What do people fear most about building?…….. for many its cost blow outs!
Even if you have a big budget, it’s not called a budget for nothing! Few people have a bottomless pit of money to chew through.
There are a number of steps you can take to minimize cost blow outs, and some of them start very early in the process!
- Contract a Builder before contracting a Designer. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a design but then finding out the cost flies well above your intended budget…..what do you do? Stretch yourself financially to achieve the dream that has now been laid out in front of you, or sacrifice elements of it to help alleviate financial strain….dilemmas dilemmas!
- Not all Designers really know the practicalities of building their work of art, or how much certain materials cost and the labour involved in constructing aspects of their design. They may have a rough idea but many of them have never built themselves, nor purchased these products. It makes sense therefore to involve a builder in the design stage. They will have a much better idea of the labour and cost of materials. They will also be able to point out practical issues, or have knowledge of the materials capabilities for certain applications.
- Fixing as many costs as possible in your contract. The builder is now bound to supply what is agreed in your signed contract for the contract fixed price. Whilst PC Sums (provisional costings) allow you to take more time to decide what items you want in your house, where possible prices should be fixed.
- Time! So you have designed your house and priced it but decide to take a few months before signing a contract and start building…….the builder is within his rights to re quote to reflect potential price increases from his suppliers and subcontractors, due to the delay. Check how long their price is valid for? It pays to do due diligence but avoid procrastination.
- Ensure the builder has a watertight variation process. Any variation from the contract should only be approved by the client in writing after the change has been considered, detailed and costed by the builder. No written authority means no variation. This means any additional costs have to be approved by the client also. Consider builders using on line job management system – variations can be detailed, costed and approved online in an easily trackable environment.
- Utilise the experience and knowledge of your builder and his team! Where can costs be saved? What alternatives are there? You don’t have to do everything yourself. Make use of the expertise of the building team – investigate the services they offer to assist with material and product selection (and associated cost comparisons), interior design, and guarantees.
- Build time. If you are renting whilst your build is in progress, a major cost blow out could result from building delays. Ensure your builder has a build schedule planned and investigate how efficient they are at running their jobs. Who manages the programme? What is their capacity to do the job on time? What experience do they have in your type of build?
As always good communication, integrity and experience are essential traits you should seek in your builder.
If you want to find out more about our building process and the services we offer call us now on 03 3130103.