• RWF Building

RWF Building talk all things budgets

Construction budgeting can be a real chicken or the egg paradigm, do I get my plans drawn then get quotes or can I start out with a budget in mind?

Far too often we see prospective clients hopes dashed with a beautifully thought out detailed plan that is well beyond their budget, and we hate feeling like bad guys breaking the news that their dream home isn't achievable.

What comes first the design or the budget?

Don’t make the mistake of being led by an architect through a design process of your dreams only to have them cut down when the realities of the construction costs hit home. We recommend you have key objectives for your project and make these clear to the architect whilst also clearly stipulating your budget. The design needs to evolve around the budget, the budget should not

be evolving around your design.

Budgeting is an incredibly important part of the construction process, not just deciding on a budget but accurately conveying this to your architect and making decisions that don’t blow out the budget during the design review phase.

Always ask yourself how this change is going to impact the bottom line, keep tabs on changes that are impacting cost and keep checking in with your architect about how they have factored the design into the construction cost.

A good architect will have the ability to estimate ballpark construction costs, there might be 10-15% accuracy in these estimates, so make sure your budget is not the ceiling of what you can spend. Alternatively if you want to be sure, you can spend money on an independent quantities surveyor to complete a construction estimate for you.

So how can you review your project if your builders estimate has come in over your budget?

Look at how the project can be scaled to meet budget or staged. This might include reducing the square metres of the build, reducing the number of wet areas in the project, reducing the structural changes required to an existing home, scaling back the joinery, reducing windows number, sizing and glazing requirements, remove skylights or make them fixed not openable, selecting standard finishes (example: standard colorbond roofing instead of stand and seam roofing),

What are the most common elements that increase the cost of a build? Our answers are wet areas & joinery. Bathrooms, kitchens, and laundries are more trade intensive with the requirements for waterproofing, tiling, plumbing & electrical services, PC item fit off, glazing etc. Increasing the number of wet areas has a direct increase on cost. The other key area for budget easy blow out is joinery. Kitchen, bathroom, laundry, office, robes etc. can all quickly add up the finish of the project.

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