Lessons from 2021: There's never a perfect time to build, so just do it!
Updated: Dec 22, 2021
After a very strange 2020, 2021 has been hugely busy at Bliss Architecture & Interiors as clients have taken the plunge to get going with their exciting building projects.
We've had around 23 clients on the go, 20 appointed in 2021 and around 12 planning applications approved to date, with everything from conversions of little outbuildings to offices, to extensions, annexes, total renovations and refurbishments and complete new home builds…not to mention a great project designing a fabulous new cafe at Ashford station for some existing residential clients.
The race for space continues with clients looking to increase or improve their living space as working from home looks set to continue to be the norm - at least part time - for the foreseeable future.
Supply and demand continued to affect building projects with the price of some materials, such as timber, increasing considerably. Builders were finding it hard to quote, both because they were already insanely busy, but also because prices for supplies and subcontractors’ daily rates just kept going up.
For clients this has been frustrating at times, but it simply means you need to be committed to a project; have contingency cash in place, be flexible - being both ready to go if a builder gets a cancellation and also prepared to wait with most good builders being booked up well into next year.
Being understanding of the market and builders’ positions is also key, because you cannot expect the same quoted price to stand if you sit on it for 6 months and the cost of materials has doubled!
All that said, the situation seems to be settling down, with builders once again in a position to quote again and we don't expect 2022 to be nearly as stressful!
From a planning perspective, council planning officers have also been ridiculously busy (and short-staffed) with hundreds of applications each month, so it’s more important than ever to get your plans right from the outset, and be decisive.
Get good advice, make sure you have all the necessary plans and statements prepared, read local planning criteria, especially if you’re in a conservation area, area of outstanding natural beauty / green belt or if your parish has a neighbourhood plan.
Things are going to stay busy for some time, with the lack of housing stock meaning more and more people are choosing to renovate instead of move house.
Organisation, flexibility and realistic expectations of time and budget are all key to your building success. Like most things in life, there's never a perfect time to build. Just get on and do it and we're sure the rewards will be worth it. We are very much looking forward to another year of exciting planning, architecture and design projects with our clients.
If you need advice on planning, architecture or interior design, please don’t hesitate to contact Julie - firstname.lastname@example.org.