The single most important thing to do if you want your house build to go as smoothly as possible, is get a realistic budget in place before you start designing.
A budget is not what you want to spend, that is just a notional figure of what funds you think you can live without.
A budget is the result of a multi-stage process of
preparing a wish-list of what you want to build, (the ‘brief’)
working out what that will cost,
fighting and crying for a bit
selling the dog and your collection of first-edition vinyl New Romantics records
working out what you omit from your wish-list to make your brief robust and reflect what is financially acceptable
Now you have a brief, a budget, and are ready to start designing.
The second step is the difficult one when you have no experience of commissioning a construction project.
HARD COSTS VERSUS SOFT COSTS
Hard costs, are the costs associated with things you are physically going to build, usually they are what the main contractor is going to be tendering for. I call this the ‘contract sum’ in my costs plans.
Soft Costs, are costs which you must pay, which are peripheral to the contract sum. I am going to show you how to allow these in the 13 steps, but as a rule of thumb, add 30 to 40% onto the hard costs. Or to put it another way, your hard costs are likely to be about 75% of the overall budget.
So you can see straight away, if you plan a build project around a builder’s stated ‘€ per square foot’ (i.e. pub-talk*) you will be instantly heading for a world of pain. Bye-bye Rex and Japan.
(*pub talk costs are a fascinating topic and I will do a separate analysis of this when I get a minute).
HOUSE BUILD COSTS
This is a rule of thumb to work out the cost of the house itself. It will be related to the size of the space contained within (the Schedule of Accommodation).
I have an effective rule of thumb method, where I attribute higher costs for main rooms, and middle cost for other rooms and a basic costs for utility rooms, storage etc. But I will simplify here.
1 FLOOR AREA
Add up the floor area of all the rooms you want. Add 15% to cover halls/circulation space and add 4 sqm if two storey for the stairs in addition to the 15%.
Multiply by €1,600.00 per square meter.
This rate is based on tenders in 2018 with good experienced contractors and a fully designed set of drawings and a Bill of Quantities with engineering drawings.
It is to passivhaus standard, so if you only want to build to the legal minimum, take 8% off this figure.
If you intend not complying with the Building Regulations, then use pub-talk.
2 FANCY KITCHENS
That figure would include a modest kitchen, say €10,000. Add €5,000 for what most people will actually spend. Add €5,000 if you want stone worktops or other shiny things.
Keep about €3 to €5,000 for appliances, these are not part of the builders contract and you will pay for them directly.
3 FANCY GLAZING
If you want big sliding windows or feature entrance glazing, you need to add a premium here. Anything from €5,000 to €30,000 over the basic allowance for a nice but restrained design.
4 FANCY LIGHTS
My rate would include about €1500 for light fittings, but if you want a show-house with feature lights, all low energy, add another €2500 for those. Double it if this is something you are going to go nuts on.
5 OPTIONAL EXTRAS
Excluded from the basic build cost are things that you are going to purchase yourself, built in wardrobes, blinds, curtains, furniture, any ‘loose’ fittings, kennel with a picure of Rex.
6 MECHANICAL / ELECTRICAL STUFF
Included is a heat pump, heat recovery ventilation system, wiring for an alarm,
Not included; ‘Phone-watch’ services, solar panels (not needed with heatpump).
7 SITE WORKS
Included; waste treatment plant, water connection, soakaways
Not included; garage, well drilling, electric gates, rainwater harvesting.
I would add in about €10,000 for a 15m long driveway. If you want this paved with brick this is extra, of if it is longer allow for more.
Demolition of existing building is not included.
Tree removal is not cheap, roughly €1,500 per mature tree.
Boundary works such as wall building, fencing, gates, piers, hedge removal are all extra.
If your site is sloping, you need to add a figure to cover cutting and filling, retaining walls, soil disposal.
Add about 6% to all the hard costs above (not the stuff you are paying for directly which the builder is not installing) to cover the builders overheads like skip hire, waste removal, temporary toilets, insurances, cleaning, security, scaffolding etc.
9 INFLATION IS 0% RIGHT?
I am advising clients doing costs plans today, to allow 4-6% per annum inflation in construction costs. If you are costing this today, you will take 1 year minimum to get a design together, apply for planning, do a detailed tender package, tender and negotiate a contract and issue your commencement notice. Longer if you need to do an An Bórd Pleanála trip or a trial separation from your spouse.
Add 13.5% VAT to the construction cost.
11 SURVEYS (ADD 23% VAT)
Topographical survey €900 plus vat
This is the site layout and levels required for planning applications.
Asbestos survey if you have a pre year 2000 structure to demolish. €700 plus vat
Trial pits for drainage/foundation design. €400 plus vat
Possible others are;
Well drilling. Tree survey
12 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES (ADD VAT AT 23%)
Structural/Civil engineer report/services
Architectural fee for standard services including Design Certifier.
Assigned Certifier (Opt-Out to be considered)
Quantity Surveyor services
Mechanical/electrical engineer services
Project Supervisor Design Process
Thermal Bridge calculations
PassivHaus Certification if required
Climate data if required
Archaeology if required
allow say 10 to 16% of the Contract sum ( steps 1 to 10, excluding vat and things you are not getting the contractor to do) for all of the above, but it is project specific.
13 EXPENSES (ADD VAT AT 23%)
Printing, postage €1,000
Planning application fee €65
Local Authority contribution could be €3 to €5,000 depending on floor area.
Commencement notice fee €30
Irish water contribution excluded.
Psychotherapy or Drying-out clinic
There you go! You now have absolutely no excuse for your project not going to plan. Unless you have no hope of getting planning permission.. But that is a topic for another day! Do come back and see my advice on how to address that one.
THANK YOU FOR READING OUR BLOG POST ON THINGS TO BUDGET FOR WHEN PLANNING YOUR HOUSE
I would love to hear your comments on the cost plan and if you have any questions post them in the comments below and I will get back to you. Thank you for reading my blog on this issue and do share it using the buttons opposite!
If you would like to speak with an architect please feel free to Contact Us
Also you can leave a comment or question below.
Ask The Expert!
You are invited to post your questions on this topic in the comment section at the end of the page and we will advise you as best we can….
PLEASE COME TO THE 2018 CAA EXHIBITION GALA OPENING ON FRIDAY 9TH NOVEMBER 2018 7 P.M.! We are delighted that our project, St Joseph's Woolen Mills in Castlemartyr has been selected by the CAA jury for this exhibition and would like to invite all our friends,...
How to plan for developing your site in Cork for small infill developments. There is huge potential locked up in under-developed sites in all over the city. With the huge pressure to get houses built, there is a great opportunity for those sites to yield much needed...
#ArchitalksIE This is my first contribution to a shared discussion among architects practicing in Ireland, where we will discuss aspects of our services and the profession, under the Twitter hastag #ArchitalksIE By using this hashtag on twitter, or links provided...
Cork Architects selected for 2018 CAA Annual Exhibition The Jury of the Cork Architectural Association met on Friday 7th September and reviewed the submissions from Cork Architectural practices entered for the upcoming Exhibition. This year there will be a significant...
Passive House Architecture Talk in Clonmel The PassivHaus architecture Company is delighted to be asked by Tipperary County Museum to talk to the people of Tipperary on Passive House Architecture. We will be focusing on the RIAI Award winning Quirke's Pharmacy...
Paul McNally architect, passivhaus expert, director of the PassivHaus Architecture Company based in Cork, Ireland. Designer of...
Rural Passive House design for 2018 This is our latest passive house project about to be submitted for planning approval in early 2018. On the edge of a town in County Cork, nestled in a beautiful valley with stunning views. The design orients the main dining room...
New Passive House Office Building Project For further information see The PassivHaus Architecture Company project page here! Call us on 021 2429455 if you would like something...
Thermal Bridge assessment for Part L compliance It seems a shame that due to restriction of competence to calculate thermal bridges for Part L compliance to only registered assessors, that it is very unlikely that these calculations will be carried out at all. There...
Introduction by Paul McNally Architect The following advice comes from Paul Overy, of Overy Associates in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary with whom I have collaborated on several low energy and passive projects. Overy Associates provide expert Building Services Consultant...