Top Tips for renovating or extending your home
Planning an extension for that extra bit of space you’ve always dreamed of? Or maybe you want to simply freshen up your home and create something different without moving house? Whatever your reason for renovating, there’s a lot to consider. The winner of the 2018 Architect of the Year award, Fergus Flanagan Architects have put together some top tips for planning your home renovation project and help you to get to a position where you can make informed decisions.
1. Have a design session at your house with an Architect.
This can be the best investment you make. At around €300, a session with your Architect can give you a wealth of information before you begin your project.
- Your Architect will know what you can get for your budget.
- Give you a series of ideas on how best to extend you home.
- Will talk to you about improved energy efficiency.
- Can inform you on general maintenance.
- Can put the wow factor in your home
- Will inform you if you can live in the house or if you have to rent during the renovation.
- Can give you an indication of how long the project should take so you can plan ahead.
2. Make a wish list of not just things you would like to HAVE in your home but also HOW you would like to live in it.
- A covered terrace will let you BBQ without the fear of it raining.
- Open plan spaces let you entertain more as you have a larger space where you can have family events or invite more people for dinner parties.
- Hobbies: reading. listening to music or even playing musical instruments, Architects can design to allow these to happen while your house operates in a multifunctional way.
3. Get to know what you like.
Build a portfolio of things you like from magazines or websites like Houzz. This will help your Architect in designing for you. Remember the Architect is not designing a house but trying to create a “HOME.” The more of your tastes they can satisfy the better the end result and the more like a home it feels.
4. Working with your Architect.
- Trust your Architect. Don’t work with an Architect that you feel you cannot get on with and make sure they have a policy of returning all calls the same day. It can be a daunting process and sometimes a quick phone call with your Architect is all that is required to let you know all is in hand.
- Only use an Architect who uses 3D modelling software, this will take the mystery out of the design.
- When you get your initial plans & 3D model get a Quantity Surveyor to price these. This way the Architect can change the design at an early stage to ensure that they can keep a lid on the budget costs.
5. Achieving Planning:
Always get a preplanning meeting : this will largely increase your chances of obtaining planning.
6. Get really good working drawings.
This will help you get the best price for your project. Nobody likes to hear “I didn’t allow for this item.” Everything should be kept as black and white as possible. You should also try to get 5 prices on your project, your Architect will organise this and then do a report on the returned tenders.
On site Don’ts
- Don’t have strict time deadlines if you can as it will cost you more. A builder may have 4 jobs on the go at any one time and they don’t like having to split their crews due to a start date. If you are flexible the builder will come in cheaper.
- Don’t buy anything before the build; especially end of stock tiles.
- Don’t change the design on site, do all your design changes prior to going on site, otherwise this will cost you much more as the works may be out of sequence and the builder is not competing with other contractors for the work.
- Don’t approve variations on site without informing your architect. You must always get a price quote first and then the Architect will record it, so at anytime during the project you can keep an eye on how much your build is costing.
- Have a retention sum in your contract, this means that you are holding back as much as 5% of the building contract for 6months after you have finished the project. This allows for defects to appear and you will have a sum of money there to ensure that the builder amends these defects.
Fergus Flanagan Architects are winners of the 2018 Architect of the Year award, Best Irish Residential Project 2018 & Most innovative Residential Design Firm in Irish Republic 2018 and a winner of two British Build Awards.
Fergus Flanagan Architects (Stand O60) and a host of other registered architects from the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) will be at the permanent tsb Ideal Home Show eager to assist you with your home renovations. This one-stop-shop is perfect for those who need advice from concept to creation.
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