Design and Build Company London

How does the Design and Build process work at houseUP? Understanding the Design and Build process. 

Design and Build is a great option if you want to take full control of your project, from the very start. houseUP’s approach is unique compared to any other design and build company in London:

  • Your client-centred design and plan will come from skilled architects’ studios in London at a competitive price.
  • Your integrated structural design will be optimised with architectural drawings in progress.
  • You will receive early construction expertise to ensure your budget is directed towards your own wants and needs.
  • You will be offered the best options for construction and finishes.
  • You will receive accurate cost estimations with a transparent breakdown.


  • Meet in person to better understand what you want to achieve.
  • View the property to place the vision within the environment and identify any potential obstacles.
  • Discuss in person your taste and needs :so we can identify your priorities and objectives, highlight challenges, and anticipate issues or blockers.
  • Capture the unsaid by collecting details, expressions, and moods for a unique design that reflects you and your lifestyle.

A site visit is one of the most important aspects for a successful project. A conversation in person is the translation of your vision into the technical format which brings the project to life. A face-to-face discussion helps us to better understand your vision, priorities and expectations.

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  • Translate the vision into something tangible by transferring to paper the ideas you have shared.
  • Define the constraints through: creating a concrete design for you to evaluate.
  • Help you to understand the options available to you and discuss the impact of different choices.
  • Connect the budget and design by creating a planning permission package that aligns with your budget.

Designs centred around light, lifestyle, taste and comfort yield the most rewarding results. Our aim is to establish and maintain an open communication channel in order to keep aligned your vision and our understanding. We want to make sure that your priorities are taken care of. We hope that you will trust in our expertise and heed suggestions that we know will improve the design and perhaps even be more cost effective.

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  • Liaise with the council authorities and manage all meetings, meet requirements and provide feedback to all parties.
  • Prepare drawings and plans, complete and submit all planning documents to the council.
  • File the approval application and submit the package for the council’s decision.
  • Produce a pre-build package which includes building regulations and specifications, party wall agreements, leasehold management and more.

Managing a planning permission application is a careful balance between realising your desires, maximising the potential of your property and managing the planning authority requirements. It’s very often a matter of details, studying the history of past decisions, appointing the right consultants and communicating effectively with the planning authorities. We aim to be granted approval as quickly as possible, by avoiding filing a proposal that is too conservative and unrealistic.

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  • Define the construction costs and evaluate the basic construction work.
  • Estimate the options and optimise the choice of finishes and suppliers for the best result.
  • Communicate the quote clearly regarding what is included and what is not and what the impact of that might have.
  • Explain the process and the project program, define the communication channels, and agree on the decision flow.

Investing your money in renovating your property can be a big decision. That is why understanding the quotation is so important. Ultimately, you want the price to be reasonable and reflect quality. houseUP will never quote unrealistically high or low prices, we will be transparent in any unavoidable additions, and we will always complete the project.

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  • Define a clear program in order to control the progress of the build and prevent issues.
  • Schedule the work appropriately and use experienced and trustworthy teams, and codes of best practice on site throughout.
  • Report and share information, give regular feedback and respond promptly to questions and requests.
  • Set up communication channels: dashboard, live chat, photo and video sharing using the latest tech solutions.
  • Making timely decisions and: follow a clear process for requests, approvals, and last minute-changes.

Building works can cause some disruption in your daily routine so we might suggest vacating your property for a period, or the duration, of the project.

Information sharing and effective communication are as important to us as the execution of the works. That is why you will be appointed an English-speaking construction managers to your project and have access to our dedicated communication channels to avoid long and confusing email threads.

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  • Finalise all the construction works for you to move in.
  • Compile a snagging list to check over all the small details.
  • Complete the snagging and sign off the project.

The very last few days of your project can feel the hardest sometimes. The wait for all the finer details to be retouched and taken care of can be excruciating. But it will feel worth the wait when at the handover your new, beautiful, comfortable living space is revealed in all its finished glory.

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    • An assigned professional architect to translate your dream into real design drawings.
    • Expertise that will maximise of your property’s potential.
    • Planning permission sorted.
    • Building regulations approved and the work started in a timely manner.
    • (in-house) Our in-house engineers’ skill applied to the structural design of the project or optimisation of your own design.
  • 02BUILD 
    • Specialist building contractor teams for your project.
    • A structural expert on-site to double-check conditions and construction to ensure safety and compliance.
    • The best tradespeople from electricians and plumbers to carpenters, decorators and more.
    • Access to exclusive kitchens and porcelain tiles directly from Italy at discounted prices.
    • An English-speaking project manager dedicated to your project.
    • Efficient time management relating to orders, personnel on site, building regulationss visits and other arrangements and appointments.
    • Prompt and professional handling of Health and Safety, party wall procedures, council authorities,and sensitive approach to neighbours.
    • A clear decision-making process that maintains the running of the site.
    • Control of the houseUP dashboard, to monitor progress, budget consumption, see real-time photos and videos, and make comments.
    • Access to a dedicated channel on the houseUP chat platform, for fast trackable decision-making and issue management.
    • A centralised, written record of all the conversations, questions, issues, and decisions that eliminates lengthy email thread discussions.


If you have architectural and structural designs ready, houseUP offers a unique Build solution, which takes your plans through to completion. You will still benefit from:

  • Professional project management and structural engineering expertise, dedicated to your project.
  • Accurate and detailed cost estimation.
  • Exclusive access to Italian finishes directly from manufacturers for all price ranges.
  • Real time monitoring of progress and budget consumption through our digital platform.


Questions and answers

Collected questions that we often hear from you

  • How much will my refurbishment cost? 

    Every good building company will tell you that it is not possible to estimate the cost of refurbishment for a flat or a house before all the details have been defined. But we understand that it is important to have a reference figure before embarking in the process for budgeting purposes.

    We suggest a conservative estimate of £1,750 per square metre as the absolute minimum, and an average of between £2,000 and £3,500 per square metre.

    However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are details that can impact the cost significantly, the most costly being basement excavations or extensions of existing lower ground spaces; inclusion of very large or high spec glazing; very high energy performance materials.

    Additionally, some finishes can increase costs significantly, like paint, tiles or flooring, especially if the surfaces are very large,.

    In general, kitchens can be installed from as low as a few thousand pounds to hundreds of thousands, too.

  • How long will my refurbishment take? 

    As per the duration of a project, it cannot be estimated without the full details. If you want to plan ahead, for alternative accommodation for example, we recommend at least:

    For smaller flat refurbishment, approximately 4 to 6 months. For house refurbishment, approximately 6 – 8 months These estimations relate to straightforward refurbishments like loft conversions or rear and side extensions. More complex work like basement excavations can only be estimated with more details, especially if access to the property is a consideration. Composition of the soil etc are also important factors.

  • Can I live at the property during the refurbishment? 

    We always recommend that you arrange for alternative accommodation during the project.

    Some of our clients choose to live at the property during the work, and, of course, we make that possible. However, please be advised that this arrangement comes with a significant increases in stress, cost and duration of the project.

  • I want to do everything with one company, can you do design and refurbishment for me? 

    Yes we can. We partner with the best London architects to create designs that suit you and your needs. We will match you with architects who have specific experience in your area, share your vision and style for your refurbishment project.

    Doing the design and build with us gives you a view and control of the projected costs of your refurbishment from the very first day. You will be able to make well-informed choices for your design while understanding the cost implications and opting for the best solution for your investment.

    Check out our Design & Build page for more information.

  • I have all the drawings ready with my architect, can you do the building works for me? 

    We certainly can! We work with the best architects in London through a tender process, for clients that choose to have the designs for their refurbishment made by an independent architect.

    We can provide quotes in our own very detailed format or in your architect’s preferred format.

  • Do I need planning permission for my refurbishment? 

    You won’t need planning permission for most refurbishment projects. If you are not changing the external appearance of your flat or your house, you won’t need planning permission. In many cases, you can make a loft conversion or a rear/side extension within permitted development rights. You can find all the details on which type of extensions are allowed under permitted development here.

    However, if you are planning to refurbish a listed building, you may need permission.

  • What works make the biggest difference in the final cost of my refurbishment project? 

    Typically excavation to extend or create a basement under an existing property is one of the most expensive types of work in construction. The cost of finishes is another big factor in the final cost of a flat or house refurbishment.

  • I am buying a property, can you help me estimate how much the refurbishment would cost? 

    When you buy a new property, it is very likely that you’ll plan for a refurbishment. You can find some very good deals on the market, where you can buy a property for a good price when it needs some work done.

    By offering an estimation on work to be done, we can help you make the right decision and offer the right price for the potential property.

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