Costs are on the way up and have been for the past 18 months, with no signs of slowing and timing delays never-ending. More and more homeowners are conscious of price increases and looking at ways to reduce on costs of their new home or home renovation
Working with your builder before the initial design stage is super important especially now in this horrible market, we are all experiencing.
With prices increasing every day even builders including us at Distinct Building Company are struggling to keep up to date with the actual cost of materials and trades.
Therefore, if budget is important to you, then read on to find out ways in which you can save on the cost of your next home build or renovation.
I have brainstormed ideas of how we can help save our clients on the overall cost. These ideas are listed in order of biggest potential for cost-saving to smallest.
Overall Layout of Home
The number one cost-saving we believe we can offer our clients is making sure the overall layout of the design is the most efficient yet still suited to your lifestyle and remains functional for you. The cheapest layout is not all the best.
For example, it may be the cheapest option to have the new ensuite/ bathroom run off the back of the existing bathroom from a plumbing standpoint. However, the new bedroom based on functionality and flow needs to be placed further away from the existing bathroom. We then brainstorm together as builder, designer and homeowner where is the next best option.
Another example, you may want to leave the kitchen where it is however having the kitchen where it remains does not allow for the desire for a larger kitchen with plenty of natural light. We, therefore, collaborate to ensure that you get your kitchen in the best place based on your desires, the overall project budget and the best design was given the up to date residential design codes.
The overall layout and flow of a home can save costs quite significantly also along with the next two points- Floor Plan size and Demolition.
Floor Plan Size
This can have a substantial impact on the overall cost of a build and most of you would not be surprised here.
However, not all designers and architects are aware of the dramatic cost of floor plan size affecting the overall cost. Not only are we talking about the floor plan size as a general measure but more so where to add extra space into what rooms to ensure it is not going to completely blow the budget.
For example, having a 200m2 home with 3 bathrooms and a large kitchen scullery and laundry vs having a 200m2 home with 2 bathrooms and one kitchen with a combined scullery and laundry could be a difference of $40,000!
So, make sure when drawing up your floor plan you are aware of what wet areas there will be as well as noting the total floor plan size.
Demolition of Existing Home
This is only valid when doing a home renovation and or extension, it is in relation to how much of the existing home must be demolished to make way for the new renovation works or new extension areas of the home.
Certain walls may cost more to demolish than others. Also keeping some walls and creating a bigger entrance into the space or knocking through a part of the wall to create a doorway may be a better option based on overall flow and cost.
The key here is that having a builder on hand to discuss the estimates of each of the options means you and your designer can make better design decisions.
Flooring for the project has quite a substantial cost effect on the overall price. Some flooring options need to be decided at the design stage to ensure the engineering is correct and the foundations are appropriate for the selected flooring
For example, a polished concrete floor involves a different density in the concrete slab and could involve a different concrete mix or colour. This has a big impact on price also.
When discussing a renovation, the existing flooring needs to be considered and whether it needs to be demolished or can be levelled off and then placed the selected flooring over the top.
Either way, you look at it, flooring can be a substantial cost in a build and needs to be considered from both a cost and construction standpoint and of cause aesthetically.
Cabinetry relates to all cabinetry in a home and includes, laundry cupboards, WIR fit-out, bathroom vanities, kitchen, and scullery cabinets.
Cabinetry on a new built three-bedroom 2-bathroom home could be double the price or triple when comparing different homes.
You could quite easily spend $85,000 on a home’s cabinetry. Now, on a home close to $500,000 this is almost 20% of the build cost!
On the same home you could get away with spending $45,000 and still have a very nice looking home, or you could skimp and save and only budget $30,000 for the whole home but you will not have a lot of storage at all in this last case.
The reason for the extreme cost differences is based on the final specification and layout you choose for the cabinets.
Drawers are more expensive than cupboard doors, fancy pocket doors and bin holders can cost quite a bit just to buy the mechanisms that make them work.
Also, the options for the finish on the cupboard doors and drawer fronts are endless and continue to grow every day as new products come on to the market. You can have solid timber, timber veneer, 2 Pac painted, laminate and the list go on. Then on top of this, you may have a different profile for the door front which involves more work and more cost of course!
The more you spec it up the more the cost will blow out.
It, therefore, goes without saying that having a builder work with you and his trades throughout the design phase to get the price and spec right for the cabinetry will help massage and navigate the overall spend as you go through the design phase.
The above is not an exhaustive list of ways to save on cost when designing your next home or home renovation, however, it does give you insight into the areas that we feel you could save a bit of money on.
Getting your builder to work with you and your designer on the overall flow of your home plus the actual floor plan size and in what areas to add more space and where to reduce floor plan size can really help with keeping costs down.
Also, when renovating being aware of what areas need demolition work and how to avoid as much demolition as possible without affecting flow and functionality is key.
Finally, the two significant areas in materials and fixtures selections that we see being blown out of the water are related to flooring and cabinetry.
Working with your builder from the start allows you to make sacrifices in some areas to gain the must-haves you want for the final design.
The key thing here is to ensure you work with your builder and designer from the get-go to ensure that the project is king throughout the design phase and that you work to your desired budget.
Please be mindful however that right now budgets are getting blown and you need to have buffers in place and be patient with timing at all stages of the build phase from design right the way through to the final completion of your new home.
So, if you are considering a new project and looking for a builder to help you with this stage feel free to reach out to us here at Distinct Building Company and see if it is a project we may be able to assist you with.