PODCAST GUEST: Design Disasters & Amazing Architects: Meet Studio Búa

money advice Mar 20, 2020


by Becky Balfourth


Meet Mark, architect and founder of Studio Búa.

Mark is responsible for saving Lisa’s house renovation from disaster.  As she says, ‘everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.’  (Mark says this isn’t quite true- things can go a lot more wrong than they have!  Do we want to know?)

Lisa thought Mark would draw something and it would eventually get built. At the time, she didn’t know about the value of having an architect stay on-project after the designing is done.  Thankfully, she does now.

In a snapshot: the builders added costs as they went along, until they eventually tried to add- via e-mail- £100,000.  This is despite months where nothing was happening.

Who knew architects could help with situations like this?

Just as you don’t always know what you’re looking for when you seek out a financial adviser, you might not know what you’re looking for when you source an architect.

Here’s something Lisa learned: architects are not just there to start the project off- they can also see it through to the end.  This includes drawing up contracts with builders, and giving advice.  (Advice example: if a builder/ building company doesn’t have correct indemnity in place, you can be liable for any accidents).

If you’re looking for a simple contract, you can visit the Royal Institute of British Architects on the- creatively named- website, www.architecture.com.  Here you can choose contracts for homeowners from around £30 to meet your needs.

Mark says that an architect will always record discussions with builders- and a good architect will send an annoying number of notes!  This avoids extra costs cropping up later.  For example, if the project will overrun because of something out of the builders’ control, extra payment can be arranged- but if they don’t mention it at the time, they can’t bring it up 12 weeks later.

Best Bits of Advice for Home Buyers:

  1. Not every property is an opportunity to make money. Some are opportunities to lose a lot of it!
  2. Provisional sums for building work will always go up. You should have a budget contingency plan of around 5-10%.
  3. Timescales will also always go up. You should have a programme contingency plan of the same amount.

Best Bit of Financial Advice:

 Mark, who’s first job was in a plant nursery owned by his parents, just advocates always knowing the value of money.

Find Mark online: www.studiobua.com

@studiobua on instagram


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