For most people who are intending to carry out home improvements, such as building a loft conversion, or deciding to rebuild and renovate a property entirely, there is a budget that needs to be stuck to. For many, they will be trying to figure out the very best ways to get the optimal amount out of their project budget – which is not always the easiest of tasks. It will often involve a considerable amount of compromises, but it doesn’t need to mean a compromise on quality too. In this guide, we take a look at the very best ways to keep your build costs under control, in order to help you get the very best value for your renovation.
Choose a simple design
As a rule of thumb, you will find that the more complex the building design is, the more expensive it will be for you to run. As a result, try to keep the building design simple to keep renovation costs lower, as for every corner in an external wall you add, you will slow down the building process. When you introduce a hip or a valley, you extend costs of roof timbers and the cost of labour too.
DIY when possible
Another great way to keep build costs in check is to carry out do it yourself projects wherever possible. Whilst it is not recommended to carry out do it yourself tasks that are completely out of your skillset, minor tasks, like plastering or painting, could easily be carried out by you and will be a great deal cheaper then asking tradesmen to do the work on your behalf.
Determine your budget
From the very beginning of your renovation project, make sure you have decided on your budget, and make sure it is always clearly communicated with your designer, builder or architect. Make sure that not only you have drawn up a budget and stick to it, but that it is realistic to begin with. There is no point drawing up a strict budget that will be hard for you to keep to.
Avoid bespoke details
One of the biggest factors leading peoples build costs to get out of control is down to deciding to opt for bespoke details. Whatever stage of the build you are in, you will find it can dramatically increase your costs. You should try to keep to standard sizes whenever possible to reduce lead-in times too.
Think creatively with cheap materials
Where possible, think about the ways in which you could better use inexpensive materials when renovating. Think about whether you may be able to use plywoods instead of very expensive hardwoods, or perhaps there are materials you can recycle or upcycle.
A quantity surveyor could help
Don’t necessarily assume it will be the case that an architect will know how much it will cost to build. You are more likely to have a better idea of all the cots by investigating yourself and then figure out the final build sum. If the idea of doing this feels a little on the overwhelming side, look at getting a quantity surveyor who can work alongside you on the project about costs.
Always ensure you have done thorough research prior to carrying out significant changes to a building in order to keep build costs down. Think about attending workshops by self-build specialists, self-build shows or open days, to build upon your existing knowledge and also gain expert advice too.
Stick to tried-and-test methods
If you are serious about keeping your renovation projects low, then don’t make the decision to start using techniques or building materials that your builders are not familiar with already.
This is for a number of reasons. For example, it could increase wastage, it will also increase the time the builders are on site, meaning higher labour costs, and it could even lead to a sub-standard finished project.
When designing a building, make sure you are making the most of your chosen build system by ensuring it is as efficient as possible, to help reduce waste and unneccessary cuts.
It can be tempting to just use one builders’ merchants to save on time, but it wont necessarily save you any money. It is worth taking the time to shop around for the best price for build costs as it could make a dramatic difference. Always ensure you are asking for trade prices and materials prior to making a purchase. Remember also to think about things such as delivery fees, too, if you pick a smaller builders’ merchants, you will find they often deliver for free.