Grand Design – can I do it?
Most of us have watched at least an episode of a TV show such as Grand Designs, even for an architect they are fun to watch. Usually, the plot develops somehow like this —
Home owners have an ambitious project and a reasonably good budget, or so it seems at the start at least, they may even have had an architect who has helped them draw up their ideas on paper. They found the perfect plot (either here in the UK or in a sunny foreign country) and fell in love with it. Kevin McCloud then watches their dream unfold and monitors the problems along the way.
So, why do problems seem to always happen on site?
Problems on site are the norm, in that there is always something happening which requires a quick decision – an early morning phone call from a builder, that needs an answer or he cannot continue as planned. If he stops work for too long, he may need to move his men to another site – otherwise you are paying for them to sit around.
Even a relatively small project like an extension or a loft conversion will require a few decisions at key times, which need to be taken in the correct order to avoid financial, or even legal, trouble. Often the main one is to get a party wall award before you start building. Then perhaps a drain needs to be moved. Trees and their roots could cause problems if these are not investigated.
The work itself requires a thorough process and planning of the house as a whole ‘organism’. It is prudent to think about how you would like to use your new part of the house – where you intend to place your desk or bed, what kind of sanitary ware you like and the size and location of these kinds of things. An architect can help focus your mind or provide new conclusions in these sorts of matters.
Some clients have the time, knowledge and patience to oversee their family’s ‘Grand Design’, but inviting a good architect to help with it will provide many benefits. Have a look at this Houzz article for more ideas what an architect can bring to a project:
Retain your architect for the whole duration of the process. Let them manage the building contract and also advise your builder on everyday queries or when additional drawings are needed. The architect will remain the single point of contact for any queries, changes or issues you or your builder may have. Their experience is invaluable in making sure your house comes together perfectly to suit both your current and future needs.