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What to avoid when designing and building a new home

by John Saunders
27th Oct 22 4:11 pm

Designing and building a new home is a huge project that requires meticulous planning and execution.

With significant sums of money involved, multiple deadlines to meet, and a range of contractors often involved, the stakes are high, and mistakes can prove costly.

To help keep things running to schedule, it’s important to avoid making blunders that can throw the whole project into disarray.

How do errors affect the project?

The main impacts are that they lead to delays and often cause the costs to go up. For example, errors with the groundwork can take a lot of time to fix. This pushes everything else back and you may have to find other contractors for later elements of the project if it causes scheduling conflicts.

A sound builders’ insurance policy can provide you with a safety net should something unexpected crop up.

The mistakes to avoid

Miscalculating the cost: New houses come with a clear budget that often doesn’t have any room for manoeuvre. Failing to allot sufficient funds to a particular part of the project will have knock-on effects in other areas. Compromises may well have to be made in other areas, which may put a strain on your relationship with the client.

Getting measurements wrong: Accuracy is paramount when building a new house. Make sure everyone you’re working with is working to the same unit of measurement – be it imperial or metric. This is particularly important when making use of an international workforce. Converting measurements into other units can lead to minute errors that have a big impact.

Starting without a full plan: Building a house is hard work even when everything goes to plan – you only have to watch one episode of Grand Designs to understand that! Don’t make things more difficult for yourself by commencing work without having something in place for every stage of the project.

Forgetting storage and furniture: Before construction even begins, the designs need to be spot-on. With so much focus being on the flow of the rooms, sources of light and other practicalities, it can be easy to forget that someone will need to live in the space. Make sure your drawings leave sufficient space for furniture and involve storage wherever possible, otherwise the clients will be surrounded by clutter.

Rushing: It seems obvious, but patience is essential. Making snap decisions could lead you down a path of no return, so make sure to take a step back and think about the wider implications of any choice you make. Speeding things up to hit deadlines could lead to sloppy work and a finish that you’re not happy with.

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