Starting a building project – 7 must-read tips


Starting a project from scratch can be daunting; where to start? what to do when? To help, we’ve got some tips that will get you started on the right track:

  1. Leave thoughts of decoration to the end, you’ll find ideas will come as you’re pouring over plans. The colour of the walls probably represents only 10% of the end result.
  2. Start with room layout and function. Get this right and everything else will follow. It’s this phase that helps you get to know a place and to visualise your life there so don’t rush it.
  3. Tear sheets and Pinterest boards can be a great for sourcing particular details, or to help with a general look and feel – but don’t try to copy a room exactly. They’re also useful for researching layouts; traditional rooms usually have good furniture layouts, even if you don’t like the decoration.
  4. Once you have furniture sorted, move onto electrical plans.
  5. Keep an eye out in antique and junk shops for small pieces that can be purchased here and there and at weekends – they are likely to be bought from your wallet rather than from your project budget which can be saved for big items like curtains, sofas and beds.
  6. In terms of running the works (from approving the budget to the carpet fitter arriving) work with a qualified project manager if you possibly can. Their job is to keep you on budget and on time and to help manage the builders who can be a hard (and costly) group to handle if you’re inexperienced.
  7. Once you have your builder and works are underway you can start getting excited about decorating. Test paint colours on wooden boards so you can move them around the rooms and they are not influenced by colours next to them.

Need more help? Why not come to one of our Complete House workshops where Rita will advise on everything from kitchen design and electrical plans to fabric choices and wall colours. You can find out more here