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.