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How Not To Blow Your Build Budget

Most people who complete a self build will go on to make a profit if they decide to sell afterwards, but what steps can you take to ensure that you don't totally blow the budget?

There are lots of advantages to a totally unique self-build but most important is sound financial planning before and during the self-build, to ensure you stay within budget and make worthwhile savings.

Research all your costs carefully and get as many perspectives and quotes as possible. Self management skills will save you money from the word go and are useful as good planning and anticipation can relieve much of the pain and frustration that may occur.

The Right Site

Aside from the cost of buying the site, building plots often require a site survey to check boundaries and other variables that should be investigated. You will need to research the costs of this. There may be other investigations needed, depending on the type of land: a soil investigation and survey should always be commissioned in order to assess the type of foundation likely to be necessary.

Changes to foundations can be expensive and can vary from having to avoid a soft spot such as on old pond, right through to deep excavation or pile and ring beam foundation involving extra costs.

There are a lot of important questions to ask about the site itself.

Establishing the ground condition and available to utility services are vital.

Architects Fees

Make sure that you agree fees with your architect in writing and ask for details of any additional cost.

Printing out sets of plans.

Producing color elevations.

Ensure that you allow for all of the drawings and specification documents necessary to build the house.

Remember employing an architect to oversee the design project from start to finish can cost anything from 8 to 14 % of the budget.

One thing to keep in mind, the architect is an important go-between for you and the contractor and knows all the steps and costs involved and can actually save money.

Equipment Hire

This is another aspect to remember, not every self-build project will need vast arrays of equipment. But, if there are delays on the site and the hire period needs to be extended then there might well be a weekly penalty on the total hire charges. Check this on the contact before you sign to hire the equipment.


Other building materials vary so much that it's up to you whether you want them to become a budget blower or not. Ask the advice of the contractor, first and foremost; builder's merchants normally include delivery within their price, so it shouldn't be difficult to get a quote first. Any materials ordered direct from manufactures will usually incur a delivery charge.

Make sure that you get prices for you budget that the quote includes delivery . If your site is difficult to access, there may be additional delivery charges for staged deliveries on smaller vehicles.

Connecting to Utilities

Suburban plots or sites in towns are nearly always adequately covered for utilities. This may not be the case in all areas. Check for cost for supply of water, sewage and main services, all of this needs to be thoroughly research.

Delay and Pay

A vastly underestimated budget buster! Time is money in any building project and delays caused by lateness or non-delivery of materials can incur extra labour costs for waiting time, plus increased finance, rental and hire costs.

Building work not itemised in the original contract price is know as "extra". The cost of "extras" can total thousand on top of the fixed contract price.

Other Essentials

Remember also that there will be a host of other cost categories, all with the potential to become budget busters if not properly considered and researched.


Wall structure

Cills & Lintels

Roof finishes


External doors & windows


About the Author
Martin Smith is a successful freelance writer providing advice for home buyers and consumers on purchasing a variety of unique house plans which includes cottage plans, beach house plans, and more! His numerous articles provide a wonderfully researched resource of interesting and relevant information.

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