10 Costs That Could Blow Your Renovation Budget
So it’s time to create that much-needed extra space with a house extension that you have been dreaming about. You have a budget and great ideas, but you have heard horror stories from renovator friends about hidden costs, nasty surprises and the dreaded budget blowout. The good news is with a little knowledge upfront you can plan for most cost eventualities, minimise unnecessary expense and manage your budget effectively until project end.
Here’s what to look out for:
1. Preliminary fees
Or otherwise known as consultant fees – surveyors, architects, certifiers, bushfire consultants, Basix consultants, heritage, engineers, hydraulics to name a few. Make sure you get professional advice on who’ll you need, and how much each consultant will cost. You will be surprised what this amounts to. See Preliminary Fees, how much would you expect to pay?
2. Expensive over-engineering
Ask your designer/architect to liaise with the engineer and builder to make sure that you are not wasting money by over-engineering the structure. For example, do you really need costly structural steel, or can you get away with timber beams? Choosing effective, less expensive structural materials will save you money.
3. Incorrect drawings and plans
Once the extension design is complete and the engineer has planned the structure, make sure your architect/designer has implemented the changes on the construction drawings. It will be costly for you if the builder discovers a mismatch between the drawings and the engineer’s plans.
4. Site works not included
This is the work involved to get the site ready – tree removal, excavation, land flattening, as well as installation of temporary fences and erosion controllers. Access issues, soil condition and land slope are just some of the variables that can impact your ‘Site Works’ cost and these variables can make it difficult to quote for upfront, which can result in a significant fee at the build’s end.
5. Repairing existing damage
It’s hard to know the complete condition of a home and only when you ‘open it up’ can you get the full picture – rising damp, asbestos, termites, structural decay. It’s a good idea to add a 10% contingency buffer particularly if you are renovating an old house where there’s always a risk.
6. Unavoidable essential upgrades
It’s almost impossible to avoid upgrades to existing homes when they need to be brought up to code and match the new extension. Whether it’s a new electrical meter box, a full electrical re-wiring and/or plumbing elements. Check the upgrade.
7. Expensive material choices
All materials have different cost implications. Consider the look you want to achieve and ask for advice on materials. Is there a cheaper solution that will get a similar result? And try to stick to your choice. A builder will usually accommodate material changes during the build (unless it breaches council regulations) but it will cost you.
8. Unplanned off-site accommodation
If you have seen ‘The Block’ you’ll know that living on site during a reno is challenging. People often under-estimate this and fail to budget for somewhere to stay during the building works. Plan it into your budget at the start as in addition to the extra costs, moving in with the in-laws or dossing with friends can stretch even the strongest of relationships.
9. Un-insured builders
Always work with a licensed and fully-insured builder and check their Public Liability and Workers Compensation is up to date. For anyone working on your site, their insurance needs to be current as any safety issue or accident on site could result in thousands of dollars out of your pocket.
10. And, if it’s too good to be true… …then it probably is.
If a quote is coming in much less than the others, then you can assume costs have been left out or there is not enough allowance for materials. It’s vital to read the fine print and check for anomalies that might cause problems later down the track.
If you are thinking about extending your house, the team at The Perfect Space can help. As Design and Build specialists, they manage everything from concept through to completion and for peace of mind, can provide an accurate building quote with no hidden extras.
Get started today on your Perfect Space. 9907 4568 www.perfectspace.com.au