What to look out for?

​​Not understanding the design documentation

It is vital you understand the design documentation that is prepared by designers. You shouldn’t refrain from asking questions, even if they seem simple, or from requesting changes if the approach doesn’t match your expectations. The early design stages are the best moment to explore different options since the design can be changed more easily and without redesign costs.
Not considering all aspects of the design
Focusing only on the architectural aspects of the project and failing to consider other aspects such as the long term cost of running the house can be a risk for both you and the designers.

Involving sub-consultants for these other aspects at the right time and as early as possible through an integrated design process will add extra value to their input. On the other hand, doing it too late may generate additional costs and delays.

For example, if building performance is considered important within the project’s objectives, engaging experts in the subject early on will improve comfort, health, and operational cost outcomes by integrating key features into the design. 
Not taking costs into account
Extra caution around costs is necessary at this stage. It is important to check costs at key stages in the design process to avoid creating false expectations that generate future disappointments. You also need to understand that every design decision affects future expenditure – not only during construction but also during the lifetime of the building. It is important to assess design features not only in terms of initial costs, but also in terms of their impact on costs incurred over the long term.​