It recently occurred to me after experiencing first hand on two separate occasions with two separate inquiries from prospective clients, that I need to share their story with you: how having set unrealistic budget expectations for your home renovations can end in tears. I'll also share with you how this can be avoided right from the get go and what not to do to achieve your dreams!
Under Budget Example 1: Red Hill
Clients came to us with their own architecturally designed drawings. It was a Queenslander type construction. Existing house was 120 square meters. Finished project was 395 square meters. A swimming pool needed to be constructed and there was a 5 metre fall from the front to the back - quite a severe fall. Huge construction costs. The client's budget expectation was 40% below the final contract price.
Under Budget Example 2: Wavell Heights
This property was 375 square meters when complete. Existing house was 130 square meters and had to be lifted, raised and built in underneath. The client came to us with pre-prepared DA approved drawings. Property was designed by an architect. Engineer's designs were complete and energy efficiency was all ready to build. The clients had already probably spent about 20 thousand dollars. Two story, level block and a swimming pool needed to be built too. The client's budget expectations were 40% below the actual build price.
How to avoid unrealistic budget expectations: Careful design choices
Now I will explain how to avoid this and the traps to look out for at the early stages of your house renovations. Most people budget expectations are as much as 50% below what the end construction cost will be.
Trying to push the design process can impact the build price significantly. For example, if you want to lift the house an extra 300mm, you could be looking at a different structural framing size; this could also mean extra insulation, plasterboard, bricks, cladding or scaffolding. All of these things will significantly inflate your build price which is why it is important to be looking at the whole process when designing.
Architect and building designers won't know about current building costs because they design and builders build. So all the fancy ideas and dreams get added into the design without any consideration for building costs. Architects and building designers do a fantastic job but they know nothing about the cost of a build. You need to be told right from the start that design changes are going to inflate your build price.
Something else you may like to consider is compromising on your unrealistic expectations on both budget and design. Do you really need that wasted floor area that probably won't get used at the end of the day?
One team of builder-designers
Find out more about the building design process we follow. What ever features you want in your home, whatever priorities you have, you need one team of builder-designers, not 2 separate companies.
For the best approach to designing your new home or renovation, choose a builder that can handle design as well. Choose Constructive Homes.
Download our free guide with all the critical questions to ask before selecting your renovation builder. This could be the single most important decision you can make in your building project. You don't want to waste thousands of dollars on unused building designs do you?