In the south east of the United Kingdom there are still many opportunities for building projects including the conversion of old barns and oast houses into ideal private residences, the renovation and restoration of old and period properties and a Grand Designs staple, which in this region is hiring a reputable architect and builder to design and build in Kent, East Sussex or Surrey.
Focusing on the design and build of a new home for folk, who have perhaps invested their hard earned money into an ideally located piece of land, is our topic for this page, but designing and building encompasses barn conversions, period property restoration and property extensions in Surrey, Kent and East Sussex.
That dream of building your own home
Most people who are contemplating the big undertaking of designing and building their own home have a pretty large task ahead of them. But it’s a task that can be shared by hiring experts who can utilise their experience to deal with each aspect of your new build.
So how do you get started after that initial spark of an idea that you and perhaps your family, are going to move from your current housing situation to a home that will be built and laid out exactly as you wish and need?
As stated above you can hire professionals to handle any or all of the tasks involved so you could start by breaking whole project down into smaller tasks and assign people to each one. So how does it break down, you may ask:
Consider Your Budget
The most important item on the agenda is your budget. There are numbers you will already know and plenty that you won’t, but you must have room for extra unseen expenses. You’ll need to factor in costs like land purchase, hiring architects, builders, interior designers, materials, planning submission fees and so on.
A Place For Your Home To Live
Secondly, you obviously need somewhere to put your new property. You may already have some land or you may need to find some. If you need to find a parcel of land, a good website to check out is Plot Finder.
Popular areas/towns for development include:
- Tunbridge Wells
In East Sussex:
- Reigate and Redhill
Find Your Architect And Building Company
The next task on your list is to find a good, reputable architect in Kent (or architect in East Sussex depending on your project). You may know one already, but that isn’t the case for most people. A search online will give you possibilities to check out, but you must remember to look out for examples of their work and whether or not they are likely to be able to take on your particular type of project. Look for similarities in the kinds of materials you envisage using for your home, for example, the type of cladding you would like. If you have no real idea of what might be possible, the architect you eventually hire should be more than happy to help.
You will obviously need good house builders in Kent. Again, doing your due diligence will save you so much time, money and potential headaches.
Examples of a building company’s work is the first thing to check. A decent building firm’s website will show you pictorial examples of work they’ve done in the past and again, the type of building materials they are used to working with.
Your architect will more than likely know and recommend building contractors in Kent they’ve worked with in the past. From an architect’s point of view, builders that can translate their plans and drawings accurately are very important to them.
Hire Someone Else To Manage The Whole Project
Another task is to find a project manager, that’s if your architect or builder don’t already undertake that role themselves. If you’ve seen the television series Grand Designs, you’ll have seen some clients taking on the role of Project manager themselves. The good side of this is that you can communicate every aspect of the build to your architect and builders without first having to brief your hired project manager.
This is the big advantage of you being in the driving seat. Of course you are the client and you have the say, but explaining things to a builder yourself can prove very fruitful if you know sufficient construction speak. Most people don’t however and giving the responsibility to another person with experience can be a very wise move.
The other disadvantage of taking on the project management role yourself, is one of time; you may have a full time job and devoting yourself to both roles will be a real test of resolve. On the other hand, you may all the time needed if you are retired etc.
This May Be Your Biggest Project – Patience Is Golden
Lastly, but not least, you should have a plentiful supply of patience. You’ll need it in whatever capacity you have in the construction of your new home. Expect the unexpected is a mantra often put forward and with house or cottage building, this is so true.
Hiring An All-In-One Solution
If you’re looking for an all in one house building experience, where you can be as hands off or on (as close to self build) as possible, companies do exist that cover the whole gamut of building your home from the initial ideas to handing you the keys.
One such company who deal with every aspect of design and build in Kent and East Sussex and Surrey and are specialists in the field, are Vernacular Homes Ltd and you can contact them by email or by phone on 01233 861177 – your point of contact is Trevor Weeks (Director).