1. Planning, planning, planning – For many types of major works you may require planning permission from your local authority before the works can proceed. Don’t assume that planning stops just there. The devil is really in the detail so make sure you have enough time to consider challenges such as which builder you will work with, where you will be sourcing your items from and what items you want to compliment your vision. In addition, the more you cover at the outset of what you want built, the less likely you will require unexpected ‘additions’.

  1. Do you have the right team around you? – The reality in any major works to your property is that it will cost a considerable amount of money. You may think that bypassing professional help at the outset may help save money from the overall project, but in many cases, it can cost you more. It’s important to have at hand your professional team such as architects, structural engineers, project mangaers etc throughout the course of your build to mitigate any potential issues.
  1. Do as much investigative work as possible – Prior to works starting, it’s advisable to check whether architectural plans are in fact possible. In many cases, what you want done should be achievable but unless you see what’s actually under the floorboards or behind the walls it’s impossible to predict what you will find. A bit of investigative work will save you money and grief once the works commence.
  1. Give yourself and your build team as much time prior to start as possible – Once you have chosen your team, try and ensure you give each other time to go over the plans in as much detail as possible. It’s very important they understand what is being built and can visualise this from your drawings. In some cases, architects and engineers can miss beams, openings and dimensions which can impact on what you want to be done quite considerably.
  1. Try and get a sense of how your builder works – Do they approach your plans by bringing up issues or solutions? Are they inclusive in the building process or do they come across distant and aloof? It’s really important you can communicate clearly and without fear with your builder and the team as the experience is going to be challenging. Not only are you planning to spend a lot of money, but it can be a very anxious process and feeling comfortable with your chosen team is paramount.