6 Common mistakes when starting a building project

Whether you’re planning a renovation, extension or a complete new build there are a whole host of pitfalls you can fall into. Beginning any sort of building or renovation work can be a daunting prospect. We’ve compiled a list of the most common mistakes made by those who take on these projects. By reading on, you can make sure to avoid any potential problems and headaches along the way.

1. Rushing In

It’s a very exciting time beginning a new building project. You’re hoping to soon see your dreams become a reality. It is easy to get carried away and jump straight in to a project without proper planning. The more time you spend planning, the more efficient and cost effective your project will be. Equally, the fewer surprises you are likely to come across!

2. Not obtaining all planning permissions and building regulations needed

Do you know whether your extension even needs planning permission? Some smaller projects won’t, but many do. If you’re unsure the first place to visit is the Government Planning Portal website. This will provide you with an overview of how the planning system works. Making sure you are familiar with the process will ensure a project that runs smoothly.

3. Being an inconsiderate neighbour

No matter how well you get on with your neighbours you should always make sure they don’t have any major objections to works you may be undertaking. Keeping them up to date with the plans and build will prevent any unpleasant surprises and potential objections.

4. Poor budgeting

One of the biggest areas where it is easy to become unstuck is budgeting for the project. You want to make sure that your budget is realistic with what you are trying to achieve. Often people don’t include a contingency plan in their budget for any unforeseen costs. You can’t plan for everything, but you can try!Allowing for the finishing touches is important too, and you shouldn’t scrimp on these. You want to be able to show off your new project with pride and not look like you have run out of money by the end of the project.

5. Over ambitious timeframe

It’s important to understand the time involved with your particular project. There is no point rushing through sections of a project to try and meet an unrealistic schedule. You will only create more problems further down the line.

Make sure you are aware of the time it will take to obtain planning permission, find your ideal builder and get them booked in (remember, the ones worth hiring are going to be busy!) and allow for any other potential delays that may occur. The weather often holds up a building project, so keep an eye on the forecast.
Scheduling when materials are going to be delivered should be considered at the planning stages of your project. Having excess building materials hanging around the site when they’re not needed can cause unnecessary problems.

Make sure you are prepared for any eventuality and you will come up with a realistic timeframe which should be easy to meet.

6. Choosing the wrong builder

Your project is only ever going to be as good as your builder. Make sure you do your research and don’t just go for the builder who gave you the cheapest quote. It may seem like you are budgeting at the time but this is an area where you really shouldn’t cut corners. If your builder is not up to the skill level required for you project you could face huge problems down the line. These will need to be fixed costing even more money to put right.

Check out their work before you book them in and don’t be afraid to ask for references from their previous clients. If you have any friends, family or neighbours who have had any building work done, ask them for their recommendations.

If you’ve already thought about all of these points, you should now be feeling a little more confident!

Our biggest top tip for avoiding these potential problems? Always hire a professional! If you are unsure about anything at all it is best to get professional advice and guidance. An investment in a professional’s service can save so much time and money in the long run.

If you’re based in Norfolk, we’re here to help! Check out our three consultancy packages to guide you through your project. Whether you are just in need of initial advice or you would prefer a full project management service, we have an option for every project.

If you feel like you still need a little more help and advice, see our previous blog posts on managing a building project. Or, the typical cost of certain building projects including new homes, garage conversions and loft conversions.