Whether you’re planning a residential home extension, commercial shop fit or any other type of design and build, there are key preparations to make which can result in your project going more smoothly with fewer delays and faster progress.
Research and gather as many examples as you can
Pictures often speak a thousand words, which is why it’s very helpful to research various sources of information to gather examples and ideas. Magazine clippings, website print-outs and mood boards are a superb way to get across your favourite ideas for the design. Plus, this type of research may draw your attention to great new ideas which you hadn’t thought about previously.
Once you’ve prepared any examples you’ve found, bring them along to the initial consultations. You can then discuss them with your design and build company of choice to start forming design concepts.
Also note that you don’t have to bring examples of entire exterior or interior spaces. For example, you could circle a certain fixture or fitting which you like within a broader design.
Prepare answers to questions you’re likely to be asked
Where possible, it’s wise to prepare answers in advance to questions you may be asked. Not only does it allow the initial consultations to go more smoothly, but it gives you days or even weeks to mull over certain ideas and be surer of your choices.
Some common questions are usually related to room numbers, room purposes, sizes, shapes, colour themes, materials, fixtures, fittings and so on. You don’t need to have an answer for everything, but the more you can figure out beforehand with ample time to think, the better.
Create “plan B”s
Sometimes, certain ideas just aren’t viable. There may be budget restrictions, planning permission objections or even neighbour disputes. That’s why it’s helpful to prepare some alternative options just in case this eventuality occurs. A great way to do this is by creating a list of various ideas and then prioritising them, so you have your 1st favourite idea, your 2nd favourite and so on. Then, if your first choice cannot be done, you already have some alternatives lined up where you’ve had a chance to put plenty of time and thought into them.
Discuss your project with your neighbours
In cases where planning permission must be obtained, neighbours are given the opportunity to raise any disputes with your local council. If they occur, they can cause delays and difficulty in obtaining permission.
For this reason, it’s helpful to discuss your plans in advance with your neighbours to get an understanding of what they think. This means that you know in advance whether you’re likely to encounter any objections instead of going through the full design stage and then finding out that neighbours are unhappy and object to the build.
Why may they raise objections? Some of the common reasons include noise, inconveniences and any impacts the final result may have on their own way of life. For example, if a house extension blocks sunlight into their garden.
Don’t be afraid to speak up
Design and build companies are here to create the perfect result for you, and the only way they can do that is if they fully understand all of your thoughts, ideas and concerns. That’s why, if there’s something you do or don’t like, it’s important to make it very clear – however large or small it may be. If that’s done sooner rather than later, then the designs can be amended to reduce the number of build-stage changes which can cause delays. You’re paying them, they work for you, and you’re in control!
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