Monday, 11 March 2013

How much is your building work going to cost?

Have you ever wondered why building quotes vary so much?

There are a number of reasons and knowing these will help you evaluate which builder presents the best option for successful completion of your new home or other building project. It is possible to calculate costs and doing this can be quite revealing. It will give you some insight into how the builders have arrived at their quotations.  

Looking at these calculations before approaching a builder will also help you budget for your building work or new extension. Perhaps more important, working out even a rough calculation will protect you from speculative builders who under quote.  Take the lowest quotation and you are risking increased costs and you might well find your project going over your budget. The cheapest quote is more often than not the worst option. Read more on this in my guide to choosing a builder.

Visit this link for a calculator to help you work out the costs of your building project. The cost per square metre figure allows for a finished new build home or extension. This includes kitchens and bathrooms but does not including external landscaping.

10 things you need to consider when viewing building quotations

  1. The extra fees involved. These include Legal Fees, stamp Duty, Land Tax and planning Application fees
  2. You must build in a contingency fund – building work can be unpredictable and something  unforeseen might arise
  3. Standard size or bespoke windows? Bespoke will involve a higher cost and this applies to pretty much ‘bespoke’ anything else.
  4. Extra storey or rooms in the loft? Some loft conversions can be more expensive if the existing structure is unsuitable
  5. Which heating system will you choose? Ground source heat pumps are more expensive than air source  heat pumps but will save energycosts long term 
  6. How green do you want your finished building project to be? Energy efficiency usually involves higher cost upfront with savings made over a longer term
  7. Finished effects – type of materials used can greatly affect the cost. eg roofing slate type needs to be specified as quality and cost varies significantly
  8. Landscaping, will your builder design and organise this or will you do it yourself?
  9. Final finish on kitchen and bathroom and other fittings all affect quotations
  10. Design costs. Opting for design and build provides a much more cost effective option

Obviously if you decide to self build you will be saving on labour costs. But bear in mind the skill and time involved. Hiring different trades will take you longer than employing a building contractor. Whichever route you decide to take, building costs are affected by quality and specification. Always choose a builder who provides a fully detailed and realistic quote.