Recent project news and random thoughts from the team

Where to start???

The daunting question everybody asks "Where do i start?" - Hopefully we can give you some simple advice before you decide to start your adventure.Rule 1 - Start early - planning is key. Engage an architect or two and find someone you are comfortable with. They will guide you through designs, can-and-can't-do's, do's-and-don't and ultimately budgets.Rule 2 - Budgets - Think of what you are eligible to spend and account for a contingency. No-one can tell you how much of a contingency to have, it's like the "how long is a piece of string" question, sometimes people have expensive tastes, sometimes you come across unforeseen's, sometimes changes just have to be made. But have something in reserve and hope you don't have to use it (You should know by the time of ordering your kitchen whether you can get the expensive one or not!!). Rule 3 - Planning Permission - If you are going for planning, your architect should do this for you. We would advise to speak to a builder at this stage. It's a catch 22 position here, as no-one can accurately quote for your project without working drawings or a scope-of-works (which your architect will provide), however, we believe that the conversation should start around now. Again, it goes back to Rule 1 - planning early. You should at this stage be able to get an indicative price of where your project will be at. Not all builders will do this but at least we would try. The other benefit of engaging a builder now is that we can plan our schedule. Don't get us wrong, nothing is set in stone until everything is finalized, but if it is the builder that you want, at least we can plan for a start date.Rule 4 - Finalizing - Your planning has been accepted and your on the road to a commencement date. Now your architect will have working drawings and a scope-of-works. You can send this to your builder and out for tender. You will also have a rough commencement date in mind and again, plan for that date. If you are happy with your builder in the beginning, lets hope they are still available and get booking! Submit your commencement notice with the date and off you go!!!Our final word of advice, which gets overlooked so, so often. Have an architect or engineer to sign off on your project. You want a certificate of compliance!! It's peace of mind that the job is completed correctly and to the building regulations. Any builder that knows their stuff, is not going to have an issue working alongside an architect or engineer...and if they do, alarm bells should be ringing. If like us, repeatedly sending our staff on building regulation training days, keeping up with architects and the constant changing building regulations is an easy task. And last but not least, once your home is signed off, if you do decide to sell in the future...your going to find it very easy!!