Checklist for Clients - Private Homes


When we meet in person, it would be useful if you could highlight key ambitions and concerns for your project, including deadlines and budget.  So please consider the following:

Reasons behind your project
What are your main reasons for carrying out the works:
-  To create extra room?
-  To improve on the arrangement of spaces you already have?
-  To refurbish a property that's now become run down?
-  To change the style of existing spaces?
-  Is the primary reason to improve the financial value of your property?

The extent of our involvement
Our preference is to work with you to create a complete design, down to the smallest detail.  This includes helping you choose fittings and finishes.  However you may prefer to choose them yourself, or work with an interior or garden designer or kitchen specialist etc. So to avoid any duplication of work and fees, please specify if you want us to be involved in the following so we're clear about who does what:
-  Design the overall arrangement of your building
-  Get involved in the design detail of kitchen and bathrooms including fittings, floor and wall
    finishes and so on
-  Talk to you about what you like and make suggestions for fittings such as lights and
    ironmongery, floor and wall finishes, colour schemes, fitted furniture etc and show you
    illustrations and material samples to choose from
-  Create a garden design and detail hard landscaping such as paving and walls - but we can't
    specify planting
-  Other (please specify)

Your time
Superior results are achieved from a successful collaboration betwen yourself and the Architect.  This will demand your time and attention, as well as ours.  So please carefully consider how much time you can dedicate to the project yourself, especially in relation to the following:
-  Will you be able to attend meetings at a practical time when you aren't tired and hungry or
    distracted by the kids?
-  Will you be able to set aside time to look at samples, make visits and choose materials with us? 
    We will of course advise on all of these, but your active involvement at the design and
    construction stages will contribute greatly to the end success of your project.

Other consultants
We will advise on the need for other specialist consultants such as structural engineers and can suggest names but is there any individual company that you particularly want to involve in the project?  For example:
-  Structural engineer
-  Mechanical and electrical engineer
-  Interior designer
-  Garden designer
-  Lighting designer
-  AV specialist
-  Other (please specify)

-  Do you have a particular date by which the works have to start?
-  Do you have a date when you need to have all the works completed?
-  Are there any other key milestones?

-  Do you have a set budget? (Remember to include a contingency fund of 10% of the construction
 - Do you have the funds available for the work, or will you need to make financial arrangements? 
    If so, will it place any constraints on timing of the works, for example to draw down a loan?

Your main priority for the works
Please rank the following in order of priority:
-  Cost
-  Quality
-  Time
As a rule of thumb you can only achieve two out of the above three.  For example a cheap, but good quality project, will take a longer time on site.

Pedder & Scampton will naturally design your project to meet current regulations for sustainability.  However, if sustainability is important to you, would you be prepared to pay additional costs for such things as:
-  More sustainable construction materials
-  Renewable energy
-  Water collection and recycling
-  Etc.

-  Do you have a preferred builder?
-  Do you want us to recommend anyone?
-  Do you want us to put the work out to tender?

Your skills
Do you want to do any of the work yourself:
-  Decoration
-  Other (please specify)

Managing the construction
How do you want the construction work to be managed:
-  Do you want us to run the contract with the builder on your behalf during construction?
-  Would you prefer to run the construction work direct with the builder yourself?

Your accommodation
-  Will you be living on site during construction?
-  Will you move out during construction works? (Usually preferable if you can manage it)

Other decision makers
Is there anyone apart from yourselves who will have an input into the decisions?
-  Freeholders consent for example?

How will you judge the project to be a success?

You may find the following website from RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) useful as a resource -
For instance it gives information on:
-  How to choose an Architect
-  Explaining an Architect's services
-  Working with an Architect on your home