Clifton Design Associates



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you can design and build a living space to your own hopes and needs provided that information and advice is readily available. Now the internet means access to infinite information, building for yourself is easier...

Often people have an good idea of what they want, it's knowing how to get there that causes a problem - either how to do it well enough, or how to use professional help, and what to expect as you go.

If you do go the 'self-build' way ensure you allow yourself plenty of thinking time - even the smallest domestic project is complex to fit together. The more the details are sorted and each element given its place before building starts the neater and cheaper the results. And the more stylish and pleasing. Many reputable local builders can take on a small domestic extension without problem, once it is designed and planned. We recommend you use an architect (of course) both because they will be able to design and plan it better, taking everything into account from the start, but above all ensuring your interests are paramount.

Builders will have their own ideas which may not line up with yours, so you need to be clear what you want. Then, in absence of an architect, listen to your builders' advice as they have to make it work, meet standards, regulations, keep out the weather, fit together the 3D jigsaw. If it is a very small job a contractor can arrange Building Regulations approval without needing to submit full drawings to the Local Council, though you will have to trust them to sort it out to meet your needs. Ensure you and they know 'how' as well as 'what' before work starts...and get a detailed quote for it in writing, for the builder's sake as well as yours.

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