The Experts

What makes for a good project experience vs. a bad one?


In this final segment, Deborah and Amelia Lee from Undercover Architect, discuss what you can do to ensure your project is a positive, enjoyable experience.

  • Understand that your project will take time and money. Challenging and unexpected issues will occur.
  • Build in contingencies – keep some money aside in your budget for those unexpected things. Make sure you keep time aside for problem-solving.
  • Keep a positive outlook
  • Keep your “WHY” at the front of your mind. Why you are undertaking this? Don’t lose sight of the big picture.

“It’s your HOME, so we can tend to forget that we’ve actually got a lot of emotional connection tied up with what a home means to us, what the future of this home and the future of our life means to it. There’s a lot at stake.” 

Ideally you want your site to just flow. Don’t underestimate that delays can be caused simply because people haven’t made the space or time to plan in their already-busy lives. When unexpected issues crop up, try to have people around you who can help you apply strategies and solutions.

Ensure you have a good package of drawings together. This should include all of the detailed decisions – how do certain walls connect, where do your light fittings go, window positions and so on. Some electricians will walk around with you to check if you’re sure about everything so use this opportunity to make any changes or ask for suggestions.

If you need to make a change while it’s still a plan on the page, it will be relatively inexpensive to do. Once the project actually starts on site, any delay, any challenge, any resourcing of materials, will cause you time, money and stress.

It may be frustrating because you just want to start. You want to see things happening and see the return for all of the effort! Be patient through the process and it will make the construction go more smoothly.


About Amelia Lee – Undercover Architect

Amelia Lee is the architect behind Undercover Architect. Undercover Architect operates mainly online to help homeowners (especially women) design and plan their future new homes and renovations. Think of it as your secret ally in getting it right, and saving time, money and stress – whoever you’re working with to create or transform your home.

Watch more from our interview with Amelia:

I’ve got an Undercover Architect on the job!

How did the Undercover Architect journey start?

How do you select the right architect?

Do I need a project manager for my renovation?

Should you move in before renovating or renovate before you move in?

We ask Amelia Lee: How do you select the right builder?

Cutting costs. What are Amelia Lee’s non-negotiables?

How to balance your champagne tastes with a beer budget

How to preplan your joinery needs for your renovation

How to ask the right questions so you’re on the front foot with your builders and architects

How do I know if I am being taken for a ride?

Undercover Architect project cheat sheet

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