12 Golden Rules

Before you start:


1. Ensure you are working with an RIBA (or at least ARCUK) registered Architect who will be qualified and insured.  “Architectural Consultants”, “Architectural Practice” and “Architectural Designer” are not the same thing.
2. Take time to create something that will last. Attention to detail makes buildings a success, financially and creatively.
3. Measure twice. Avoid site delays and unfortunate changes by basing the design on an accurate measured site or building survey.
4. Don’t start until you’re ready to finish. The greater the level of information the better chance you have of reducing or omitting extras.
5. Control costs by having a detailed specification. We work to a standard construction industry format to help us list every specific component going into your scheme.
6. Serve all notices and gain all consents before you start work. A shortcut here will save little and may cost a lot.
7. If employing one main contractor ensure that they understand they will have to sign a fixed price contract, are familiar working with Architects on JCT contracts, willing to be paid in arrears, and can produce a comprehensive detailed quote based on drawings and specifications. Cowboys soon loose interest at this stage.
8. Make sure that insurances are in place before work starts and be clear about the legal implications and options regarding specialist material payments.

During Construction:


9. Don’t change your mind. Site changes are costly, time consuming, and demoralising to the workforce even if being paid for.
10. Don’t pay for anything in advance other than purpose made or special order items. Bona-fide credit worthy contractors will have 30 day accounts with builder’s merchants. (This works the same way as a credit card, with up to 2 months free credit available). If the supplier will not give your builder credit, should you?
11. Pay for work only properly completed with retention as per the contract.
12. Understand that the builder is carrying out the work for profit, and that any change or extra will result in claims for additional money. If employing an Architect, do not discuss the building work with the contractor. Agreement to a seemingly casual suggestion by the builder may result in an unexpected bill later on.