The most terrifying aspect of building or renovating your house is blowing the budget. How much ever you scrutinise over every single detail of the budget, there are still loopholes where money literally falls through.
Right from buying the property to finishing the interior, every small step demands money. It is only when you really get into the process that you realise that things are going to cost a lot more than you expected.
It is slightly tricky to monitor everything you pay for and every fee accounted for. However, it is indeed something that you have to do to get the best value out of whatever you spend.
Every project has its own characteristics and demands. However, there are still a few things you can do to try sticking on to the budget as planned. Let us get you up to speed; start reading below.
1. Don’t get too Attached to Dreams
You might have the house plans drawn up for your dream home only to realise that you cannot afford to build it. Once you hire an architect and they come up with the perfect house designs for you, it might be a little difficult not to fall in love with it.
An architect’s job is to make things functional and aesthetically beautiful. So they might try to sell the idea, which in fact might be an incredible idea too. As clients, it is easy to get enticed with the interior visualisations. If you decide to do the flooring above the budget, then you might have to do a wallpaper to match the same; and it continues.
So as much as dreams are important, it is crucial that you have your feet on the ground.
2. Beware of Architect’s Fees
The first thing to do while you look for architects is to tell them precisely what your budget is. You can even interview a few architects before you finally choose one. But, if you wait long enough for them to draw floor plans and compare before you choose them, then you are obliged to pay for their services. It is only fair from the architect’s point of view. Still, you will be the person losing the money.
Your best shot is to discuss the budget with the architect and see who can offer the best value for the budget. Experienced architects will be upfront and tell you if your expectations are too much for what you can afford.
3. Interview the Builders
The bigger part of the construction is in the hands of a builder. They are the ones who do the costing and quote you for the work. Whether you are looking for existing house renovations Brisbane has or starting a project from scratch, it is vital that you get enough client testimonials to assure that the builder sticks on to the budget.
Especially in cases of house extensions Brisbane, there are chances of more hurdles coming up as the construction progresses. This might demand more time, effort and money. For such cases, it is always best to discuss a contingency plan with the builder before the project starts.
4. Draw up Contracts
With anybody and everybody you are hiring for the project, make it a point to sign agreements that mention the amount both the parties have agreed on explicitly. If you have arrived at a contingency agreement, that also needs to be specified in the contract.
5. Consider the Site Situation
Before costing, always ensure that the builder has visited the site personally. The site conditions may put forward unexpected obstacles that might require a considerable amount to be taken care of. If not mentioned in contract or costing, this will easily make for additional expenses.
6. Verify the Costing
Even though usually it is the builder who ends up doing the costing, you can always hire a building professional or a quantity surveyor to do a separate estimate. This will help you to compare the quotes and if you need, you can negotiate with the builder.
7. Know your Rights
If you are hiring a registered architect, they are bound to follow the codes of conduct set by the council of Architecture in their country. This includes how much they can charge you for fees too.
In many instances, the clients don’t consider themselves knowledgeable enough to question the architect’s idea or sometimes they do in too much. Either way, familiarise with what you are supposed to do, and how to work with architects.
8. Don’t Forget the Permits
Another thing you might leave off while calculating the budget is how much you have to pay to the local council to get the floor plans approved. Few builders do take up the responsibility to do this, however, it might not always be mentioned in the agreement or costing. As clients, you might feel that it is better for someone who knows how things work to get the permits and allow the builders or agents to do it.
Either way, you need to know how much you are paying and if the builders are charging you for any commission.
9. Keep up with the Budget
The only way of knowing whether you are heading in the right direction of your budget is to be on top of it. You need to make time to visit the sites, check on the budget and be notified of every single expense. It is definitely beneficial to be aware of what exactly is going on at the site than wait for the builder to hand over the key and the final bill.
10. Keep a Contingency
Though it has been mentioned earlier, contingency is extremely important which warrants the need to dedicate it as a point on its own. Any project, renovation or building is on the safer side with 15-20% for the budget for unforeseen costs and variations in the original plan.
The only way to avoid any surprises is to communicate effectively with everyone who is working on the project. So ask questions, listen to suggestions and be prepared to take advice when necessary. It is also probable that you might finish the project well under your budget.