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Home improvement projects are fun, but they can also be expensive and time consuming. Use this checklist to make sure that you’re prepared for any potential problems before starting your next big project.

Can You Afford the Project?

Before you start any project, make sure you have enough money available to complete it. If you’re not sure whether you’ll be able to afford the project, talk with a lender or financial advisor first. The cost of building materials, building contractors, the cost of delays, potential storage options and even the cost of living elsewhere if needs be, all need to be considered.

Do you Need Planning Permission?

Before embarking on any building project, it is essential to consider necessary local authority permissions that must be obtained. Not all architectural projects require planning permission, as there is a possibility that the work could be completed under permitted development. Building regulations must also be considered, because even if there is no requirement for planning permission, architectural plans for building control approval may be required.

Is there Enough Room for Storage?

You should also think about how much storage space you need. A lot of people underestimate just how much stuff they actually own. It’s easy to forget about items that aren’t used very often, but they still take up room. Some building projects are so extensive, that some require external storage outside of the home. If this is the case, the cost of external storage must also be factored in – especially if building works run over.

Choose a Contractor.

Before you start your next home improvement project, choose a contractor that has experience with your type of project. Ask friends and family members for recommendations, as well as checking online reviews. If you find a company that seems reputable, ask them for references. You should feel comfortable with the company’s work ethic and communication skills. It is also wise to visit previous projects to see if they have been completed to a high standard. Ensure that all quotes and contracts are in writing and that the terms are clear.

Do Some Research.  

Choose materials carefully. Look for products that will last and resist wear and tear. Also consider how much maintenance each material requires. A building contractor can advise on materials and as always, cheapest isn’t always best. When researching, consider companies that offer guarantees for items such as windows and doors.

Start with a Plan.

If you’re planning a major renovation project, start early so you can make sure you have enough time to complete it. It’s also helpful to write down a list of things you need to accomplish before you begin. This will help keep you focused and ensure that you don’t forget anything. If you are set on starting home improvement works, engage an architectural designer, who can help create architectural plans to comply with planning permission guidelines and building regulation specifications.

Some homeowners try to save on the cost of engaging an architect and often try to submit their own drawings to the local authority – only to find that they have are rejected. Please don’t waste the council application fee by doing it on your own. An architectural designer produces plans to scale and size, with all necessary elements – as required by the local authority. An architectural designer can also advise on approximate costings, materials, planning guidance and building regulation rules, all whilst keeping the functional design in mind. Arkiplan also submit architectural plans and liaise with the local authority at no additional cost. For advice or next steps, do not hesitate to contact us.