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Tips & Advice

The Site

Before deciding on a site it is important to gather as much information as possible such as the locations of existing water and electrical supplies and any drainage services.

It is advisable to consult with the local Planning Department at the earliest opportunity to ensure you are aware of any planning issues which may be relevant to your preferred site.

You should also consider the access to the site from the outset as some steeply sloping sites may make it difficult or even impossible to achieve road access which meets the required standard.


When you apply for Planning Permission the Planning department will want to be satisfied that your proposal is appropriate for its context and is in keeping with the style of the surrounding houses. While some people opt for a traditional style, a carefully designed contemporary house can also meet these requirements and provide a stylish home which compliments the traditions of the architectural style of the area.


When considering your budget it is important to consider all aspects of the project, not just the build cost. This will include the connection to services, fees for your Planning and Building Warrant applications and your Architects and other professional fees, as well as your legal fees and the cost of purchasing your site.

Materials and Technology

With the increasing focus on conserving energy and natural resources, the construction industry is continually developing new techniques and methods to improve the energy performance and lower the carbon dioxide emissions for new homes. When you are considering which materials or heating systems may be right for your project it is important to consider on-going maintenance and running costs as well as the initial price you will pay.


You may have a builder for your project in mind from the outset or you might want to approach various contractors for quotations once you have a design prepared. However you wish to deal with the appointment of a builder for your project it is a good idea to get in touch with them at an early stage to determine their availability. It can be the case that builders are booked up quite far in advance and some may not be able to work within your timescale.

For more information please download our free ebook 'Working with an Architect'.