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What, When and How Much

The 3 ‘Golden Rules’ of any building project! Depending on the character of the project each may vary in order of importance.


Think about what you want to achieve with the build. Talk to an architect now, an initial consultation is usually free and can give you a great headstart with additional ideas and an early flag of any potential structural or legal issues.

Rather than just a list a rooms think about the type of space you would like to create, for example don’t just think ‘we need a kitchen diner’ but think ‘we need a communal space where the adults can get on with some jobs but where the kids are also able to be around and play/do homework’. It may be that your house can be designed to work better by making your space into something other than just the traditional kitchen/diner.

We always find that when meeting clients for the first time it is helpful to get to know how thier house works in order to design the best space solution for them. As such we often ask people not to tidy up before we come so we can see how normal life goes on in the house. If we don’t know that there is always an annoying pile of shoes and coats next to the door the they will still be there once the construction work is finished!

Let your architect get to know you, give honest feedback on any designs – a first design may not fully meet everything you want! Ask for the design to be presented in a way which allows you full understanding of the scheme to help your decision making. Remember to allow time at this stage and don’t worry about investigating alternative approaches it is important to get the scheme correct at this point.


‘We will be in by Christmas!’

Talk to your architect and set a realistic build time. There are many stages to any build, some of which may not be obvious at the outset. Your architect will talk you through each stage required and the time needed for each stage in order to calculate a total build time.

For example it would not be unusual for a modest extension to take 11 months from conception to completion taking into account the design, tender, planning and construction phases of the build.


Be realistic!

Set your budget and let your architect design within the limit.. Often a large amount can be achieved on on a relatively small budget. It is important not to get carried away as financial difficulties can lead to stressful relationships.

Ideally establish a brief with a financial limit, get a budget cost at design stage, stick to limitations during the construction stage and obtain a good set of tender drawings and documentation (these go beyond building regulation drawings and tell the builder exactly what to allow for thus avoiding assumptions and provisional sums which can prove costly). Confirm all costs with the builder before signing a contract. Remember, the basis of all contracts is to agree what you are getting, when you will be getting it and how much you will be paying for it!

Good Luck and Merry Christmas from all at SPUD Architects

Written by Jon

May 8th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Posted in Articles

Permitted development

Permitted Development

Written by Jon

May 8th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Posted in Articles