The 270 degree view from one of our penthouse developments

Large construction projects can be stressful, expensive and time consuming, but there are ways to prevent this. By ensuring that you are adequately prepared and know what to expect, the whole process can be smooth and rewarding if you focus on the end result.

Follow these five useful steps and you will save time and money and reduce stress. They will be incredibly useful whether you are looking to get major building work or renovations carried out on your luxury home, a magical makeover or even adding new rooms or additional outdoor space. By being fully prepared, you will also find yourself avoiding problems and misunderstandings with builders or other tradespeople.

1. It is important to know your property and what you want done to it

Other people’s ideas may not match yours so don’t be swayed. Always go for a professional that is a good fit for you. If you are not on the same page from day one, you never will be. 

Ask them to create a design plan. This can be done by computer or by hand. This way you can be sure that you are getting what you ask for. Discuss the design with them in great detail and don’t be rushed. By this point you should also be given an idea of cost. Decide which elements of the build you are going to shop for and which you will leave to your designer. If you like to get involved, choosing materials and accessories may just be your thing. 

Once you have agreed design, Freeze it! Projects have a tendency of spiralling costs and delays because the design changes through the construction period. Try to have everything signed off and certain ahead of contract to minimise these possible changes.

2. Make sure that the building work to your luxury home is feasible and how much it will cost

Nothing can happen unless permissions are in place for planning, party wall, building control and, depending on size of the project, an HSE notification via F10 has been obtained. This should be taken care by your Project Team, it could be the Architect, Project Manager or Builder but don’t assume – check! There is always some ambiguity over who’s role it is to obtain these permissions and notifications. If there are any obstacles concerning permissions or notices, your project may be set back. This not only delays completion but can also push up costs. 

By choosing a project team that has a good relationship with your local planning department, communication should be positive and even if problems occur, they should be able to overcome them. However, do always be alert and prepared for the unexpected, as planning departments may not always see things your way. Hurdles should be minimised when you use a project team who is used to the planning processes and understands exactly what is needed to tick every box.

3. Know your construction team

Do your research and look at previous work and client reviews and testimonials before signing anything. A good construction firm will showcase their previous projects on their website so that you can see the quality of workmanship that you will be getting and should be able to arrange project walk arounds, ask to see Live projects as well as finishes, a tidy & active site shows good organisation and resources. Don’t always go for the lowest bidder and know the signs of ‘cowboys’ to avoid paying twice, the likelihood of them concealing known inevitable variations are high. 

You also need to be sure that your builder is registered with at least some if not all of the appropriate regulatory bodies such as The National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting, Constructionline (which is a register for pre-qualified contractors), SAFE Contractor, The Contractor Health and Safety Assessment Scheme, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, The British Safety Council (BritSafe) and The Construction Health and Safety Group. We are members of all of them and are proud to display our accreditations on our website. If you are thinking of choosing a builder who appears to have none of these memberships, check them out first.

4. Expect a little bit of mess 

The best builders will tidy up as they go along but there will always be some disruption, especially when materials are delivered. If walls and fixtures are being taken out, this will also cause temporary mess. If you are going to be left without a kitchen or bathroom, make sure that your builder will provide you with a contingency set-up. If you can move out while the work is ongoing, great. If not, you will need cooking and bathroom facilities, even if a little basic. You don’t want to find yourself in day two of the build without a toilet! 

5. Look to the future

If you have experienced the build or renovation of a luxury home before, you will know that the finished project is always worth it. By keeping your eye on the goal and looking forward to what you will have at the end, it is far easier to keep positive and overlook the temporary disruption and building mess.

By choosing to work with a professional company who develop only luxury projects, you can relax. You will also be guaranteed that by the time they finish the project, your luxury home will look exactly how you want it to and all the little snags will have been ironed out before you move back in. 

These five tips may not be rocket science, but they will certainly go a long way in enabling you to see your luxury home construction project through to the end with a smile on your face. You should also take the time to gain a good understanding of the little things, such as what time the construction team will arrive and depart, how they will gain access and how your neighbours will react to the noise.

This way, being involved in the planning of the work on your luxury home should be much more of a positive experience and far less stressful or time consuming. Whilst it is not possible to get involved in actual building work or major renovations and come out the other end completely unscathed, these some expert hints and tips will get you going in the right direction.

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