Now that you’ve spent some time refining your brief, clarifying what it is that you really need/want. It’s time to look at the budget! Yes, the budget. How much can you realistically spend on your project? This would be something you would need to discuss with your significant other, an accountant, the banks and maybe even close friends and family.
This is something you can’t afford to ‘ballpark’. You need to give yourself some definite financial boundaries. You could define an upper limit and a lower limit in order to give you some wriggle room in the instance that unexpected costs arise or you get keen to install a hot tub.
These financial boundaries will also help you keep on track throughout the process with your Architect and builder. It’s a point of accountability and helps everyone stay within the pre-determined boundaries that you’ve set.
The combination of your brief and the budget become the railroad tracks on which your project will become a reality. These tracks provide you with a decision-making matrix to guide you through.
It’s probably good to note at this point that there are a number of hidden costs associated with a project that many people don’t think about.
Your project budget will be greater than your construction budget. There are many associated costs with your project that many people don’t know about. Just to name the major professional services required:
Quantity Surveyor (estimator)
Council or private certifier application fees
Water board approval fees
BASIX certification fees
I’ve provided links to a few of the government required fees above to give you more information.
As you can see in the short list, there are a number of professional services required that are separate to the construction costs. These fees are generally separate to the fees of each profession. For example, Structural Engineering fees are separate to the Architectural fees, they are not all included in the one fee by your chosen Architect. These are services that you will require before you start to build. These services will need to be included in your overall project budget, not just the construction budget.
Once you’ve determined your budget and you’ve got your brief somewhat sorted its time to go talk to someone about getting some work done! and seeing how much it will cost! Let's go…