If you are thinking of getting some building work done to your home and are asking yourself ‘how much will it cost‘, then keep reading.
Am guessing you’ve already used the googles about this subject and haven’t found any good answers.
So I’ll say it now and get it out of the way; there isn’t a single magic bullet way to do it.
The truth is there isn’t one that doesn’t involve some kind of investment either time wise or money wise on your part.
However, out of the many ways to get a price for what you want done to your home I’m going to cover 3 methods here that I feel most apply to you the homeowner.
I’m going to give you the pros and cons of each and I’ll rate each in terms of accuracy of price, cost to you and time investment required to get the price.
Why Pricing Your Building Work Isn’t Easy
But why is doing it yourself such a pain?
Y’ see a home renovation is basically a package of lots of smaller bits of work that when combined form your finished house.
It’s a bit like baking a cake, you start with a lot of ingredients which you then combine in a sequential manner and when you’re finished you have a nice cake.
Now with construction projects, the sequence of events are not exactly linear like they are with a cake.
Sure there is a sequence but instead of having 1 series of events like a cake, there are many all occurring at the same time and they need to converge at the right times too.
As a result there are a lot more variables and all it takes is one thing to go wrong and the whole project is affected sometimes not until some time later when it’s not obvious.
This makes construction projects hard to manage and as a result hard to price too.
In other words there are lots of variables and it’s the interaction between the variables that’s harder to predict.
You can of course quantify the materials and labour that will be used but that’s not where a lot of your money gets spent.
For this same reason it’s always wise to have at least 10% put away as a contingency especially for renovations.
So in a nutshell any price you get won’t be 100% accurate anyway when it’s compared to the final cost you’ll pay to get the work done.
However some methods are more accurate than others which we’ll look at now.
Method 1 – Doing It All Yourself
Well to price it up yourself you need to put together what’s called a Schedule of Works.
So depending on what you want done, you put together a sequential list of things to be done, and if your project is big enough, several lists that need to be done and you put a rate against each item.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
You can find plenty of free templates online if you do a search for what you plan to get done, for example ‘schedule of works for a house extension..
There is a book that gets updated regularly that will give you the current rates and it’s called Spons.
You can get the current version on Amazon but it will set you back around £130 or so so it’s not cheap.
In addition to this you do need to know how your renovation will be built, so a knowledge of construction is essential to do this properly, otherwise the accuracy falls off dramatically.
So in short this probably isn’t the best way for the average homeowner to price up his building work.
Method 2 – The Flat Rate
The next method is by measuring the floor area you are working on and multiply that by a rate per square foot or metre.
So if you were renovating your ground floor you would measure the area of your ground floor and apply a rate to it.
If you were converting your loft you would measure the area of the loft space and apply another rate to that.
You get the idea.
The typical rates change all the time and are very ball park.
A lot depends on the type of material you intend on using and of course where you live, a renovation in London is going to cost more than one in Exeter for example.
The general rates are between £500-£1000 per square metre for renovating and £1000-£1500 for new construction like an extension or loft conversion.
Just do a google search for renovating or refurbishing costs per square metre or square foot and you’ll see just how much variation there is in this.
If you are just looking for a ballpark figure then this might suit you down to the ground.
One way to get a good ballpark rate is to ring up a Quantity Surveyors office that deal with renovation work in your area and simply ask them to give you a rate per square metre for what you want done.
It’ll be as close as you’ll get with this method and you’ll have spent little time or money to do it.
Method 3 – Getting Someone Else To Do The Work
The third way to do this is in my opinion by far the best and most accurate for the average homeowner.
Firstly you will need drawings of what you want done to get this to work so the previous method might be better for you if you don’t want to go that far.
To prepare a set of drawings, more often than not you will require professional help with this be it an architect or interior designer.
If you’re still undecided you can get a basic set of plans put together for around £300-£500 by a student architect that will serve the purpose of getting an accurate price.
Once you have a set of drawings you simply ring up a few builders and ask them to give you a quote based on those drawings.
You should start by going to at least 5 people and if you really want to go all out, send it to around 10.
Around 60% of the people you contact and agree to give you a quote will come back with a price for you, so expect 3 out of the 5 or 6 out of the 10.
You can request a detailed breakdown if you wish and some will provide that and some won’t.
Say for example you’re getting a new kitchen built and installed so a kitchen specialist would break down their quote into things like:
- The cost & make of sinks,
- cost and make of cabinets,
- cost & make of various kitchen appliances,
- drainage & plumbing costs,
- shelving & storage,
- cost & make of taps
- and a load of other things that might be important like cost and material of kitchen work tops, etc
And then we look at installation costs, guarantees, etc you might even have lighting and flooring and the installation of those too, it all depends on what you want done and the what you are getting your supplier or builder to do for you.
Obviously if you are getting some proper building work done then this would be an even bigger list of things all broken down on the quote.
The better the drawings you have the easier you make it for someone to give you a detailed quote and as a result the more detailed quotes you will get back.
So there are 3 methods for you to get a price for the building work you are thinking of having done. I sincerely hope this blog post was of use to you.
Need Financing To Get That Much Needed Extra Space In Your Home?
Pretty much most of our clients require financing to get the badly needed work done to their homes and start enjoying that extra space sooner rather than later.
So we’ve reached out and partnered with Norton Finance to help you get the best deals & loan rates when raising the cash to get the work done to your home.
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You’ll get brought to our affiliate page where you simply fill out your details, what kind of loan you want and for how much and they’ll let you know what funds you can.
It’s a completely free quote with no strings attached.
Now to be completely transparent we do get a commission if you raise financing through Norton.
That said we’ve been doing this for nearly 20 years now and we only promote what we see as quality products & services to our readers and subscribers.
We’re very careful who we partner with as we have a reputation to live up to and that means serving you at our very best all of the time.
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