Information Sheet 32


Most people have an expectation when they start a building project that it will run over budget but this doesn?t have to be the case.

Before deciding to carry out any works you should get Professional advice (e.g. Architect, Engineer) and carry out an assessment of the feasibility of achieving the accommodation you require with the funds available.

There can always be unforeseen circumstances and things can go wrong so always build in a contingency fund of between 5% and 8% from the outset.

Make all your decisions early on in the process. This will allow you to put accurate costs on the various elements of the project and allow you to choose alternative materials or designs knowing that you can afford it. For larger projects you should consider using the services of a Quantity Surveyor to prepare a cost plan. This will help to give you an understanding of the costs and identify areas where savings may be made.

One of the areas where costs can spiral is finishes so stick to what you have chosen and shop around for value.

Choose the right builder – your Architect will be able to help in preparing tender lists and assessing the competence of contractors to carry out the works.

Don't cause delays – changing your mind late on or selecting materials that can't be delivered within the contractors schedule will cost you.

Always sign a contract as it's your only protection if something goes wrong. There are standard forms of contract, including forms of contract for small works.

©Holly Park Studio Ltd