Expert Opinion

Getting started: planning your project

Adam Jannece - Managing Director, JCJ Construction


Getting started: planning your project

It’s obvious I know, but projects which are well planned always have the best chance of success – minimising the risk of disappointment and any unwanted surprises.

If you are thinking about extending or renovating your home to create extra room or a space which you have always dreamed of, or even building a new home, it will require careful planning. Prioritising your wish list alongside what you can actually have is the key to achieving your ambitions – don’t forget there are various budget, planning and Building Regulations requirements and restrictions to consider, all of which will have an impact.

The priority list

Before you employ an architect or a design and build contractor, you need to create a project design brief – a list of what you want to achieve from the project. You need to consider the rooms and spaces you would like to create, any special features, such as bifold doors or an open plan kitchen-diner and your personal requirements.

Hint: Don’t forget about storage when listing the requirements for each room as it is often a something which gets overlooked.

Once you have this ‘wish list’ for your project written down you can begin to prioritise the list and identify the items you really can’t do without. This will help you create a realistic design brief which works within your budget.

Finding an architect

An architect is crucial in helping you realise your design brief and they can give you ideas for your construction project that you didn’t even know were possible. When it comes to finding an architect, you can approach the search in two main ways. The first – “the traditional way” – is to contact three to five architects directly that you have either been recommended to you by friends or family, or whose work you have seen and like.

The second option is to appoint a Design & Build contractor, who will work with you to identify the perfect architect for your project from their trusted network. Design & Build is an evolution of the traditional construction model where all the professional services are managed under one roof giving you a single point of contact.

Whichever approach you use to find your architect, a good fit is crucial as they will be vital in guiding you through the design.

Consider the cost

Everyone has a budget for their project in mind, no matter how big or small, it is important to start with a clear understanding of costs.

Unique design and special features will inevitably cost more money to build, so always keep your budget in mind when working through the concept design. You need to be clear from the outset with your design and build contractor or architect about how much you want to spend on your project to ensure everyone is realistic about what can be achieved.

If you have a limited budget, this doesn’t mean that you’ll end up with a disappointing result – careful planning and creative design solutions can make for better spaces at no greater cost. It may just mean that material costs need to be kept low and you’ll need a realistic idea of what products, fixtures and fittings can be installed for your budget. Don’t forget that it’s easy to replace and upgrade fixtures and fittings when you have more budget available, but much more difficult to restructure and rearrange rooms and spaces.

If you are considering extending, renovating or refurbishing your home and would like some expert opinion without any obligation then please get in touch with us on 01273 857886 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..