Yes, building projects in general are exciting things, but anyone who has watched Grand Designs will know the stress and anxiety that they can cause. This is not reserved just for the client, but also true for any involved professional who has an ounce of soul and empathy. So it is with my first extension project for my friend Jemima. Being a fellow ex-architecture student and friend, the client-architect relationship (I should point out I am effectively an architect without a title for this project) has come naturally. Quite often, it has been myself that was pushing the scope of the project down on account of the limited budget! I feel a huge responsibility over the small fortune that my friend is putting into this project. In our minds, architectural practice is overshadowed by design, and the project management element is a neglected subject. Good project management (and empathy) is the difference between a satisfied client with a successful building, and a resentful one with a building tainted by the memory of its birth. With this is mind, here's are the parts of building that make me anxious.
My recent project to build a single storey house extension has pushed me to try something new. I am virtually building the house, with insulation, studs and all using a popular 3D modelling program called Sketchup, by Google. I use it in conjunction with an application called LayOut, which helps you lay out the Sketchup views on a 2D print format.