Costs often spiral out of control in construction budgets, and the extra costs are not always where you think they might be. A building project requires the owners to make many choices on fixtures, fittings, floors and colours. It is not unusual for clients to spend $30,000 to $40,000 over their initial construction budget on the many small things they feel they want (as opposed to need) to complete the project.
Here are 5 areas where costs can get out of control in your construction project:
1. Deferring decisions.
This is particularly true of floor finishes, wall tiles, kitchen and bathroom fixtures and fittings. If the construction is underway, and you have not made your selections, your builder will start pressuring you to make a choice. The builder is on a tight timetable, and cannot wait a few weeks for you to think some more about your finishes. This can result in you making hurried decisions and spending more money than your budget allows.
2. Overspending on your bathroom fittings.
You may have a $200 budget for a toilet, but fall in love with the $900 model. If you have two toilets in the house, you have just spent $1800 instead of your budgeted $400. That’s $1400 over budget just on the toilets. You still have the hand basins, taps, shower screen, shower rose, towel rail, mirrors… Bathrooms are an area where budgets are blown easily and quickly. Have a budget, and get the sales reps to show you what is available within your budget.
3. Overspending on your kitchen fixtures and fittings.
Just like the bathrooms, it’s easy to spend more on kitchen appliances you have fallen in love with, but don’t meet your budget. The same applies to the kitchen cabinetry and finishes. Does your budget really allow for stone benchtops and two-Pac gloss doors, or is it really a laminated kitchen budget? You could easily double your spend in the kitchen if you don’t keep spending under control.
4. Floor finishes.
Timber floors are lovely and a warm feature in any home. However, timber floors generally cost twice the price of an average tiled floor. Even tiled floors come in at different costs. Not only is there the cost of the tiles per square meter, but also the cost of laying the tiles can vary considerably. Large tiles, 600mm or bigger, will cost about twice the price to that of laying smaller tiles. Carpet generally costs about half that of a tiled floor, so for the budget-conscious, carpet will be one of the most cost-effective floor finishes.
5. Doors and door furniture.
Fancy front doors are a great way to set off your home, but they can come at a cost. Your builder may have allowed $600 for a nice front door and $100 on door furniture (door handles and locks), but you really want that $2500 all-glass model with the $800 door handle and lock. The same applies to interior doors. Most builders will allow for simple hollow core painted doors. You may have decided on panelled timber doors with brass fittings. The average house has somewhere between 10 and 25 doors, so make sure your budget works for what you have selected. Maybe you can have the fancy doors where they have the most effect, such as the master bedroom and living areas, and use more modest doors in other areas.