Interior design changes

Buying off plan in a new property development overseas can give you certain advantages over buying after completion. One advantage is the possibility of making changes to the property you are buying.

It is unlikely that you will be able to make big design changes especially, if you are buying into a large development where other properties are the same or similar. However, changes to the internal specifications may be possible.

Developers know that the internal specifications of their properties are important and go out of their way to emphasise these in their glossy marketing brochures and video presentations.

However, it is not until the show house has been built that early purchasers get to see the real quality of the interior finish.

It is often at this stage that purchasers decide to make changes to their property.

An area where this may occur is the kitchen. A purchaser may have thought that the developer was going to put in a foreign made kitchen and not a locally made one.

Developers, of course, want to sell their properties and are trying to give the buyer what they feel they want while at the same time trying to save on expensive items such as kitchens and bathroom suites.

From the developers point of view it is just a numbers game. When they buy in bulk they save money, however, they have to be careful what brand they choose for some items such as the electrical appliances in the kitchen, as there is a big price difference, for example, between brands Smeg and Gaggenau.

When developers multiply the item cost by the number of villas in their development, let’s say 50, it will make quite a difference to their bottom line. That is why you won’t see the very top brands in most properties.

Some developers do give choices for some internal specifications. For example, in the kitchen…

Worktops, “…choose granite or Corian.”

Design your own kitchen

Where does this leave you if you do not except the developer’s kitchen and want your own design?

The best way forward is to design your own kitchen with a kitchen design studio and have it fitted professionally.

Cost, of course, will be a big consideration.

Ask the developer if he is willing to deduct the cost of his kitchen from the purchase price. As long as the kitchen for your villa has yet to be ordered he may be prepared to do this.

However, if you intend to join the rental pool after completion, the developer may object to you changing your kitchen. He may have planned to market his brand for rentals and will probably want design consistency both inside and out all the properties.

Once you have settled on the design of your kitchen, chosen your appliances and work surfaces, and the final plans have been made, all you have to do is make the order and pay your deposit.

Note: If you choose a kitchen brand from Europe, say Italy or Germany, check with your kitchen design studio whether you will have to pay import duty on it, as the duty in some countries can be considerable. Also, expect a minimum period of 3 months from the time of the order until it arrives.


In the meantime, the kitchen design studio will draw up a wiring plan for all the appliances and a plan showing where the sink piping/drainage should go. They will then get in contact with your developer to make sure they know where to install the drainage pipes, water inlet and wiring. You should make sure the project manager is aware of them too and that this work is carried out in advance of the kitchen arriving.

When the developer has completed the preparation work for the kitchen you should inform the kitchen design studio and they will arrange a site recce to make sure the work have been carried out correctly and in accordance with their installation plans.

Now all you need to do is wait and think which kitchen utensils you are going to buy!