If you are thinking of building a house from scratch and you want to create something special then you should talk to us. We are a high-end Architectural Interior Design company with over a decade and a half of expertise in helping clients realise their perfect homes from a blank sheet of paper. You may have found the ideal plot in the perfect location, but you aren’t sure what the vernacular of the house should be. You may have a feel for your preferred vernacular, but you aren’t sure about how to best orchestrate your plans. We can help.

In this article I will use our Lakeside Project in New Road, Esher, Surrey to explain some key points for your consideration to ensure a successful new build project.

6 top tips for a successful new build


For your new build design project will need a great team around you, so pick this carefully and understand fully each players capability. Once you have this clear in your mind then decide what each agent’s role is going to be within the project scope. This will avoid overlap and potential duplication of fees. Make sure the fit is a good one  too because your team are going to have to work closely together, and will need to be able to overcome, more than likely, some difficult challenges along the way.

Once you have appointed your team entrust them with the job. Make sure budgets, timelines and the overall plan are shared by all parties. Who is project managing, and what is their remit exactly. How does this overlap with you?


Choosing your location is all important for the success of your new build project. It will determine the future growth prospects of your investment. It will also help to determine the bandwidth for your project in terms of property real estate value reach. Knowing what this is will give you a clear indication of what the ceiling on your project should be. This, in turn, will help with the setting of your project budget – all very important stuff!

Of course, it’s a no brainer that you need to love where you live too, but that will come naturally.

3. How much will it cost to build your new home?

Leading on from the above point this is absolutely critical to know your budget for your new build project and for so many reasons:

  •  To safe guard against over capitalisation.
  • To know your spend. This will need to be apportioned to design fees, professional fees (planners, surveyors and structural engineers), building works and interior fit outs.
  • Factor in a contingency with your budget. I have never worked on a budget where the client has not spent more than they set our to, so start lower, and be realistic with your choices.
  • Economise wherever you can. There are some areas of a new build that don’t need lavish spend, and there are others that if you don’t have a healthy budget it looks as if corners have been cut. Lighting is just one of these. Keep a healthy budget for lighting.
  • Try and have an appreciation for the sum of the parts, because this will save you from over capitalising early on.
  • Try and figure out your cost per square meter. Your professional team should be able to help you with this.

4. Be clear on your choice of vernacular for your new build

This may sound obvious, but it is critical if you want to avoid the creation of something that might fall into the category of ‘pastiche’, which is neither here nor there, and may prove difficult to sell on. Better to find a vernacular that you can appreciate and know will be understood and valued by most. For example, you may admire the Georgian vernacular and have always aspired to having a home in this style. However,  it would be a mistake to replicate an 18th C architectural style in the 21st C line-by-line. We would need to find a fresh representation of that vernacular in a way that purveys the style essence of the era.

Or, it may be that you have an Architect whose contemporary approach and style ethics you admire, then you just need a clear brief.

In the image below our client wanted to create a contemporary classic, and wished to reference the Georgian vernacular. This lends itself well to a modern day interpretation, as it is more pared down than other architectural styles. As is always the case, it was key to get proportion and essential detail in balance.

5. Know your brief and communicate it clearly to all stakeholders involved in the creation of your new build

Once you start to put pen to paper on this it will become clearer if it isn’t already. We actually help our clients define their briefs through our front end workshopping process. Through this process we develop a very clear picture for our clients of their intended style ethic, their objectives and their likes and dislikes to do with all aspects of the build. This gives our clients the time and the space to develop their vision for the build. Most often they come to us with a seed and we help, through our creative workshopping process to identify the exact species of the tree. You may not need to go to these lengths if the brief is clear to you. Whatever your situation, know the value of a clear brief that everyone can work with. This is the best and most direct way to enabling your vision.

6. Keep space in your diary for decision making

You have everything ready to go, so buckle up and enjoy the ride! Just be sure to have plenty of space for decision making because without your sign off and direction on matters it doesn’t matter how great your team is, they can only action aspects of the project when the directive is clear.

Projects with clear decision making at their core and managed budgets have no reason not to be delivered on time.

If you need help with taking your new build project forward then please get in touch.

We have a brilliant track-record with helping clients turn their new build residential property development into valuable investments. We have a 360º appreciation of new build residential projects and we draw on it to help deliver award winning projects. We are focused on creating beautiful homes which have a sense of timeless elegance and which support our clients lifestyle needs seamlessly. Our aim is to bring about a positive return on every level. In 2020 we won Best Luxury Interior Design from Build 2020 Real Estate and Property Awards. We were also shortlisted by the International Design and Architecture Awards for our Lakeside property in Esher, in the £ 2.5 – 5 million property value category.

We would welcome discussing your project requirements with you. Please call us directly on 020 822343228, or drop me an e-mail lindi@lindireynolds.com