Ask the Expert – Brian Corry of Selfbuild+ chats with self-build expert John Corless about how to keep on top of costs on site.
They discuss the need to have a budget and a schedule in place, as any deviation from these will lead to delays/additional costs in making right. A quanitity surveyor will help you with this, as they can put together a “take off” (for a list of the items you will require to build the house, which you can then give to multiple suppliers/builders to price), or a “bill of quantities” (which will be the same list but with average costings for all elements as supplied by the quantity surveyor).
Communication is at the heart of reducing costs on site; if everyone is following the same up-to-date set of construction drawings, there will be less chance of delays and costs resulting from remedial work. Making sure everyone and all materials show up on site when needed, not early or late, also helps reduce wastage.
VAT is an element to bear in mind for cash flow; if self-builders buy products themselves they will be charged a higher rate than a builder or tradesperson (this VAT can be claimed back in NI at the end of the build, but not in ROI).