Our company is growing, and we knew the time had come to move home, from rented accommodation, to a place of our own.  We were blessed to be able to secure a great site, and had the time old thought, “Just a quick bit of work to make it right!”

Well, like with all building projects, there is often more to it than meets the eye initially.  Like many people, we had an initial budget, that was quickly revised.  I learnt a lot managing that work, so here are my top tips:

We needed to get planning permission for our work, so engaged a good architect

Choose someone you feel you can work well with, and who really understands your needs.  Don’t forget that, although they are experienced in their role YOU are the client and need to be really comfortable with the work that will be done.  Keep making sure it fits your needs. Don’t be scared to ask questions and make sure you understand what you are buying into.

The detail is important

Taking the time to work on the drawings prior to getting work done is vital.  By planning things like where you want your light switches, sockets and radiators, will help other trades be able to accurately price for the job.

You will also need other professionals

You may want to engage a Quantity Surveyor to help with cost planning, and Structural Engineers will help make your architect’s drawings work.  We were able to work with the contractor and the architect to provide the calculations for the steel beams needed when we removed walls.

Keep talking to your contractor

Try an understand their timescales, and try to have realistic expectations about when the work will be done.  These things usually take longer than you plan for and cost more than you hoped for, but, in the end the results are worth it!