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  • Writer's pictureKristian Brown

5 Surefire Ways to Make Your New Build Perfect

Taking on a new build is such an exciting project and you want it to be perfect! Unfortunately, when it comes to construction projects, perfection can be hard to achieve. We want you to truly enjoy this process and fall in love with your new building. For that reason, we’ve put together 5 surefire ways to make your new build perfect.




1. Know and Plan Your New Build

You need to know what you want before you even hire a contractor, never mind before you start building. If you don’t have a good idea of what you want, you’re not going to get an accurate quote for the work and you’ll end up committing one of the worst mistakes you can make on a building project – making hasty decisions.

Making decisions now, while you’re not under pressure and can think clearly can save you a lot of strife in the long and short-term.

So, do some research. Remember: when it comes to construction projects, research is seldom wasted. Find out what you want your end product to be. The whole joy of a new build is that you can actually customise it, so look for inspiration and ideas and decide on what are some must-haves for your build. Speak to experts. Just because it’s not a good idea to hire a builder before you know what you want, doesn’t mean you can’t ask for their advice or opinion. Talking to family, friends, and neighbours who have undertaken projects similar to yours can also help you flesh out what you expect from your own project.

When you finally have a good idea of what you want, you can begin putting together a plan and get help from an architect to convert it into official drawings.

Now, this doesn’t mean that if you plan well, nothing will go wrong. When undertaking a new build, you need to accept that not everything is going to go according to your plan. But, the truth is: if you don’t have a plan, nothing can go to plan.



2. The Team for Your New Build

Both before, after and throughout construction, you will need the assistance of others to bring your new build to life. But, who exactly you will be dealing with and how can you pick the right people for the job? This is one instance where knowing what you want and researching for your project come in handy. Architects & Builders

The roles of the architect and the builder on a construction project differ but given that they are required to work together to successfully design and construct a build, you may wish to look for an architect and builder that have worked together previously. Most contractors have someone they would recommend or you may want to look for companies that offer design and build services to keep the different aspects of the work in-house.

There are a few tips to finding the best construction contractors for you and we have discussed six of them in a previous article here. We suggest you take a look at this short article because, although it is originally written for house extension projects, most of the principles apply to finding the right company and contractors for any construction project.

All in all, you want to look for people with experience on projects similar to your own, who provide the services you need, who have the necessary insurance with documentation to prove it and who you can communicate well with.



3. Budget

It’s also crucial to have a budget in place before you start building because if not, you’re going to end up with a half-finished house and your financial affairs in a mess.

First of all, divide expenses between ‘intangible’ and ‘brick and mortar’ costs. Intangible costs are expenses not directly related to the physical building of the project. These are usually expenses that occur before and after the construction work, such as applying for planning permissions, designing the build, and preparing the construction site.

Brick and mortar expenses, which make up the majority of the project’s costs, are the materials, equipment and labour needed in the actual build. Physical products tend to have fixed costs and labour can more or less be calculated from reliable quotes from contractors.

Unfortunately, intangible costs are, as indicated by the name, not set in stone and not always easy to calculate. This is where a contingency plan comes into play. Many say you should budget an extra 10% in overall costs but you find that it often turns out to be 20% that you need to over-budget. In this way, you can hope for the best but plan for the worst.

Another good idea is to agree to a scheme of payments with your builder. For example, pay 20% upfront and then divide the balance between the remaining weeks.



4. Communicate

Communication is highly important on a construction project because a.) there are many people involved in each phase of the build and b.) miscommunication can undo all the hard work you have put into your build to make it perfect.

The four main people you will want to have clear, honest lines of communication with are: 1. Your Local Planning Authority 2. The Architect 3. The Builder 4. Your Neighbours Your Local Planning Authority

If you are building an extension or renovating your property, you don’t always have to apply for planning permission (more information here). But for a new build, it is most likely that you will need to apply for planning permission before you begin building and you will want the approval to cover exactly what you are planning to do. For this reason, it is important to develop an open line of communication with your local planning authority. They can also answer any questions you may have on what is permitted for your property and area.


The Architect & Builder

Your architect and builder are two of the people who will have the most direct impact on the outcome of your project. They need to know what you want and for that reason you need to be as clear as possible in expressing your ideas, expectations and requirements, especially concerning your budget. Be amiable but honest.

Contrary to what is ingrained into many of us, having questions and needing clarification is not a bad thing. You can’t hold back from expressing concerns, asking for explanations and looking for answers, out of politeness. Lack of communication with key players such as your architect and builder will cost you a lot more in terms of time and resources than simply being honest and open in the first place.

A key part of communicating well is understanding what is happening with your project in that moment. We suggest you use this article titled Building a House Step by Step: A Guide From Start to Finish as a guide to help you keep up with the different stages of your build and understand your obligations as the homeowner.


Your Neighbours

Communicating with neighbours is often overlooked when it comes to good relationships on construction projects. But it’s important to remember that, down the line, after you, your architect and builder have gone your separate ways, it is your neighbours who you will have to continue to deal with. It’s important that you build and maintain a good relationship with your neighbours through the construction process and the only way to do this is by communicating well with them.

Inform them of your plans in advance, let them know approximately how long the construction will last and that you’re willing to discuss with them any problems that may arise.

5. Apply early

Most new builds require planning permission from your local planning authority, who you can contact through your local council. (See this official article on Gov.uk to learn more about when you need to apply for planning permissions.)

If you build without the proper planning permission, you are liable to be served with an enforcement notice that will order you to undo all the changes you have made. So, you want to contact your local planning authority early and apply for the proper planning permission so you can start authorised building on schedule.

Your builder and/or architect should inform you if your approved planning permissions do not cover what you want done or if it is not in harmony with building regulations but be sure to check with them before you begin building.

Be aware that any changes you make to your design after receiving planning permission may not be covered by the approval and you will therefore need to reapply for updated planning permission. Consequently, It is best to avoid making changes to your design after it has been approved.



So, remember: know what you want and plan for it. Find the right team for you. Be shrewd and budget. Communicate well and get the approval you need. But most of all, enjoy it! We hope this information guides you on your new construction journey and that the result is as perfect as you hoped it would be!





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