These are 13 things to budget for when planning your house build. 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. See more on budgeting for lighting here
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….
How NOT to Hire a good Architect! I have written at length here on how to hire an architect, how my process works and why it is in a client's interest to follow the tried and tested method, in order to have a good project outcome. However, some people never listen,...
What is a typical house design timeline? I advise clients that a typical house design timeline happens over roughly three years with almost a year for each major stage; - Year 1 Design - Year 2 Build - Year 3 Snagging The first year, Design, is detailed in the...
Open House Cork 2019 We were blown away by the interest in Passive House expressed during the events of Open House Cork 2019. Our participation began on Friday with my presentation on Climate Breakdown, Passive House and various projects showing its implementation. We...
Passive House De-Coded now on Instagram Instagram Passive House De-Coded series; We are delighted to present video content on Instagram showing our work in progress. The idea behind this content is to talk through all aspects of the design and execution of PassivHaus...
Bishopstown Extension open for viewing as part of Open House Cork 2019 programme We are looking forward to opening our house extension in Bishopstown, as part of the programme of Open House Cork...
Come see our latest PassivHaus in progress! This Passive House is under way in Bandon, County Cork and we would love you to come see what great construction looks like and have all your questions answered by the experts! First visit will be at 11.00 a.m. on Wednesday...
LEED Gold Office Design LEED Gold Office design was a central topic at the recent 'Delivering Commercial NZEB' conference in Pairc Ui Chaoimh, hosted by the Technical University of Dublin. It is apparent that low-energy office buildings are becoming the norm in the...
MODEL MAKING AS AN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN TOOL Why do architects make models? Because it is fun! From making Lego as a kid to building castles, dens, forts, treehouses, this was the kind of thing I have always enjoyed doing. Now I get to do it for real with buildings -...
This topic follows on from the recent general advice on things to budget for when planning a house build. The amount set aside in a contract or tender for a specific product is called a Prime Cost Sum, or p.c. sum. Contractually this means that it is a sum put in the...
A 'code of conduct' for clients and contractors What is a code of conduct? There is an explicit Code of Conduct for Architects, which governs our behaviour, and if we do not adhere to it, we can lose our Registration and be prevented from practicing as architects. But...