No amount of planning or design will cover every variable a building site throws up
The most common question we get asked by potential clients is “how long will my project take?”. The answer is something akin to ‘how long is a piece of string’. The design process has so many variables it’s always hard to give a general idea, and each endeavour is unique. Highly personalised designs will always take longer in the planning stage and the procurement of bespoke pieces, where as doing a property up to sell or for rent will be a very straight forward design and require less time sourcing specific pieces. The original state and age of the building will influence time scales, as you might need to spend 6 months repairing structural faults before you even get to knock down a wall. Any building that is listed or in a conservation zone will need months of paperwork and planning consent added to the build time, and the location and accessibility will influence delivery time and contractor working hours. That’s before you’ve even settled on the scale on the redesign, which could be anything from a month long refresh to 1 year’s total transformation.
Building sites can take longer and be messier than expected
Building projects usually take more time than most people think. Because there is a logical, and generally unchangeable order to works being carried out, any delay will cause all future works to be delayed, and if each aspect of the design runs over 1 day, you can easily end up adding months to your original finish date.
Builders will always give you an estimated finish time based on what they can see. It is up to you to add contingency time to their quote, as nearly every building will throw up something unsuspected. Although the risk is always greater with older properties, we’ve had a few cases where newly built flats have been so poorly designed we’ve had to reinforce load-bearing structures and rewire and plumb.
Whilst it’s a hard question to answer, we are, after all, professionals and can give you a rough idea of what to expect. Our next post will contain a flowchart to guide you through the building process and give you a (rough) idea of times.