6. The Refurb


Well, we had planning permission and an architect, so we set about looking for a builder. Our current architect took us through a set of interviews with trusted developers from their set, a series of conversations that ran fro the sublime to the ridiculous. It left us feeling that the project was being overloaded with expectations beyond our budget, or even its potential, and that some of the ideas were not perhaps buildable!

The RIBA scheme allows you to terminate your contract with the architect at stage D, the one prior to the build, and this is what we elected to do. We had determined that while we had been well served with a design that met our requirements and those of the planning officers, we now needed an architect-technician who could do well-measured drawings of a technical nature a builder would follow.

We had had a builder recommended to us whose estimate came in at half or less those that had been submitted visa our previous architect. He also had in tow an architect who was more of a technician than a designer, which suited us down to the ground. As we suspected, several elements of the design were not in fact buildable as designed and required quite a bit of technical work before they could be implemented.