<strong>ALAN WAXMAN</strong> <br /><strong>MANAGING DIRECTOR AT DEVELOPER LANDMASS<br /></strong><br /><strong>Q.Dear Alan, I have just bought a wreck of a house and have a budget of &pound;1m to do it up so that I can live in it. Where do I start?</strong><br />A.When developing a property you need to decide whether you are going to oversee the project yourself or whether you want to engage a developer who can look after the project from start to finish. If you don&rsquo;t know one already, then contact the Royal Institute of British Architects, which has a directory of accredited architects.<br /><br />Whichever you choose, the steps are similar. The first stage is to work out what space and layout you want to achieve with the building &ndash; you should have bought with at least some of this already in mind. Try to maximise the light and don&rsquo;t try to cram too much into the space available .<br /><br />The next step, subject to getting the relevant permission, is to get a full specification of what works need doing, known as a tender document. For a &pound;1m job on a relative wreck of a house you can expect the works to take between 12 and 18 months, assuming everything goes to plan. <br /><br /><strong>Q.Dear Alan, I want to redecorate my flat. How do I go about choosing the right colours?</strong><br />The first thing to decide is whether you are going to keep your existing flooring or not. The floor should be the starting point of your colour scheme followed by the walls and then the fittings. You need to choose a colour which either complements or contrasts with the colour of your floor. Alternatively, you can use a stronger colour on one particular wall to make a feature wall and add atmosphere to the room. Typically a feature wall is a darker shade of the colour that you have on the other walls. <br /><br />If your property is north-facing it won&rsquo;t get much sunlight so you should perhaps hedge on lighter rather than darker shades. <br /><br />Alan Waxman is managing director at central London luxury property developer Landmass. www.landmass.co.uk