Home Building

Help on Building a New Home

Building Costs

Q - We are trying at this stage to prepare a rough estimate of the cost of demolishing a three bedroom bungalow but we are having difficulty in finding any meaningful costs. Further, is £1,000 per square metre a reasonable starting point for a new build

Current demolition cost are about £8 per cubic metre of the house volume but this figure can be affected by the perceived residual value of the reclaimed materials - roof tiles, bricks, doors and the like. Look in Yellow Pages and talk to an architectural salvage company and get their views. Current house costs are running at between £900 and £1200 per square metre of floor area depending upon the level of the specification plus about £10k for drains, paths, fencing, drives and the like.

Building Regulations

Q- Could you please explain the position with regard to the CDM regulations and how it will affect us when we commence building our new house shortly. A builder will be doing most of the work and we will be just involved in the finishing trades such as tiling and painting

You will only be affected by CDM (Construction, Design and Management Regulations if you are building for profit because you are classified as a ‘Domestic Client'. But the designer and the contractors you use on the project have a duty of care to comply with these regulations on your behalf and they should be aware of this before they start work. Contact the HSE Information Line 0870 154 5500 for more details.

Building on a Slope

Q - How much extra would it cost to build on a sloping wooded site instead of a flat one?

It depends to some extent on the angle of the slope. If it is between 15 and 30 degrees it should probably about an extra 15% but if you can incorporate a split level arrangement the percentage will be reduced. You can make savings on drainage costs on a sloping site if the main sewer is at the bottom of the slope because you deed only excavate the drain trenches to the minimum depth and gravity will take over. So if you were building a 200 square metre house to a standard specification of say £900 per square metre, the extra cost for the slope should be approximately £27,000.

Building Contract

Q- We are going to use a contractor friend of ours to build our new house. We don't want to go to the expense of drawing up a formal contract between us
and hope to cover the important matters in a letter of appointment and wonder what sort of items should be included.

Friend or not, you should reconsider your decision not to use a formal standard contract. Contact the Royal Institute of British Architects on 0207 580 5533 and ask for a copy of  their Minor Works Contract. However, if you intend to proceed on a more informal basis, the following items should be covered.

Names and addresses of both parties to the contract, contractor's responsibility for the performance of his sub-contractors and employed staff, dates of dates of starting and completion, the contract price, payment arrangements, insurances, compliance with building regulations, planning requirements and CDM regulations, dealing with variations and retention monies are the main issues that should be agreed beforehand.

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