How do you cost something that has not yet been designed? It’s a Catch-22. However, as discussed in the budgeting section, you start by working with a cost per square metre/foot rule of thumb and using your designer’s experience. This process will broadly give you the size of house you can afford – and it is essential to be realistic at this stage and focus on the essentials if your budget is limited. Once a basic design has been drawn up a quantity surveyor can start to put costs together.
Clearly, the more detail in your decisions the more the costing will be accurate. The devil is truly in the detail. But don’t worry too much if you haven’t decided precisely what floor covering to use in the kitchen – a reasonable estimate can be made depending on whether you want budget, medium or high quality materials.
- Design to standard dimensions to reduce waste, using readily found (easy to source) materials.
- Square or rectangular shapes are cheaper than curves to build.
- Minimise non-functional spaces like corridors.
- Work with the existing landscape and build your home on the most level part of your site otherwise you could end up fighting the slope in everything you do.