4 Important Questions To Answer Before Your Home Renovation 4 Important Questions To Answer Before Your Home Renovation

“Are you planning home renovation works?”


Kitchen - London


Starting your home renovation project can seem like a daunting task – where are you going to find the extra budget? The spare time? Can I deal with any issues or problems on-site?

We’ve prepared a guide to 4 key questions to make sure you answer before you start your home improvement project, whether it’s a full refurbishment, a loft extension,  or a single-storey extension. Answering these challenging questions upfront will help you to plan and schedule effectively and lead you on your way to a stress and hassle-free home improvement project.

1. What are your goals / what are you trying to achieve? 


This question will enable you to gain a great idea of your needs and priorities. Goal setting will enable you to create a brief that better meets your needs and priorities. Key goal setting topics you need to consider are:  

  • What does our ideal home look like? Everything from layouts, size, finishes, fittings, interiors etc. Creating a Pinterest board for inspiration can often help!  
  • What are the ‘must-haves’ versus the ‘nice to haves’?   
  • How long are we planning to be at this property? If it is your forever home, you may consider spending more for a higher quality finish, more space, and better interiors.
  • Do I need to forward a plan for a growing family? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do I need for the foreseeable future?  
  • Is this an investment project? What can I do to add value to my property in the long term? This may involve prioritising extra bedrooms and bathrooms, over your much-wanted home office space or home gym, for example. 

Sky Light Living Room

Setting a Realistic budget

2. What is my realistic budget? 


How much will my house extension cost? This is the most common question we get asked as architects and designers, and unfortunately, there isn’t a clear-cut answer. The total build cost will depend on things such as the quality of the kitchen and sanitary ware you choose and the structural complexity of the project. To help you get started with figuring out your budget, here are 2 key considerations: 

  • Architect fees. As a general guide, architect fees are often around 8-12% of your total build costs IF you are using the full range of services – that’s everything from concept through to site management.
  • Build costs. We approximate using a cost per square metre metric. For example, if you are looking to do a loft conversion, we estimate this will be anywhere from £1500 – £2500 per square metre.


   To find out more, read our ‘Guide to House Extensions Costs’ blog post and check out our ‘Fees’ page on our website. 

3) What surveys and permissions do I need?

There are several surveys, permissions and approvals that you will require to complete for most home renovation projects. This is the stage of the process that you’ll likely require professional help and advice.

You’ll need to check this before starting work to avoid any nasty legal issues down the line. Over half a million buildings in the UK are listed, and you can check your address at British Listed Buildings. 

  • Is my home within a conservation area?  

If so, this may affect any works you are planning to the exterior of your home and may require you to achieve full planning permission (where permitted development would normally apply). Before you start, check your home status with your local planning authority. 

The Planning Permission step is where your architect or designer packages up your chosen design and acts as the agent between you and the council to achieve approval. However, you don’t always need to go through planning, and often home improvement works can be completed through Permitted Development.

If you require more information on this, read our permitted development blog post or contact us within your brief, and we can advise on the best way forward for your project. 

  • What surveys do I need to complete?  

To achieve planning permission and for us to be able to design your home effectively, you’ll need to have several surveys completed. An experienced architect will advise you on what specific surveys you will require to progress your project. At Aura Architecture can advise and organise these surveys on your behalf, using our list of trusted and approved contractors. 

    • Soil investigations 

To determine the condition of the ground and water levels before building.  

    • CCTV drainage  

An in-depth inspection of your drainage system, using high-tech CCTV cameras which are inserted into your drains.  

    • Building survey  

Provides a detailed evaluation of a property’s conditionrecording risks and potential extra costs that may be incurred. 

    • Measurement survey

Captures the position and measurement of all structural and aesthetic featureof the property and allows the architect or designer to start work on new layouts. 

Project Management

London Architects

4) What 3rd parties may I need to involve in my project? 

To maximise your space, light and add value to your property.

  • Specialist companies. 
    • Glazing suppliers,
    • Specialist heating systems
    • Kitchen and bathroom designer,

Before you start working with any 3rd parties, make sure your selected partners have good reviews through Houzz, Google or Trustpilot and are open and transparent with you about their fees and schedules and can provide references if requested.

  • Industry Experts. 
    • Structural engineers,
    • Environmental
    • Wall surveyors (Read more about party wall agreements with our recent blog post).
  • Builders. 

Make sure you ask your builders to sign a contract that includes payment schedules, insurances and timeframes.

We understand there is a lot to think about here! 

We at Aura Architecture pride ourselves on our open and transparent service, so if you are looking to start your next home improvement project, Create Your Brief or Contact us Today.  We can manage your project from end to end, helping you answer all these important questions. 

Download our FREE 10-step guide, guiding you through the home improvement project from start to finish. Also check out oursocial media pages, Houzz and Pinterest boards, for reviews, recommendations, inspiration and more. 

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  • Avatar Jennifer VP ★★★★★ a year ago
    Overall great design and exceptional value for money. As a first time consumer of architectural services on what was a large project I can not emphasise enough the value add that we got from Ben, Sophie and the wider Aura team. The effort … More and detail put into the design and specification of works along with significant assistance in project management was commendable. As the project evolved it was crystal clear that we saved a significant amount of time and money as a result of having a comprehensive package and most importantly we got what we wanted on budget. Expectations were exceeded in terms of meeting deadlines. Accommodating design changes and assistance with the planning process was also first rate. I would highly recommend the team and look forward to working with them on the next project.
  • Avatar Harry Bucknell ★★★★★ a year ago
    Couldn't recommend Ben and his team more. We were in a really tricky position with our building project and Ben navigated us safely out of it. Superb guidance, great technical knowledge and what I really valued the most was the communication. … More Always got back to me promptly which makes a real difference when stress levels are high. Thanks Aura!
  • Avatar Louise Hancock ★★★★★ a year ago
    Aura Homes is a highly professional firm of architects that always have the clients best interests at hart. The quality of their plans and drawings is superb and their turn-around when making amendments well within expected timelines. … More For bespoke projects, their research and recommendations (both in terms of quality and costs) is superb.

4 Important Questions to answer before your Home Renovation Ben Richards
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