Are you ready to start your project? Whether it’s a new build, refurbishment, alteration or extension, here is all you’ll need to know to plan and prepare.


What regulations and permissions will you require?

It is likely, regardless of the scale and scope of your project,  you will need to apply for statutory approval(s) with the relevant local authority.  This can vary greatly and consents required will depend on the project. Most common permissions required are;

  • Planning Consent
  • Listed Building Consent
  • Conservation Area Consent
  • Certificate of Lawfulness application
  • Building Warrant Approval

Planning policy and Building Regulations can prove difficult to navigate and understand.  Your Architect is best placed to provide you with guidance and advice on which applications and consents will be required in order to proceed with your project.

Speak to your neighbours.

Before you begin your project, you should take the time out to speak with your neighbours about your plans. Doing any form of building can be disruptive not just to you but the surrounding people too. Your neighbours may be notified by your local planning authority before the work commences but it is always polite to give prewarning and try to get them on board.


Work out your budget and costs.

Knowing your overall budget is crucial for your project.  Within your budget you should allow for not only the construction costs but also consider the following;

  • Architect’s fees
  • Other consultants’ fees (such as Structural Engineer, QS and Principle Designer)
  • Statutory application fees
  • Specialist surveys (such as Ecological, Topographical and Rot Surveys)

PRO TOP TIP: Always make sure the VAT is included when adding up your costs.

An interesting aspect to consider is whether the project will increase the value of your property.  Your local estate agent or valuation surveyor should be able to advise.


Research and find the right Architect for your project.

Finding the right Architect is the most important task you’ll encounter when planning your project. They’re the ones who are going to make your dream a reality.

There are many things to think about when choosing your Architect. You’ll have to do your research and preparation and consider what kind of relationship you both will have on the project. If you haven’t already read our blog on ‘How to find and choose the right Architect for you’, read it here now.


Research and find the right Builder.

Finding the right builder is also incredibly important. You need people working on your development to be professional and reliable. Your Architect will be able to help you choose and appoint a suitable builder.

Online is a great place to start to compare trades. You can read reviews, see previous work and gain a sense of security from their websites or social media pages.  Most competent trades are members of approved and accredited associations relevant to their trade which should ensure a high standard of workmanship.

Another good idea would be to ask neighbours and friends who have had building work carried out to their property recently. Word of mouth is always a great way of finding dependable trades, not to mention this means that they will already be familiar with working in your area.

Check your insurance cover.

Having insurance is vital to protect your property.  You must ensure that prior to starting any building works you advise your insurance provider.  The builder should also carry appropriate insurances which both you and your Architect can check.


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