2. Engage with the right people

Top tips to avoid going over-budget and over-time on your home refurbishment

There will be no shortage of designers, consultants and contractors vying to be appointed on your project. On residential projects, an architect will often take on the wider project management role and be able to advise you as to any other consultants that you may need to appoint, when you will need them, and most importantly how much they will cost. It is necessary to know this from the outset as it can have quite an impact on your project budget.

As we oversee projects day-in, day-out, architects are well placed to help you build your project team. It pays to work with people who know and have a strong trust in each other built through previous project experience, which is always more reliable than an online review.

You should ask everybody that you intend to appoint for testimonials from previous clients. Most reputable firms will provide them, and satisfied customers will be more than willing to give them. You should also review your consultant’s Professional Indemnity cover to make sure that it is adequate for the size of your project.

Fear is one of the main reasons that home-improvement projects are never realised, which is why building trust with your team is so important. Meet with them and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions. There are many industry bodies that list accredited consultants (for example the RIBA Chartered Practice list for architects, or the Federation of Master Builders for contractors). Whilst these accreditations ensure a basic standard of experience, qualification and regulation, nothing compares with one-to-one engagement in order to develop a trusting professional relationship. And the great thing is that once you find a consultant you like and trust, they will have their own trusted network which you can tap into.