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Even the simplest of house extension projects can cause stress and cost more than needed!

Here's a short guide to a stress free cost effective building project.

The most successful architectural projects are creative collaborations that take the client and the architect on a hugely satisfying journey as initial ideas and concepts are transformed into a solid three dimensional reality. Like almost any other relationship it requires good communication, mutual respect and trust, and a little chemistry. If you get it right it will SAVE YOU MONEY!

1: Choose the Architect who is right for you

While a recommendation from a friend is a great place to start, remember that this is going to be a long-term relationship. Personality-fit, trust, and mutual respect are probably more important than anything else.

2: Don't be passive

This is a collaboration and while architects don't expect clients to have all the answers, they do expect them to ask lots of questions, especially at the planning stage. Don't pretend that you can visualize something if you can't. If it doesn't make sense - keep asking questions until it does, or until your architect comes up with another solution.

3: Be open-minded

It's not the same thing as being passive or a push-over. The relationship will work best when your architect has the freedom and scope to delight and surprise you with ideas you would never have thought of (that's why you've engaged them).

4: Be fully informed

If this is the first time you have used an architect, make sure you are fully informed about the process. Be very clear about who has responsibility for what.

5: Communicate, communicate, communicate

Be absolutely clear about what you expect and make sure that the architect is aware of that. Don't move on to the next design development phase until you are fully satisfied that you know what the expectations are on both sides.

6: Involve your architect in selecting the builder

Not all builders will be right for your job. Your architect can arrange the tender process to select the right builder. The three of you will need to collaborate well so make sure that there is mutual respect in all directions.

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