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5 things to keep in mind planning an architectural project

30 June 2020

There’s no getting away from the fact that time spent on architectural projects can be both enjoyable and at times stressful too. Particularly if you are the property owner and project manager.

Thankfully, what emerges at the end, with good planning and a good team to work, is something you can be proud of and can enjoy for years.

Whilst in the excitement of starting a new project the temptation might be to dive straight in, our recommendation is that you first take some time to review these five helpful tips.

1. Pick your team carefully

It is particularly important if you do not have significant construction experience to make sure the people you work with give you guidance and are supportive, clear and easy to deal with.

Taking time at the outset to select the right suppliers, trade experts and other professionals is time well spent and will help you to deliver the project successfully and on budget.

2. Work from a plan

Having agreed drawings and an implementation plan for everyone to work to will enable everyone to know what is expected, from whom it is expected and when it should be delivered. This will reduce the opportunities for things to go wrong and costs to escalate.

3. Look at completed projects and products

It’s important to take advice from the professionals you employ to work on your project. With advice in hand, it is worthwhile taking time to look at examples of the designs, materials and finishing touches that have been suggested.

Seeing things in person will help you confirm what styles and design cues are right for you - and you might be surprised by what you find when you meet the recommendations in the flesh.

4. Get all permits and applications sorted - early

The number and types of permits you’ll need for your architectural project will vary depending on the work required, your location and the scale of the plan.

Make sure you get all of this sorted as early as possible and look carefully for every situation where approval and regulations apply. Finding this stuff out further down the line can be a painful experience and possibly expensive to overcome - and no one wants that.

5. Be realistic

How many times have you seen a Self-Build project on TV where the budget or timescale has overrun terribly?

Although possibly overdramatised on TV, budget and time overruns on large (and small) architectural projects do happen.

The key lies in being realistic and where you do set tight deadlines or budgets, engage with suppliers so they understand the importance of the deadline and budget to the project.

Give extra focus to any critical aspects that will hinder the rest of the project if they are late or go wrong. Where possible have a back-up position because things can go wrong and your budget might be tested.

Wrapping up

This planning phase of your architectural project is one of the hardest to undertake, but you only have to do it once. Our recommendation is to give it time and keep the points above at the foremost of your mind.