No two projects are alike, but of course most projects share a few common features. We get projects where the brief starts off almost identically, and we have projects where the house is a standard design known to us from a previous job, but we have never received the same brief for the same house type. I can see that this may happen one day, but I highly doubt that the approved scheme and/or the finished building will be the same because in truth, each design project has its own life and evolves from the brief to the point where the building work starts differently. Some projects continue to evolve after this point but they really shouldn’t, because changing the design after the contract has been agreed with the builder is just asking for trouble. It’s not only because by doing this you’re basically signing a blank cheque, but also because it messes up a builders programmed finishing date, and possibly the next clients building start date too.
As I say to clients, the key to a successful project is fourfold:
- A good, rational scheme – not boring, but no more complex than necessary.
- Have a good set of working plans produced.
- Choose your builder with care.
- Don’t change your mind once the work starts.
We can help with all of these aspects of course, although ultimately the last one is up to you. Of course if during the evolution or development of the scheme, all the sensible ideas have been aired, then you will very hopefully be less inclined to change your mind. Therefore the scheme development phase is absolutely essential. You should ensure that your architect or designer gives your project the utmost attention at this stage of the project.
Written by Emmanuelle Clement – Building Tectonics.