The beginning of a New Year is always busy with new projects. We all want to start the year afresh and make this better than the year before.
Many homeowners having spent a fortnight at home with the family decide that they need to make changes or add more space. This might be space to host large dinners for a growing family, a spare room for visitors or somewhere to work on all those new years resolutions - perhaps a home gym or project room. To help you with your decision making we have put together some tips to consider when deciding how to improve your home.
If you need help we offer a free phone consultation and our home design consultations are the ideal first step to take. We wish you the best of luck with any home improvements you might be considering this year.
1. Decide what you need
There are lots of things to consider when improving your home. Try to think strategically to help with deciding what work to have done. We often find that through carefully questioning our clients during our first meetings, to understand the bigger picture, we find solutions that they hadn't imagined and that can be much better value for money. Sometimes a big extension is not the answer to giving you the home you need. Ask yourself the following questions to help identify what you need and how your home can meet this:
2. Set a Budget
It's best to be realistic about this. Once the budget is set make sure that the works are chosen carefully to fit within this budget. Be aware that sometimes spending a little extra in some areas can save you money in the long run. It's not always necessary to carry out all the work at once but it is usually best to have it all designed together so that the final result is a harmonious whole.
When considering how much to spend make sure you include costs for the following:
We recommend employing a quantity surveyor to put together a budget cost plan based on our sketch designs as this helps early on to ensure that the works carried out are in budget and give you the best value. To give a finger in the air idea of how much the extra space might cost to build we use a rate of £2k per m2. Although nowhere near as accurate as a quantity surveyors estimate, this calculation helps guide initial decisions on how much space is worked on to suit the available budget.
3. Consider build options
How you choose to have your project built can have a huge impact on the cost and speed of the construction and the quality of the end result. Consider how much time you have to devote to the project yourself and what skills you have. Do you want to get hands on and self-build or do you want to hand over the keys and come back to a completed project?
We offer assistance throughout the construction phase and can inspect works, provide advice and solve site problems, carry out contract administration and act as your eyes and ears if you're away. Contact us for details.
These are some of your build options with pros and cons:
Jane Leach, principal architect at i-architect