Whether you are building, converting or renovating, taking on a building project is a massive commitment. It is, therefore, understandable that you will want to get it right first time so you don’t waste both your time and money.
All too often, you hear horror stories of people taking on a project only to find their budget spiralling out of control.
There are things you can do to reduce the risk of your budget taking on a life of its own. Here are our top three ways to avoid losing money on your building project.
1. Plan and research
First and foremost, it is so important to make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into. Become familiar with any building regulations that may affect your project. If you know anyone who had carried out similar work, ask them for tips.
Find the appropriate help
Choose who you hire wisely. Select a builder or architect who has previous experience of a project like yours. They will have experience of any issues that might crop up. They may also be able to suggest clever solutions which will save you money on your project.
Make sure you get prices from multiple companies. Aim to get at least three quotes. Don’t just go for the cheapest quote though, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Before you commit to who you are going to hire, ask for references. See if you are able to visit any of their previous projects to make sure you are happy with their standard of work. You wouldn’t be very happy if you spent a huge chunk of money on getting your project done, only to have to pay out for repairs soon after.
Research current prices
In order to know if your project is achievable, you need to know how much things cost. Spend time doing some research into the price of materials, appliances, fixtures and fittings before you start.
If you are planning on building an extension, don’t forget to factor in the cost of disposing of any building waste. Companies have to pay to get rid of waste, a price they may pass on to you.
Be aware of how long your project will take
Understand exactly how long the project could take and then come to terms with the fact it may take longer than that. If you are going to be re-doing your kitchen or bathroom you will be without these services for a little while. Make sure you are prepared for that. Don’t forget to factor into your budget any costs that may come as a result.
Plan how you can save money in the long run
Think about the future. Installing solar panels and good insulation now will lead to smaller bills in the future. Building these in to your project at the planning stage means you can allow space in your budget for these long-term investments.
2. Set a sensible budget
Ultimately, the best way to avoid losing money is to plan how you are going to spend it. Then, keep track as you are spending it.
Know your limits
First and foremost, be realistic. Work out what you can comfortably afford. After that you can see what you are able to achieve with your budget.
There’s no point setting your heart on an ultra- modern extension, with curved walls and a glass ceiling, if you only have a budget of £10,000. You will just end up disappointed.
Break it down
It makes sense to break your overall budget down into categories. For example:
- Labour cost
- Material costs
- Electrical work
- Fixtures and fittings.
This will help you understand what percentage of your budget is being spent where. Your research will help with this. Work out what it is worth spending a little more on, and where you can save a few pounds.
Don’t forget to build in a contingency to your budget. Add 20% to your budget for unforeseen costs that almost always crop up! You need to be prepared for anything your project can throw at you.
Keep on plan
Don’t change your mind on what you would like done one you have started. This is the best way to avoid extra cost. Have a plan and stick to it.
Spend your money wisely
Work out if it will benefit you to build that extension, or whether you can achieve the desired results by changing the layout in your home. Knocking down walls is usually far more cost effective than building a new structure
How are you going to fund your project?
As well as setting a budget, you need to know how you are paying for it and how this may affect the money you actually end up spending. Taking out a loan or paying on credit card will add extra cost due to the interest you have to pay. Factor this in too. Where appropriate, use cash.
It is worth bearing in mind, however, that credit cards do provide a level of insurance on purchases made with them. If you buy something that turns out to be faulty, damaged or it doesn’t arrive your provider should be able to help you get your money back.
3. Get advice
We think this is the most important one of all! Getting advice from an experienced building consultant is key to a successful project. Seeking professional advice before you even begin will save you a lot of time, money and stress further down the line!
There are people out there who will be able to easily answer any questions you may have or offer up new solutions to a problem that you may not have even considered.
JS Builders Consultancy Service
JS Building Services offer an impartial, no-obligation consultancy service. We can provide advice on what can be done with a property, the first steps of budgeting and the process involved with bringing a project to completion.
If you want your dreams to become a reality, don’t try and cut cost in the planning and consultancy stages. It is worth investing a little more during these early stages to make sure that your whole project will run smoothly.
Get in touch with us today if you would like to discuss your project. We would be happy to help.