My main advice in regards to budgets is to be realistic; otherwise things will end in tears. If you budget doesn’t meet your brief then you either have to increase your budget or reduce your scope. A lot of people convince themselves – and try to convince me – that they can save money by being an owner-builder or they have a mate who is a plumber etc.

Unfortunately building is an expensive business and it is not something to be taken lightly. I always strongly advise my clients to engage a quantity surveyor. People try and save money by not engaging one; however, this is a dangerous and costly mistake. Besides the tears it can end up costing you in abortive time and fees. God save the Quantity Surveyor (and the Architect).