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Appointing a Designer #1

Carrying out building work to your home can be a daunting, messy and expensive process, so it’s important to appoint the right people to guide you.

You may be reading this because you’re considering your own building project and are on the search for a designer… but where to begin?  Well, in order of preference:

A very good place to start is recommendation from family, friends or colleagues, so ask around anyone you know who may have had work carried out as their experience of the process will be invaluable.

Another good place to start is speaking with builders, they will be able to guide you on what may or may not be possible and may be willing to offer a very rough guide to costs.  They are well placed to recommend a designer as they will have knowledge of which practices produce good quality information for them to build from, which will make their lives easier when it comes to the build.

Then, naturally, there’s the internet – from Google to forums or even Facebook (among others of course) there is a whole world wide web of information out there and it can be a little overwhelming.  For example, simply Googling “House extension designer Brighton” returns almost 5 million results!

We would always suggest speaking with a hand full of different practices to create a list of potential designers, perhaps using a mix of the above.

Take time to check out each practice, look at their website & any social media accounts to see if the type of work they carry out is in-line with what you want to achieve.

Many practices (including us!) offer a free initial meeting to discuss your project so arrange for this with your favoured practices.  This initial meeting offers you a fantastic opportunity to run through your thoughts on-site and to better understand how each designer/practice operates.

Try not to base your decision on the back-catalogue and during this meeting, think about:

·         Do they listen to you?

·         Did they show an interest in your project and what you are hoping to achieve?

·         Can you work together? It’s important to get on due to the time it takes to work through the process.

·         Are they approachable and open to collaborative ideas? I.e. will you be able to shape the design with your ideas as well?

·         Have they discussed the steps involved?

·         Remember to ask questions and find out whether they carry Professional Indemnity insurance.

You’ll undoubtedly have a good feel for which designer you’d like to work with after this process.

At Daintree over 85% of our work comes from recommendation so there’s quite often a good foundation for our initial meeting.

The majority of our projects are for private residential clients and for most of these clients, their project represents a major investment, not only financially, but also in terms of time and emotional investment – you will, after all, see your home being dismantled and rebuilt, sometimes while living on site. 

For these reasons it’s imperative that you find the right designer and invest in the process to achieve the desired outcome. Your designer should explore a number of options for your project. They should respond to your brief but also explore alternatives and challenge your ideas without imposing their ideas on you.

Every project and each client is different, no two are the same. Because of this we don’t have set designs/templates and we don’t have set fees.  We approach each project with a blank sheet and, most importantly, your specific client brief, your wants, needs, aims, objectives, budget etc – as well as things to avoid.

If you would like to book a free initial meeting please contact us to discuss your project on 01273 286 683.

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