Ok, so you’ve decided that enough is enough, your home needs some drastic changes and you’re gonna get the builders in be it to make the place bigger with an extension, loft or basement, maybe give it a new look or some reconfiguring of the layout of the place.
Whatever it is you fancy getting done, there is one golden rule in construction: Make your mind up early, be sure on what it is you want and don’t stray from it.
The biggest mistakes that happen on building jobs is that the client changes their minds whilst the building work is going on.
What Happens When You Get Work Done To Your Home
There are 2 phases to the home building process:
The first phase is called the Creative phase and the second phase is called the Organised phase.
The Creative Phase is all about design and the Organised Phase is all about building it.
Trying to be very organised in the first phase doesn’t lend itself to good design.
Similarly being creative in the second phase doesn’t lend itself to good construction where timing & co-ordination need to be very organised.
The Million Pound Secret
So here’s the million pound no. 1 secret that I have learned about building projects.
Don’t mix these two different phases up.
Don’t try and be creative in the organised phase and vice versa.
Designs are organic creatures and whilst there is a method to it, there is also a certain chaos to it too.
Be as imaginative as you like during the creative phase of your project and don’t settle for anything less than a great design.
If you or your significant other are the creative type then this phase is ideal for you.
You can also change your mind as many times as you want in this phase to get that perfect design for you & your family without screwing up the organisation & planning of your project.
Once you go into the Organised phase of your building work however, the dynamic of your project changes and it becomes all about planning out how the construction of the work will be structured and carried out.
And timing everything as accurately as possible so to give the whole project a great chance of actually running smoothly & on budget…
Trying to be creative in this phase means changing things and any changes now are going to have massive implications to the planning and timing of everything in your project.
The results are usually devastating as it’s very difficult to see the repercussions further on down the line and believe me there will be repercussions.
And it’s also very difficult to re-plan things all over again.
Put it this way – after working on over £400mil pounds worth of properties, I have yet to work on one that ever recovered from a big change that occurred when everything was getting built.
It’s never happened.
There are just too many variables to fix and re-plan.
Like Throwing A Stone In A Pond
Look, it’s like throwing a stone in a pond, when the stone hits the water, there is a big splash and then there are large ripples in the pond…
Then the ripples get smaller and smaller and then slowly recede altogether…
But when everything appears to have returned to normal, the fact is that the stone is still there…
So even when it appears that any change you make during the building work can be made without any adverse effect to your project, there are always a bunch of things it will affect that are not immediately apparent.
Any changing of your mind at this phase is going to cost you and cost you big.
And a lot of these additional expenses will not be easily visible when they do happen, your project will feel like it’s still on track when in fact it is suffering from the change you made earlier.
Just like the pond that appears to have returned to normal but now has a big stone in it.
This is the no. 1 reason why construction projects end up wayyyy more expensive than they should, take longer, etc
Does this all make sense?
Knowing Your ‘Needs’ & ‘Wants’
So to help you get clear on what it is you want to achieve with your project we’ve compiled a bit of a questionnaire for you to fill out.
Don’t worry it’s nothing heavy, think of it as a way of getting your thoughts out on paper which can be a tricky thing.
If you can’t describe it on paper then you’re going to have a tough time explaining it to another human being.
So here’s a questionnaire for you to ponder over.
It’s called Knowing Your Needs & Wants.
Needs are the “Must-have” parts of improving your home for you & your family.
The Wants are “it would be nice to have but I can live without it” parts of your project.
The Needs tend to revolve around you and your family’s lifestyle and how you actually intend on using the house.
The Wants are the extra and above parts of the project and are things you would like to have in your home but aren’t essential to how you live.
If you do not spend a bit of time really thinking about your Needs & Wants, you will end up changing your mind a lot later during the building work when it will cost you an arm and a leg to make these changes whilst the construction work is going on.
So to avoid making this mistake brainstorm these needs & wants, by filling out these exercises with a pen and piece of paper.
It’s really as simple as that!
The ‘Needs’ & ‘Wants’ Questionnaire
Here are some questions that will help you when planning your refurbishment around you and your family, you can also download a PDF list of this questionnaire found here.
- Examine your current lifestyle and how you and your family currently use your home
– Which rooms do you use a lot?
– Which rooms do you hardly use at all?
- Identify what parts of the house could be better tailored to your lifestyle, i.e. what frustrates you or a member of your family about the house?
- Rate each room in your house on a scale of 1 to 10 on its adequacy on how you use it. Why do you think that is?
- Rate each room from 1 to 10 in terms of:
– How much sunlight does it get?
– Rate the quality and adequacy of the electric lighting
– Does it have enough space for its use?
– How much do you like the colour scheme in the room?
– If carpeted, does it look good?
– If wallpapered, does it look good?
– Is the stuff in the room placed as to maximise the adequacy of the room?
- Look at each room in your home and ask answer these questions for each room:
– How do you intend to use the room after you refurbish your property?
– How busy or quiet is the room going to be?
– How many people will use the room?
– Is the room going to be used most during the day or evening, week or weekend?
– Does the room feel big or small?
- If you had a magic wand, what would be the one thing that you would change about your house?
- If you had a magic wand, what would be the one thing that you would love to have in your house?
- Are there any rooms or spaces that you’d like to have but currently don’t have room for? Here are a few examples:Which rooms do you use a lot?
– Family room
– Room of Your Own
– Mudroom/pet room
– Mail-sorting place
– Utility room
– Master bedroom suite
– Extra bedroom
– Home office
– Storage room
– Home Cinema
– Swimming Pool
- Will these extra rooms require an extension, or are there underutilized rooms or spaces within your existing house that can be repurposed?
- Are there appropriate places within the existing footprint to accommodate the additional rooms and spaces you want?
- Which of the rooms listed are “needs” which means you must have them and which are “wants” which means it would be nice to have but you could live without them?
- Are there any existing rooms or spaces that you would like to redecorate, update or improve?
- Are there pictures from magazines and websites of rooms & spaces you like the look of?
- Examine your current lifestyle and how you and your family currently use your home
You can also download a PDF list of this questionnaire found here.
If you’re going to be spending a lot of money on your home then it’s well worth spending a bit of time with this questionnaire because a little time spent now will save you a lot of money down the line not to mention the stress & hassle that comes with it.
Need Financing To Get That Much Needed Extra Space In Your Home?
Pretty much most of our clients require financing to get the badly needed work done to their homes and start enjoying that extra space sooner rather than later.
So we’ve reached out and partnered with Norton Finance to help you get the best deals & loan rates when raising the cash to get the work done to your home.
Let’s face it, it ain’t cheap especially in London.
So if you would like to see what our friends at Norton can do for you then simply click on the link below.
You’ll get brought to our affiliate page where you simply fill out your details, what kind of loan you want and for how much and they’ll let you know what funds you can.
It’s a completely free quote with no strings attached.
Now to be completely transparent we do get a commission if you raise financing through Norton.
That said we’ve been doing this for nearly 20 years now and we only promote what we see as quality products & services to our readers and subscribers.
We’re very careful who we partner with as we have a reputation to live up to and that means serving you at our very best all of the time.
So to find out more about your financing options all you have to do is click the link below:
Declan Connolly is the founder of Bespoke Home Design. He has been designing peoples homes for the last 18 years and personally worked on over a thousand peoples projects – roughly £400mil pounds worth of properties right across the UK. You can connect with Declan on Facebook