A plan of action
We're living in 'strange times'.
These words are heard so often right now that they don't seem strange at all any more. They're more a reminder of our current status of day-to-day living - business not as usual, imposed yet temporary, yet changing everything at the same time. We had plans, but plans have had to be adjusted, postponed, re-imagined.
By this point, most people will have spent much more time at home recently than they ever thought they would, with more time to consider their own space than they could have imagined. This has most certainly led to observations of what works well about the place (a favourite room, the perfect place to sit to enjoy the morning sun) but also what doesn't (not enough space to be together but doing separate things, a compromised view of the garden).
One of the core beliefs of another architecture + interiors is the importance of home. From conversations I've had lately with current and prospective clients, it's clear that despite the uncertainty, there's a desire to progress with projects that will improve the home around them, both immediately and in the longer term. The extra reflection time has compounded this.
As government guidance is gradually updated on domestic construction work, and builders are able to continue to keep construction sites safe for everyone going forward, there is hope that projects can be realised as planned.
However, in the meantime, there are things you can do right now to make progress on your ideas - a plan of action. Having time to properly plan your project and get things right from the outset can only ever be an advantage, and is something that we do as a studio as a standard process. The points below are of equal importance and provide a place to start:
MAKE A LIST
List down what you like and don't like about the property as it currently is. What works well? What irritates you? Think about how you might live at different times of year, and different times of day. If possible, list these in order of priority. Are there any constraints (such as existing services or access to the property) that might affect the work?
THINK ABOUT YOUR BUDGET
If you can put together a ballpark budget figure, this helps enormously in early discussions with your architect. This also needs to allow for VAT, consultant fees (such as architects' fees, structural engineers' fees) and disbursements such as planning application and building control application fees. This will give a working construction cost budget figure going forward. I also always advise on allowing for a contingency figure for the unexpected - you can read more about this here.
PUT TOGETHER MOOD BOARDS AND PRECEDENTS
Make a scrap book of examples of projects you like. This could also include materials, glazing, brick details and particular features for example. You could use Pinterest or Houzz to group your images, or just collect together cuttings from magazines, websites and design blogs. Both are just as valuable.
Is there a key date when building work needs to be complete by? Or avoided completely? Or are there no real restrictions on your timescales? It's worth pointing out the obvious that building work can be very disruptive - could you live in the house while the work is being done?
THINK ABOUT WHICH DESIGN SERVICES YOU NEED
Have you built anything before? This often influences the extent of services you'll need your architect to provide. Do you just need input up to and including your planning submission? Do you already know a builder or have one in mind? You can read about the services we offer here.
GET IN TOUCH!
If you're ready to start chatting about the project you have in mind, get in touch to discuss how to start the process remotely. It doesn't matter if you've just decided to explore your options and would like to talk about the process, or if you've been surrounded by magazines for months!
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Sarah [another a + i]