Building your dream holiday home could mean you are also constructing your future home. These days there is no shortage of British citizens moving abroad for retirement and who could blame them?
Many of these people prefer to buy land and construct a newbuild while there are plenty of people that want to renovate an old-style Spanish or French villa or add an extension, swimming pool, or even a sunroom. This is all very well, but how do you hire an architect that you can communicate well with and that you can trust?
Most of the time people would rather hire an architect in their own country to come up with the design plans and take abroad for an estimate. However, before you decide which option is best for your circumstances, consider the advantages and disadvantages of using a home bred architect.
Some foreign countries do not have the safety standards that the UK has. One thing we can all appreciate about the British way of doing things is that we have strict constructions laws. These construction laws adhere to not just structural safety standards, but take into consideration the spread of fire, the likelihood of a fire, how close we can build to another property and so on.
A British architectural firm will be able to advise you on how to make the best of the space you have available to you. Room positions, pool placement, garden space and so on. You will also be able to get advice on plumbing and electrics.
Having a local architect will save you time and money going back forth with an architect abroad. You will also be able to turn up to the country you plan to build your holiday home with plans already in motion.
Some of the disadvantages are obvious, but they are not cause for major concern.
A British architect may not be savvy to the materials used in a foreign country to build a property. For example, most properties in hot countries do not use brickwork. That said, any good architect will be able to create design plans for an array of buildings no matter what the material being used is.
In general, a British architect will not know the building regulations and laws abroad. This could mean some parts of your original plan will need to change once presented to a construction company abroad. This could add additional expenses that you may not have had with if you used a local architect. However, instances such as these are rare and the changes that need to be made are usually very minor.
Using a British architect to design a holiday home abroad saves you having to travel abroad or communicate with an architect in a different time zone. You will also have peace of mind when it comes to adhering to British safety standards, which by and large have an excellent reputation.
In the end, hiring a British based architect is certainly more convenient than hiring one abroad if you are not already living in the country you plan to carry out your holiday construction project. That said, you may have to make some changes to your plans when you do come to hiring a construction firm in a foreign country, but on the whole these changes will be minor and can always be double checked by your architect.
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