Writing Your Brief

The brief is the starting point for all projects and its importance cannot be over-stated. A clear brief will help you and your architect bring your ideas to life and avoid delays and disappointment!

Here is a list of points that could be incorporated or discussed in order to produce a comprehensive brief:

  1. What are you trying to achieve from the project? Any building project usually involves a not insubstantial sum of money being spent, therefore it is important to crystallise your aims and goals at an early stage.
  2. How do you currently live in your house? Do you like open-plan living or do prefer a space that allows some separation? Your house is the backdrop to your life and a reflection of your personality.
  3. What are the important spaces in your house? Are you someone who likes to throw huge dinner parties with guests gathered in the kitchen or do you prefer a separate dining area where chaos in the kitchen is hidden from view?
  4. Do you have a dog that needs to be hosed down and dried after walks?
  5. Do you have a particular sport that will require a large amount of storage space?
  6. Do you want numerous spare rooms or a space that can double as a study as well as an extra bedroom?
  7. Is your garden a key element?
  8. How much storage is required (there is never enough so it is wise to think big).
  9. Is sustainability an important factor?
  10. Are you intending to stay in your extended house/new home or is it a stepping stone?
  11. Most importantly, what is your budget? Be realistic. It is very easy to get carried away. And remember, domestic projects unless a new house, will generally have to include VAT on top of the build cost – a sizeable chunk at 20%.

Let us know what sort of buildings you like and why. It is worth spending some time researching architectural styles, and building materials and tell us why you like them. Illustrations are always useful and help to steer you towards your ideal design.

The brief should be a document where you distil all your likes, dislikes and ideas about where and how you live or want to live. Get writing!