Estimating Building Costs
Estimating the cost per square meter is quite easy - we even have a calculator that does it for you. The running price per square meter in the U.K. today is from £550 to £1,500 per square meter, averaging in the vicinity of £775 per square meter.
Getting a rough or gross estimate is easy. This is a closely guarded secret of building contractors. If your liveable floor area is about 100 square meters, multiply that by £775 and you get a rough estimate of £77,500 for labour and materials. This of course does not include the lot and furnishings. Take note that building a new home entails material, labour, land and other overhead and seemingly invisible expenses.
To get a more accurate quote simply use our online quotation form to provide you with 5 quotes from reputable tradesmen in your area.
A qualified estimator can give you a breakdown of all the materials that is needed to build your new home.
Here are some of the aspects that are estimated when building a new house: concrete and steel; carpentry and wood works; aluminium and glass; kitchen and bathroom fixtures; flooring materials; roofing materials; exterior and interior finishing, painting, electrical and mechanical. The estimates do not include site preparation and excavation, landscaping, walkways and driveways and outdoor areas unless specified. Finishing materials and labour for bonus rooms such as the basement or the attic are not included in the estimates too.
Building Costs Estimating is not a matter of guess work and luck.
There are actually formulas and table available online to help you estimate your building cost. However if you truly want to have a go at estimating there are probably two old but time-tested methods used by architects and contractors to get detailed estimates and that is by direct counting and by formulas.
- Concrete: Let's say you want to get an approximate ready-mixed concrete you need for your floor area with dimensions of 4 meters by 5 meters with a thickness of about 6 inches. Convert the 6 inches into metric which is 0.15 meters. Get the volume of the concrete by multiplying 4 by 5 by 0.15. This would give you a total of 3 cubic meters which is the volume of ready-mixed concrete that you need. A cubic meter of ready-mixed concrete costs about £80. You have to consider the number of reinforcement bars if need be.
- Tiling: In estimating the number of tiles for flooring or walling, the number of tiles depends on the size of the tiles. First you need to get the floor or wall area by multiplying the height and width of the wall or the dimensions of the floor. You need about 25 pieces of 20 cm by 20 cm tiles per square meter; 6 and ¼ pieces of 40 cm by 40 cm tiles per square meter and about 11 pieces of 30 cm by 30 cm tiles per square meter. You would need about a kilo of cement filler mortar per square meter and roughly 0.076 bags of a 40 kg Portland cement paste per square meter too.
- Paint: A litre of paint can cover 10 to 12 square meters of wall. If the wall is fresh and has not been painted yet, the wall would need about 3 coats which translate to about 3 to 4 square meters to a litre of paint.
The building cost estimate varies with regards to labour and material cost.
Labour in highly urbanized areas differ from rural areas. Prices of materials differ too as additional fees might be added to materials that are imported or of higher quality. It is therefore important to note the brand and type of materials that you or your contractor will use. Actual building construction cost may also fluctuate because of economic conditions and availability of contractors and materials. It is almost always a protocol to add from 10% to 15% more on top of the estimated cost to cover for the price fluctuation - at least on the part of the contractor. It is best to stick to your budget. Do not get side-tracked by new materials in the market and add-ons that you can't afford. Do not change floor plans and details unnecessarily for that could cost you money and time that too. It is best to stick to the original plan. If there is an immediate need to change materials due to unavailability do so but choose the one closest to the original.
If you are a do-it-yourself-er and you plan to do some minor renovations in your house, maybe being in charge is best. Just remember to keep costs as low as you can. Get yourself a spreadsheet to keep track of your expenses. Look for the best bargains in town search for online help on how to do proper building cost estimates for your particular remodelling or renovation job.
Building Cost Estimates
Building your dream house is considerably cheaper than buying a ready-built home. However, there are certain advantages though in buying a pre-built home. First, you don't have to look for an architect and a contractor to design and build your dream house. You can just go look for a real estate agent, give him (or her) your preference regarding house specifications, your budget and house location and you are done. This way, you can go both ways: find your dream house or not. However, if you want to "build" your own dream house then get ready for months of stress and headaches as it is not easy to manage the design and construction of your dream house.
The great thing about building your own house is that you get to integrate your personal specifications in the design. You only have to confer with your architect so that you can give him (or her) your ideas and concept. After going through the schematics and preliminary drawings, numerous consultations and revisions and more revisions, you are finally holding in your hands the plans and working drawings of your dream house. It is best to have a qualified person to estimate your home.
"figures are a bit out; add on 20% at least. We have a lot of problems with customers expecting these prices when the reality is they cost at least 20% more."
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