Useful Questions Before you Start

Before embarking on the design and construction of a new building project, it can be useful to ask yourself a number of questions prior to getting started. Responding to these queries will help clarify, both to yourself and your Architect, the aims of the project, the reasons for undertaking building works, and ways in which design might improve the quality of life being sought. The answers you give will help formulate the brief to the Architect, providing a positive foundation and relevant reference point throughout the course of the project.

The Existing Building

Q. Describe your current home: What do you like about it? What's missing? What don't you like? How do you want to change the spaces you have?

Q. Why do you want to build or extend/renovate your current property?


Use and Inhabitation

Q. What is your lifestyle? Are you at home a great deal? Do you work at home? Do you entertain often?

Q. How much time do you spend occupying the living areas, bedroom, kitchen, utility space, etc.?

Q. If you are thinking of extending, what functions or activities will be housed in the new space?

Q. What is the nature and extent of the spaces you'd like to change or add?


Budget and Timelines

Q. How much can you realistically afford to spend? Bear in mind construction work is subject to VAT.

Q. How soon would you like to be settled into your new home or extension? Are there any time constraints to consider?


Design Intent

Q. Do you have strong ideas about design? What are your design preferences?

Q. Who will be the primary contact with the Architect, contractor, and others involved in designing and building your project?

Q. Is there anyone in the family with a disability or do you envisage staying in the house for a long time? If so, might mobility problems due to aging need to be addressed?

Q. Do you want your building to be energy efficient or to achieve another sustainability goal such as only using low-waste materials?

Further Information

For additional guidance on how to get started and what to expect during the different stages of the design and construction process, please see either Working with an Architect: Commercial or Working with an Architect: Your Home, as per your project's requirements.