How to Avoid Budget Blowout When Building

Picture this: You’ve decided to build a brand new home. You’ve found a design you love, a builder you trust, the perfect place to build, a timeline that suits you and a plan that is seemingly within your budget. But then the build starts, unforeseen costs begin to climb and your budget starts to blow out completely.

This is a disheartening situation, but unfortunately it happens to many homeowners. It can be stressful and scary, especially if the costs have completely skyrocketed. But a budget blowout is easily avoided. With plenty of pre-planning and by choosing a team who can work cohesively to keep your build on budget, your brand new home can remain on track.

Consult with a builder during the design process

One of the biggest issues with budgets is disparities between the costs proposed by the architect and the building quote. Unfortunately, architects aren’t exposed to construction costs as frequently as builders and may be unaware of the exact cost of building materials and techniques.

Often, a client will approach an architect first and work with them to design a home they love. When the clients take these house plans to a builder for a project proposal, however, they can come in tens of thousands of dollars over budget. Of course, by this stage, the client is invested in the design so may decide to engage a cheaper builder who will cut corners to construct the home or put forward a vague quote that leads to prices climbing during the build. 

It’s always best to work with a builder from the very early stages, so they can be involved in the design process and consult about design changes that can be made. At SECON, we recommend taking advantage of a design and construct service, which allows clients to undertake the conceptualisation and building of their home under one roof. By designing and constructing with the team at SECON for example, you’ll have exclusive access to our architect and interior designer who will work closely with the construct team to ensure your home remains within budget at all times.

Pay for your quote 

An accurate quote takes time and money to prepare, which is why most quality custom home builders will charge for this service. In fact, if a builder offers a free quote, there is only a 20% chance of it being accurate. 

Builders who charge for quotes have processes in place to accurately assess the numbers and create an extensive and detailed proposal, which shows a breakdown of costs. This includes the price of materials, labour and specialist contractors. 

A good quote will also involve fair provisional sums and price cost items, which are allocations for items or materials where a price cannot be accurately determined during the quoting period. A trustworthy builder will create a decent allocation for these items, understanding that if the price is below the allocation, they can refund the client. A less trustworthy builder, however, may put in small allocations that are completely off, causing the budget to blow out down the track. Make sure you scrutinise these numbers. 

Go with a specialist 

Budget blowouts can also arise from engaging builder who doesn’t have extensive knowledge or experience in the type of home you’re building. For the final finish, and to remain within budget, choose an expert who specialises in what you’re after. For instance, our team at SECON specialise in luxury renovations, remarkable new homes and heritage home restorations. 

Need further advice about how to avoid budget blowout? Get in touch with the expert team at SECON Constructions today.

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