The professional is convinced of the advantages of a stone worktop
Today we’re having a chat with Jenny who has ordered six stone worktops from Granitop. Jenny and her profession have sparked interest and not for nothing. She is an entrepreneur and a real estate flipper, whose excitement about her work can be heard in interviews and seen in the end results of her projects.
”Flipping” has been described as renovating apartments and buying and selling them fast. You yourself have said your mission is to increase the value of apartments. How does flipping actually work?
Well, you could simplify and say that I buy apartments in bad condition below the market price, renovate them, and then sell for profit. In practice everything can’t be renovated or optimized in every apartment, it wouldn’t be realistic or profitable, so one needs to prioritize. I think that the most important features of any apartment are the kitchen and the bathroom. Naturally flooring, for example, matters too but good kitchen and bathroom increase the value much more.
Things need to be prioritized in kitchen too. The value increase depends a lot on the materials used. For most buyers and future inhabitants of the apartment the material of their kitchen cabinet doors won’t matter that much – they could be painted, film coated, anything. But the choice of worktop material does matter more, and a stone worktop has a real impact on the value. The kitchen will immediately be of higher quality and look more expensive. Wood counters are pretty, but wood or laminate aren’t nearly as durable as stone is. The biggest threats to kitchen counters are water and humidity, but stone won’t swell or break like wood and laminate eventually will. In my opinion it’s much more reasonable to install a stone worktop, instead of laminate that needs to be replaced several times.
You have said in a previous interview that as a child you dreamed of becoming a parachutist. Are there any similarities between flipping and parachuting?
Yes, that’s what I wanted to be when I grow up! I guess they do share some features – when you start with a new flip you never know how it’s going to end up, there will always be surprises. The typical nine-to-five job wouldn’t suit me anyways, I’m way too lively to tolerate that. That’s why I’m very happy with my current job.
Following your ventures, I can’t help but wonder how you have time for it all. You don’t only choose materials and decorate, but you renovate yourself and take care of your business and bookkeeping and all. Have you unlocked the 25-hour day or what is your secret?
Normally people sleep nine hours every night, right? I also sleep for nine hours, but I do it very effectively so I can fit it in five! On a typical morning I wake up some time between four and six. That way I’ve already been working for hours when others are just stirring from their sleep.
And when and how do you plan your projects or look for new inspiration? I’ve seen you utilize some creative solutions months before something similar gets written about in the magazines.
I sleep over it! I might ponder on some problem for the whole day and evening, but when I wake up from a good night’s sleep the right solutions simply come to me intuitively. Inspiration is something I always keep my eyes open for wherever I go. Even now, when we’re currently sitting at this café, I’m looking around for fresh ideas I can use in my future projects.
I’m also naturally a 3D-thinker. I utilize that when I plan kitchens, for example, and in addition I ask a lot of “what if?” -questions. What if I did this differently? What if there’s a better way? At home I asked myself that and ended up extending the terrazzo of my kitchen island worktop to the other side and ordered shelves made from the same stone. It turned out really beautiful!
Terrazzo seems to be one of your favourite materials. Do you have any theories for why it has become so popular?
I don’t know, but one theory could be that people started paying more attention to the terrazzo-like material some old apartment buildings have for example as windowsills. Maybe someone noticed it and thought wow – this really looks fresh again! I was a little surprised myself when I started noticing terrazzo popping up everywhere, and even more so when I realized I love the material!
Terrazzo has such a beautiful combination of shades, both cold and warm, white and darker tones. That means it can go well with almost anything and will bring out the best in the colours you surround it with. In kitchen terrazzo widens the options, you can imagine a black tap and sink would look gorgeous, but so would golden fixtures.
You have plenty experience from different kitchens and materials. Do you have any tips for someone who doesn’t know how to decide on a material for their own kitchen? You already talked about the benefits of choosing stone, but there are so many kinds of stones too – Granitop has more than three hundred different ones in selection!
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To be honest with you, if I don’t know which material to pick, I will call Janno (Janno Kiho, Granitop sales manager) and he always has good advice to give! I will call Granitop to talk with their professionals, I describe the kind of apartment I’m working on, let’s say a family apartment as an example, and they will tell me what my best options are.
Based on what they have told me, I maybe wouldn’t choose a terrazzo for the family apartment, for the fear of staining, but something sturdier instead that can tolerate a little more. Like some quartz stone…
Then again, GV 0/25 terrazzo has a lively colour so the staining wouldn’t be so visible… Anyways, what I’m saying is, I’m not a stone specialist, but the professionals at Granitop are always just one phone call away. I’ve always gotten answers to my questions very fast and efficiently.
Time for the last question. Have you ever wanted to change something after you’ve just finished renovating a kitchen? Any regrets?
It has happened many times! The result is not always perfect. But when that happens, I will troubleshoot to find the problem, and then I’ll fix it. I also sell kitchens, and that’s why I always use a 3D-program to draw every kitchen I do.
Sometimes the furniture arrives, gets installed and something isn’t exactly what I planned in real life. Then we’ll just have to order some new materials and redo the bit we don’t like. It will usually push the deadline a little further ahead, but at least the result is what it’s supposed to be like.
There’s been overall less surprises with worktops. I switch laminate counters for stone worktops, but I’ve never removed a good stone worktop. There’s never been any problems with the new ones either.
Check out our wide range of different stones and contact us with any questions you might have – our specialists here at Granitop are always happy to help you. Take a look at some of the apartments Jenny has flipped in Instagram @sisujasijoitus, and see if you can spot the Granitop stone worktops!