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William Green Architects

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Meeting deadlines on a new build or renovation project

14 May '21

Interior with open beams

A crucial part of project managing any build or renovation project are deadlines. From conception to completion, every person involved has a deadline which they will budget for, work hard towards or nervously anticipate. With our team of Oxfordshire architects, timings and guidelines are set out from the initial brief, charting progression throughout the project, keeping everyone on track, aspirations and morale high.

For all parties involved in the project, adhering to a deadline is critical for a whole host of reasons. The contractors must ensure they can timetable the delivery and utilization of materials; when each trade will be required on site; planning of any future projects; even down to how long their working day will be, depending on the season.

For clients, the concern of not sticking to that all-important schedule can have huge implications. By work over-running it can cause clients to go over budget, something which we as architects, try to prevent as much as possible. With many of our clients, the project is often their home, so a delay has personal, practical and emotional consequences. This could be something as fundamental as where their family are going to live, where they are going to work, or even a significant event that year, the impetus is just as important.

Architects are well versed at managing this level of intricacy. Each project is unique and hugely variable with the timescale dependent on how much is specified in the scope of work. But, nevertheless, the emotive deadline of December is frequently touted with “we’d like to be in for Christmas” a familiar phrase from many of our clients.

We push very hard to meet every deadline and last year we had the yuletide deadline to meet with three very different projects.

  • The first was a six bed farmhouse refurbished to an exceptional standard with a grand central staircase. We worked in collaboration with a fantastic, reliable and professional team consisting of an interior designer, builder, landscape designer, Kitchen designer, as well as all of the supporting trades. With work commencing at the start of January, the clients were desperate to be in their beautiful home as soon as possible and definitely before the end of the year.

  • The second encompassed a full loft conversion as well as a rear two storey extension with a stunning kitchen diner overlooking their beautiful garden in Oxford.
  • The third, a complete transformation of a suburban house in High Wycombe which had been in the offing for just under two years.

We always aim to please, working closely alongside the client and the contractors. As skilful tacticians, masterminding strategic planning with our fabulous, hardworking and reliable teams, we were able achieve all three goals and each family were “in for Christmas”.

So how do our team of Oxfordshire architects work out timescales? As a general rule of thumb almost all projects take a minimum of a year, from conception to completion. If it’s a single storey extension we suggest around four months on site, but generally the whole project would be eight months to a year. For a whole house the project would potentially last 24 months.

Of course, there is always the possibility of delays; planning consent and building regulations are hurdles which need to be crossed. If your building is listed or has covenants then these factors also need to be taken in to consideration when outlining timescales and budgets. However, this something which an architect is well versed at and is a crucial part of our role.

So if you are contemplating a project be sure to consider the timings from conception to completion. Speak to your architects and work with them to set realistic, achievable deadlines to aid the smooth running of your build or renovation.

If you would like to speak to our Oxfordshire architects about meeting your project deadlines, please call 0330 320 0665 or email