Farnham Common Project

Nearing the end of Jan and as the first house receives its roof covering, so the second frame starts to go up.




Timber Frames

An exciting week, this one on our Farnham Common project.  After a slow start on the ground works, the piling contractors are completing the raft on Plot 2 while the first timber frame goes up on Plot 1.

Planning Approval rates

We’re delighted for our Addlestone clients to have planning approval awarded to extend their family home.  This nearly doubles the size of their home and gives the externals make over.

This news gives us a 100% planning pass rate again this year!

Looking forward to seeing the finished article now!!


How to decorate your new space

So you have your new space and now need to think about decoration, whether it be tying it into your current scheme or starting a whole new look for your home.  Where do you start?


Farrow and Ball offer some good pointers on different styles of decorating, but most importantly in my view, how light affects colour.  Natural light from North and South facing rooms affects the feel of a room very differently and so need different approaches.

Their website also offers inspiration and some good advice on how to use colour and different styles of decorating.

If you are still not 100% sure, Farrow and Ball also offer an in home colour consultancy which can be booked through your nearest branch.

Planning applications on the up

Latest quarterly data on planning applications made in England between April and June 2016 show that between April and June 2016, district level planning authorities in England received 132,000 applications, up seven per cent on the corresponding quarter of 2015.

During the second quarter of 2016 authorities granted 100,900 decisions, up six per cent from the same quarter in 2015; this is equivalent to 88 per cent of decisions and decided 83 per cent of major applications within 13 weeks or the agreed time, up from 79 per cent a year earlier.

These figures also showed that there were 11,900 applications for prior approval for permitted development rights during April to June 2016, up seven per cent from the same quarter of 2015.

Around 9,700 of those applications were approved without having to go through the full planning process, up eight per cent on a year earlier.

Crazy, but for a wonderful cause

A 4,000km non-stop, unsupported bike race from Belgium to Turkey!

My good friend Darren is going the extra mile to raise money for Cancer Research UK.  Well, 2,500 miles to be precise.

He set off on an unsupported bike ride from Belgium to Turkey, on Friday 29th July Updates will be available via social media, but you can follow his progress through his GPS tracker. 

How to follow the race

Cancer affects 1 person in every 2!  That number is HUGE!  Think about it, it’s you or your partner, half of your friends. Half of your kids!

I can’t imagine sitting on a bike saddle for that distance or time, so please make his pain worthwhile and support his cause by donating generously.  You can read his blogs and donate to his Just Giving page by visiting The Adventure Capitalist on WordPress.

Together, we will beat Cancer!


Project Management

“The Project Manager is the most important role after the architect” – Kevin McCloud Grand Designs Handbook

There are many definitions of what a Project Manager is and what they do, and it is sometimes difficult to explain to a prospective client the benefits of employing one.

Below are a few of the tasks a Project Manager undertakes;

  1. Programme Management – Creating a detailed Project Plan at the outset with targets and milestones so all involved know what is going to happen and when.  This needs to monitored and updated as the build progresses to keep the project on track.
  2. Cost management – Creation of a realistic budget and contingencies which can only come from experience.  No matter how well planned, there will always be unexpected complications or additions.  changes during the build process are common and unless controlled, a client can find themselves over budget with no record of where those costs accumulated.
  3. Quality Control – Supervision & coordination of labour, materials, inspections, payment dates are all essential to keep a project on track..
  4. Coordination – Building Control inspections, payment dates, material and labour supply. Successful coordination is essential to keep a project on track.
  5. Problem Solving – Every build brings its own unique set of issues to overcome. An experienced Project Manager needs to think on his feet to find a resolution or re-organise works until a resolution can be found

If you are still not convinced, read the following quotes;

Kevin McCloud Grand Designs Handbook – The Project Manager is the most important role after the architect: one individual who takes the responsibility for seeing the whole project through from start to finish. The best team arrangement is, in my view to employ an architect, an independent project manager and a builder or set of sub-contractors.”

UK Association of Project Managers Project management is the process by which projects are defined, planned, monitored, controlled and delivered such that the agreed benefits are realised. Projects bring about change and project management is recognised as the most efficient way of managing such change.”

UK Office of Government and Commerce Experience has shown that projects are inherently at riskthrough overrunning on time and cost and/or failing to deliver a successful outcome. Project management helps to reduce and manage the risk.”

Business Management Magazine OnlineHaving good project management skills does not mean you have no problems. It does not mean that there are no surprises. The value of good project management is that you have a proactive mind set and standard processes in place to deal with all of these events.”

Channel4.com/4homes  “Time is Money. One of the most demanding aspects of any self build is the project management. This isn’t a role that just anyone can take on. It demands the ability to juggle the ordering of materials, worker priorities and everything else that gets the house built, including the money.”