When is comes to your home a trap of the unwary is the significant difference between the cost of building a new house compared to renovating and extending an existing one. Here is some information from the team at Design West about the additional costs involved in renovation and extension.
1. Poorly established Scope of Works
A tricky thing about managing a renovation and controlling costs is knowing where to start and where to stop. Once you understand what needs to happen you must be able to communicate this to a builder. This is where you will rely upon your documentation set which should include Plans and a Specification, a document that itemises all of the inclusions, fittings and finishes that may not be shown on the plans.
2. Demolition is expensive!
Demolishing is a process that is inherent in most renovations and is labour intensive. This can also be dangerous as it’s difficult to know exactly what to expect once you begin your building project which can lead to additional costs. Before a wall is removed, you must ensure that it is not load bearing, otherwise you will need to make an allowance for restructuring the wall. Where possible, try to minimise the amount of demolition involved and, if it can’t be avoided, make sure you get professional advice about how to deal with removing load bearing walls.
3. The knock-on effect
One of the reasons that renovation projects have a habit of leaking money is because of the knock-on effect, where one decision will have an impact on several others down the line. For example, the decision to remove a non-load bearing wall may seem like the obvious thing to do to open a room up. However, that wall is also connected to the floor, the ceiling and two other walls; and once the wall is removed, you will then be required to repair and patch
the gaps that the wall leaves behind. This can send costs spiralling upward, as you will also need to repaint the walls and ceilings where the repairs have been completed.
4. Electrical oversights
Electrical work is one area that often experiences a blow-out in the budget. Unless they are advised otherwise, builders will often only make allowance for the bare minimum requirements of electrical items in their quotes, which may only be one light and one power point per room. Often there will be no allowance for light fittings either, just the batten holder with a globe. If you are not aware of this then you are left exposed to the additional costs of more light
points and power points (you will get charged per point) as well as the costs of the actual light fittings.To rub salt into the wound, any additional expenses over and above what was quoted may also attract a builder’s margin of up to 20% on top of the additional costs.
This is another example where using an Inclusions Specification will ensure that the quotes being prepared by builders or trades are thorough and consistent with your expectations.
There are many more components that need to be addressed when looking at renovation or re-building. Preparation is key to minimising the impact of any surprises, as is working with a designer and builder who are familiar with the type of project you are planning. If
you are thinking of renovating or building a new home, please give Design West a call on 6342 3230 and they can talk you through your options.
By Karen Gay