Building Project

5 things to consider when planning your project

Advice from RIBA Chartered Architect

Planning your project is probably the culmination of much thought, perhaps over years. Now you’re now about to realise your dream. An architect should be at the very heart of your strategy.

1  Understand what you want to achieve

It is important to have clarity of what success looks like before the work starts. Things will evolve and decisions will be made, but to keep stress levels down, budgets on target and the work on schedule, it is important to know the end goal and be able to convey this to your team.

You may know where you want to get to but how do you get there? The innovative approach of the team at Peregrine Mears Architects blends a range of skills and expertise, styles and experience, able to open your mind to options, agree a way forward and deliver. We do this by exploring and agreeing a detailed design brief with you. We have a series of templates, questionnaires and prompts to help you to decide and define what you want in terms of space, function, activities and quality. We also encourage clients to start a Pinterest board to convey the style and feel they prefer.

2  A Realistic Project Programme

It is important to consider options and alternatives, opportunities and possibilities. Peregrine Mears Architects will ensure that you consider everything, looking at challenges to find solutions through creativity and innovation. The conversation will develop; consider the practicalities dreams are dreams but reality will deliver. Consider Building Regulation compliance. What issues are there around gaining planning permission. Is Listed Building or Conservation Area consent required?

Crucially it’s important to allow yourself enough time to consider and make informed decisions during the design stages – its much easier and less expensive to change your mind when a building exists only on paper or virtually than when it is under construction. We can help you by the tools that we use in communicating design ideas, from initial hand sketches, through to 3D CAD models, virtual walk-thoughs and fly-throughs and physical models. All of these give you the confidence to commit to a design idea and help ensure the finished building meets, (or hopefully exceeds), your expectations.

3. Your budget

Take advice on realistic costs. Know from the start what funds you have for your project. The challenge is then how this is spent to deliver the project, your priorities, and the fundamentals. What aspects of your brief are essential and what are merely desirable? Things can change but a sound financial approach is essential. What level of energy efficiency or sustainability is important to you? Do you want to spend more at the outset to lower running costs?  Equally are you looking for finishes that are low maintenance? 

If your project is a commercial or residential development, what yields or level of profit do you need to achieve? We can work with you to identify what impact that will have on the design brief and timescale?

4. Recommendations are great

We aim to advise, guide and help you in planning your project. We look to reduce risks where possible. A reliable recommendation is always a great place to start. Reliable contracts are essential. Remember the lowest price is rarely the best value. Do your research. Build your team carefully, everyone has an important part to play. Peregrine Mears Architects provide a full project management service so we can ensure quality is maintained throughout the build phase and the construction phase.

It is possible that unforeseen issues which arise, more so when dealing with existing, older buildings. We look to keep these to a minimum, anticipating issues in advance based on our experience and working alongside you as things progress, giving you answers and solutions.

5. The devil is in the detail

Finishing touches make a difference. Often a real impact. However, rarely does this actually just happen at the end of the project but are an integral part of the planning process. In fact these could be some of the first details agreed. Experience and expertise is invaluable in your planning of all the aspects of a project, backed by the ability and skills to bring it all together to deliver.

The fundamental motivation of the Peregrine Mears Architects practice is the desire that every client feels that they have achieved the very best with their project in the circumstances and within their budget. Projects can be complex and challenging. Rarely are they without stresses and pressures, so we do all we can to ensure your plans are realised and relieve you of as much of the stress as possible to allow you to enjoy the experience.

These are high level thoughts; this is the start. Projects are exciting for our clients and our team. We really get involved and invested in our clients’ projects, from that first meeting to completion. So the first step to realise your project is to talk to us and see how Peregrine Mears Architects’ approach is different. An initial consultation is always in confidence, without obligation and free, so call 01271 377 776 at our offices in Exeter, Barnstaple in Devon and Truro in Cornwall.