How Much Will it Cost Me to Improve my house ? 3 Steps to a Successful Building Project

HomeArchitectureHow Much Will it Cost Me to Improve my house ? 3 Steps to a Successful Building Project

How Much Will it Cost Me to Improve my house ? 3 Steps to a Successful Building Project

This article was inspired by my friends and family, who have recently moved into a new home, bought a holiday let or second home ,or are planning to build from scratch.

In response we have prepared an easy-to-follow check list enabling you to focus on essentials and smoothly sail through the process.

So, without further ado…

Step 1: Ask yourself WHY you want to improve your home/house/property?

There may be just not enough space to entertain your family and friends when they come to visit or stay for the weekend, or holidays.

You may consider renting out the house or a part of it to support the monthly upkeep.

Are you considering letting through AirBnB?

Sometimes the house is simply not big enough to accommodate all your activities or requires adjustments to suit your busy and active lifestyle.

The list goes on and on!

MAKE A LIST that answers these questions:

  1. WHY do you want to improve your house? WHY do you want to build a new house? WHY do you want to improve your flat?

List things you like about the space and those that annoy you. Is there a scale you can apply? E.g., *Scale 1-10? Make a wish list!

  1. WHAT is your time scale?

Do all the improvements need to be done at once? Are you relaxed about things being done at the later date e.g., tier 1 and 2 alterations?

  1. WHAT is your budget? How much would you like to spend on the alterations? How much can you afford? Any financing options to consider?

Is there a cap on spendings? Do you fear overcapitalising? Have you consulted an estate agent to figure out what the property will be worth when the project is finished? Aiming to re-mortgage? Savings? Mum & dad’s bank?

Are you eligible for any concessions (e.g., reduced VAT charge)?

  1. WHAT are your DIY skills?

Can you manage some of the works yourself, with a friend?

Do you have enough time and skill for the project? Apply *scale 1-10.

*Any item below 8/9 you should delegate.


An important question to ask yourself, and I think you should speak with a professional at this stage.

Why not to reach out to us? Here is our email address: and telephone number: 01491 528912.

We offer free initial consultations.

Step 3: WHAT happens next?

Two options here…

A: Either you engage a professional team…

B: Or you manage the project yourself….

Option A:

MarbleAir Architects can help you with literally every aspect of the project… this being from creative design to a full hands-on project management … and we mean it!

Refer to this blog to find out about our services:

Option B:

In this scenario this is you taking the reins… and so the things to watch out for:

  1. You will require planning permission for any external changes. If you live in a listed property, you must secure listed building consent for any internal changes too. This link will give you more insights into what’s permissible (Permitted Development Rights) and what alterations will require planning application:
  2. Comprehensive set of information to instruct and to negotiate the cost for the building works – and I would not skim on the professional support at this stage. You could engage either an architectural practice or a draughtsman to help you to prepare the construction information. More info:
  1. Architectural plans (2) will require structural calculations and so please consider appointment of a structural engineer. How many times have we been approached by individuals who removed a partition e.g., between a kitchen and dining room, which was loadbearing! These sorts of actions can be dangerous and so please do not refrain from appointing a structural engineer before taking down any fixed structure in your home.

Do you need help in finding a structural engineer? Contact us at and telephone number: 01491 528912.

  1. Only employ reputable builders with good reviews to manage the construction works. They should not ask you for upfront payments or deposits and they should be open about their charges and fees. The industry only acknowledges interim payments for works and material on site. We also advise you to speak with their past clients and visit sites or buildings they have worked on.
  2. Use one of Homeowner JCT Contracts to appoint the contractor.
  3. Check whether your project must be registered with Building Control. If yes, you can appoint either a council-based building control or approved inspectors who are a private equivalent of the former.

Confused? Give us a quick call to set you mind at rest: 01491 528912.


These are the 3 STEPS to making your project successful.

Remember, if the project management becomes or sounds daunting, an investment in professional services will pay dividends.

If you wish to talk things through with us, please do not hesitate to call or email us on , 01491 528912.

Otherwise – happy sailing!