Thrashing - The art of getting it right

Thrashing - The art of getting it right

Thrashing - The art of getting it right

If you've ever undertaken a project that has a deadline, you will understand this concept. I'll give you an example:

Your homework is to write an essay on the famous French philosopher Voltaire. So, you read a few websites, make some mental notes, maybe even jot down some ideas and make a start. You feel like you're doing pretty well. Before you hand it in you think it’s a good idea to run it past someone else to see how it reads. Your dad’s a knowledgeable chap and your older sister is good at English so once you've completed your essay, you share it with them.

Oh dear!

They want to change it. Your sister thinks the order needs re-working and that's before she’ll comment on your grammar. Your dad thinks it's good but could be better and gives you a list of things to consider. Great! This has to be handed in tomorrow.


You work late while your family continue to give their input. Tensions grow, negativity descends and you remember you hate your sister.

You run out of time and have to make do. The result, although better than the first draft, is not great and nowhere near ready to hand in.

This is thrashing.

And it is how 99% of projects are handled. You start slowly, carefully and cautiously, with little planning, debate or discussion, and when it comes to deadline day, you are thrashing.

Now, imagine if you did all your thrashing at the start. How would that feel? If we look again at our homework example how would it look with a thrashy start?

You get given your homework. You sit down with your clever dad and sister and the three of you discuss a plan for the essay. You thrash now. Without the pressure of a looming deadline, this process has a positive energy to it and can even be fun. With a detailed plan formulated, you can confidently make a start on the actual writing. Subsequent team meetings can be scheduled to review and tweak if necessary. Incidentally, the best essays are 80% thinking and 20% writing.

In most circumstances, thrashy endings to homework essay projects are a big stress and can result in some lost sleep but you aren't going to lose any money.

When it comes to a building project, if you thrash at the wrong time, it can have huge financial ramifications. A poorly timed thrash can leave you broke and with a project that never quite lived up to your expectations.

We have witnessed this again and again. Clients who start tentatively, don’t plan the project with gusto at the start, and leave many design choices until the last minute end up disillusioned and angry.

It may seem that the building process is set up to encourage late thrashing but with a little bit of forethought and planning, we believe that projects can be run more smoothly, quickly and cheaply. In fact, the Guernsey Planning Services believe this to be the case too. They are actively requiring more information up front, meaning many design decisions need to be made early on in the project.

We encourage our clients to spend the first few months of their building project thinking about how they want their build to look and feel. We help them pick the doors, taps, tiles, sanitaryware, bathrooms, kitchen - we even get them to think about where the beds and the TV are going to go.

We assist with 3-D visuals and walk-throughs and once we've specified everything, clients can gain an almost exact price from contractors. This certainty over costs is great for your stress levels and essential when borrowing money.

Once the build starts, if every detail has already been specified and designed, then the contractor knows exactly what they are doing and when they need to do it. In turn, this leaves you free to relax and plan the housewarming.

So, next time you undertake a project, think about thrashing at the start. If after your thrash you discover the project is a non-starter you’ve wasted minimal time; if the project is a goer, then you’re all set up and in an excellent position to continue, plus you’ll be less stressed too!


Guernsey Studio

Guelles Court
Guelles Lane
St Peter Port

9am - 5:30pm   |   01481 712633

Jersey Studio

12 Britannia Place
Bath Street
St Helier

9am - 5:30pm   |   01534 767950

Ollie Muston MCIAT


T: 01481 712633

Having been educated and grown up in Guernsey and developing a passion for technical design work, information technology and an intrigue for building design and history during his GCSE years, Oliver decided to commence his career in 1999 as an Architectural Technologist with Lovell Ozanne one of the largest architectural practices in the Channel Islands,  During those first inspiring 9 years he gained his BTEC HNC qualification increasing his fundamental experience and developing his knowledge base by working on multi-million pound commercial and residential developments including, Mixed Use and Redevelopment Areas (MURA), offices, apartments and industrial units.  

Moving to the States of Guernsey’s Property Services Team in 2008, Oliver was able to learn invaluable working skills and practices, increasing his expanding skillset in tendering and contract administration, whilst having the opportunity to work on public buildings and the differing challenges brought about by these types of projects. These projects encompassed education premises, States buildings with high security requirements, projects at the airport and harbours and fully accessible health facilities.  Full Accessibility audits for the health facilities became a prominent project for Oliver as his career progressed and he carried out a number of audits and reports for substantial business within the Island.

Now with a total of 21 years’ experience within the industry, his expansive knowledge not only covers all areas of a very vast field, but includes all aspects of a project from inception right through to the final handover of a completed project; which, for Oliver is the most rewarding experience. 

Oliver’s exceptional wealth of knowledge has lead him to gain his chartership with the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists and was formally invited to become an Interview Assessor for the Institute in 2015, a position limited to only a small number and in which someone can only be invited by the Institute.  Oliver completed the necessary assessor training a few months later.  

Ever striving to continue growing and expanding his professional knowledge, Oliver is a driven member of PF+A and one of the top in his field. With his professional yet friendly approachable nature he is an individual able to facilitate and communicate to clients, contractors, sub-contractors and other third parties to ensure that a project is always the best it can be.  Internally an exceptional trainer to the less experienced members of the team with an ease of teaching methods to ensure an unseamingly level of continuity for their development.

In his spare time Oliver enjoys spending time with his young family of three daughters, experiencing travelling and cultural diversity and of course Guernsey’s beautiful outdoor environment.

Chloe Whitmore


T: 01481 712633

Chloe is the first point of contact in the Guernsey studio. She has moved from a career of more than 20 years in the legal profession to managing a creative environment and its people - a welcome change for her! Her experience and legal background are a great asset for the Group.