Six Steps to Planning a Successful Building Project

Here is a look at six crucial steps that, if followed, can help you plan out a successful building renovation, and reasons why they are important to any project.

1. Work with a Professional Designer

To come up with a detailed plan and scope of work, a majority of homeowners will hire either an interior designer or architect or at times, both. Each service provider does things differently from the other, and design licensing will vary by area. Most designers will work on projects that do not involve major structural additions or work and offer assistance when it comes to colour and material selections. Architects, on the other hand, offer far more solutions – they can work on permits, creating floor plans, providing design advice and such, or they could just work on the floor plans and leave the kitchen, baths and electrical plans to another designer.

When searching for a design professional, start by meeting the designer in-person – this could take a couple of weeks depending on the number of companies you’re interviewing. Take that opportunity to understand the services and solutions each designing firm offers and ensure that they match up with that which you expect. It is also vital that you come up with a budget for the project and that you communicate this to the firm you are considering, such as the Fourwalls Group, so that your design aligns with what you’re planning to invest.

2. Create the Schematics

Come up with something known as a schematic design. These designs or plans usually provide a rough layout of your project’s floor plan and simple views of the project’s exterior if there are any additions. It will take time for a design professional to work the design out, which is then followed by a week or two of you, the client, considering it and making decisions and changes. If your project is large, or you want additional changes made to your schematics, the initial designing phase could take several months.

3. Interview Several Contractors

Contractors often come into the mix once a final design has been settled for. Often, there’s at least a general idea of how the house will look from the exterior, some preliminary material selections and a dimensioned floor plan. With this information, it is much easier to provide preliminary cost estimates.

Contractors are often requested to estimate schematic designs, and this should be part of your interview process. It could take several weeks to set up an interview and at least three weeks after interviews to receive estimates. Altogether, the process may take anywhere from four to six weeks – from interviewing candidates to receiving an estimate.

4. While Others Engineer, Go Shopping

Do you love to shop? Or do you hate it? Your answer to these questions will determine whether or not you will enlist the services of a designer to advise you with material selection. Even for those who love shopping, this process may overwhelm you, considering the different options available; you may need professional input. Don’t underestimate the number of things that you will need to choose, from windows and doorknobs to light fixtures and countertops. To ensure that you have a handle on the project’s cost, it is vital that you select everything needed before construction commences. Doing so will allow your contractors to estimate the prices for what you would like and will make it easier to schedule material purchases when they are needed.

Give yourself about two months to select all the things you need. While shopping for hardwood floors and tiles, your designer or architect will be finalising construction drawings, putting in the details of the project for the required permits, and working with structural engineers to determine how the project will be constructed. If all goes well, you’ll work on both this step and the previous concurrently so you can finish both at around the same time.

5. Get All the Necessary Permits

Depending on how big your project is and where it is located, it could take a day, a month or even years to get a permit. It is vital that you have an idea before filing for permits about how long the process will take. This will allow you to identify the most probable and convenient day to start your project. Permit fees range from a couple hundred pounds to several thousand pounds, but that is also dependent on the scope of the project and where you live.

6. Get Ready to Begin Work

With your material selections made and your plan submitted for permits, your contractor should be finishing up the pricing and writing up a contract for the construction. If the materials cost more than what your budget allows, you will probably need “value engineering” – this means changing materials or the scope of work to reduce costs. By the time you are signing your contract, your contractor should have identified longer-lead items such as windows, tiles, cabinets, electrical fixtures, or plumbing, and could probably even have had them ordered ahead of the beginning of construction, depending on your project’s timing.

The course of planning for your project can be quite long, but following each of the steps outlined here will leave you with a clearer vision of what is to come.