Below are the top 10 common mistakes we think are commonly made.
1. Not using a registered Architect
Only registered Architects can legally call themselves Architects. The Architects Registration Board provides a database of all UK registered Architects. Unfortunately the term “Architect” gets used for many different people or companies including architectural services, plans drawn companies and consequently they may not have the same level of experience or expertise.
2. Being unclear on your requirements
Developing a clear, realistic, concise and detailed brief is essential to facilitate a successful project. For more information on the things to consider, please see the following page.
3. The budget not matching the brief
Want a new house for £50? Unfortunately however you cut it it’s not going to happen. As a result balancing the brief with the budget is often a difficult thing to achieve. Furthermore many factors outside of the space requirements can affect the budget, however a realistic it is. In addition making provisions for contingencies and allowances for the finishing touches is essential.
4. Being unclear on your time frames
Rushing through or short cutting the crucial stages is unlikely to make a successful project. Consequently, understanding the timeframes involved with obtaining planning and the other approvals, finding a builder, the potential delays and obstacles, when specific decisions need to be made etc. will help to develop a realistic timeframe for the project and allow you to plan ahead.
5. Scrimping on design or rushing through the process.
A good design can have a powerful impact; transforming it from a house to a home in addition to potentially improving its value. In addition to the obvious stylistic elements consider improvements to health and well being (day-lighting, accessibility, comfort etc). The initial design stages of the project are crucial and sets out what the finished home will be like in 10 or 20 years time.
6. Not obtaining the necessary planning or building regulations approvals (party wall etc)
From Planning Enforcement to Health and Safety stop notices and having to re-do various elements. Substantial time delays and costs can be associated with not obtaining the relevant paperwork.
7. Wasting existing space
How do you use the existing space in your home? Are there are underused or wasted spaces? Can the existing elements be improved – more space efficient storage, combing rooms etc. Every additional square meter of new floor space can cost thousands of pounds therefore making the most of what you already have is essential.
8. Assuming that your neighbours or planners will be happy with the proposals
You may get on fabulously with your neighbours at the moment however it is unfortunately very easy for problems to arise – either from a perceived impact (loss of privacy, overshadowing etc) the Party Wall act or during the construction works. Liaising with your neighbours and keeping them up-to-date through the project can pay dividends.
9. Not considering the overall house or making piecemeal additions
An extension will create additional space, however what happens to the existing space left over. Adding additional bolt-on extensions to a house that has already been extended can exacerbate existing problems with flow, light and balance and can ultimately cripple a property in function and value. How will the new space work with the existing circulation space? Will the new extension cause problems for the existing house (overshadowing etc)? Furthermore, lots of small extensions can become difficult to tie together into a cohesive composition. Take a step back, consider the house as a whole and look at what needs to be remodelled or where strategic interventions are required to develop a cohesive solution.
10. Not considering context and relevant planning policies
Obtaining planning permission can be fraught with problems anyway but as a result of not considering the relevant policies or context it is more likely to end up with a refusal. Consequently meaning additional time to redesign, resubmit or appeal along with additional costs.
Hopefully by reading the above 10 common mistakes, you will therefore have the best start for your build. Please contact us to discuss your projectly useful. These images can be specific details, materials or finishes, more subjective aspects like a sense of light or space or even more abstract images so we can better understand you and your family. It is really helpful to highlight particular things that you don’t like and often this can be easier to do.