contractors that I could use to carry out any renovations I would need. I came across Granada Property Reforms and as I didn’t know anyone else in the area, I met up with the proprietor of this company on one of my visits to Spain and paid him to look at a couple of houses with me in order to judge cost of renovations, as it was a service he offered on his website.
A year later and a couple more visits to Spain, I had finally found the right house and the sale completed through my lawyer in Spain, as I was still abroad (in Asia) at the time. Whilst I was still away, I thought it would be a good idea to have all the terrace redone, as it looked pretty tired and needed a face lift and if that was finished, I could continue the interior work when my contract ended and I returned for a longer stay a couple of months later - and re-tiling a terrace would be a pretty straightforward job, there’s not much that could go wrong with that surely…......?
To get things moving, I decided to contact Mr Chesters at Granada Property Reforms again as I had already met him and my lawyer knew him too. He collected the keys from my lawyer, sent me photos of terraces he said he had done in the same tiles as examples of his work and gave me a quote and a time scale (to be finished 1 week before my next visit) All seemed fine and so I paid the 60% deposit he asked for.
The day I arrived in Spain on a flying visit to see the finished results, I got a phone call to say it wasn’t finished, and when I did actually see it, I was horrified at what he had attempted to do.
Although the complete story will take far too long to tell, the photos I have taken speak for themselves. http://www.flickr.com/photos/90310703@N08/
I have been in Contact with Granada Property Reforms for the past 3 months and have been in Spain for the whole of that time. After pressure from the lawyer he agreed to pay a visit, only to waffle incessantly and deny responsibility, and although a surprise visit from a local building inspector told him different and gave him clear instructions on what he should do, he made other visits only to waste my time and mental energy even further.
During this time, he has given his word to correct this appalling work, and one very vague attempt at doing so, made several excuses, failed to show up countless times and inundated me with emails containing pages and pages of what I consider to be lame excuses and nothing but sheer self-aggrandisement, so much so, that I have now had to block him from my email account due to the anguish and mental stress it was causing. I believe it was an effort to wear me down so as to tire me of it, in the hope that I’d forget the whole thing.
Last week he offered me 500 euros to basically shut up and go away, which goes nowhere near paying for it all to be pulled up and redone properly, as no professional will go anywhere near it otherwise. All I want to do now is to try and prevent him if possible, from inflicting the same on any other trusting person.
On his website he talks of ‘teams’ of British and Spanish skilled tradesmen, none of which I have ever clapped eyes on - only him (and his partner on one visit, who incidentally says he most definitely is NOT his partner, just an occasional helper) The very strong impression I have got and in my opinion, he really doesn’t know what he is doing or even how to sort out the mess he has made…….. Continued on my following post