The secret to planning building work to get the best possible results

When it comes to building work, you need to take several factors into account to ensure the job is completed to a high standard and avoid stress and disappointment

These days more people than ever are looking to extend their home, either to avoid the hassle of moving or to add value to their property.

But whatever the reason for the building work you are considering — whether it’s a completely new-build such as a house, or an extension to an existing property — you need to take several factors into account to make sure the job is competed to the highest standard. You also need to have everything in place to enable the building work to run as smoothly as possible.

A Considerable Task

There’s no denying that building an extension is a considerable task. The question is: where do you start to ensure everything turns out right?

Firstly, you need a good architect. A good architect has a natural gift at seeing things that most people cannot, and will be essential to taking the vision/idea you have and turning it into reality.

So the first rule is: do not choose someone just because they are cheap. A good architect is like a good accountant in that they will save you money. Using the knowledge they have on current materials, they will save money on the design and specification. They will also cut the labour costs due to the simplicity of the design. A good architect will also aim to make your home as energy-efficient as possible so that you are saving money years after the work is completed.

Once the architect has completed the drawings, you are likely to need a good structural engineer to provide the design of any structural work which requires calculations. For instance, if load-bearing walls need to be adjusted or completely removed, a good structural engineer will be able to give you a solution by calculating what the new loads will be on the supported walls — something essential to ensure the building is safe and stable.

Find a Professional

Then you will need to find a builder. This seems a simple matter, but is not as easy as most people think. Most people know a family friend who dabbles in a bit of DIY or minor building work, and will often choose them to do the work. But although this is fine for garden walls or smaller tasks, an amateur builder won’t have the skills to do the work to the standard required for a larger task such as a garage extension or a complete new-build.

This means it is essential you choose a company which has both the experience and qualifications to carry out this level of work. How you ensure your building firm is up to scratch will be covered in other posts.

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