Calculating Your Building Costs Before You Build
Building can be an expensive process and one which can run away with your budget if you're not careful. Often we just leave it in the hands of the builder or contractor and trust that he has calculated the costs correctly. A great option tolook at before you build, or if you are considering building, is to calculate your costs beforehand. That way you can keep your hand on all the money flowing out and an eye on exactly what is happening.
Clive Smith of Build-Aid has provided us with an overall view of just how important using a specialist to calculate your costs beforehand can be.
WHY YOU SHOULD USE BUILD AID
Thöle & Associates t/a BUILD AID, SPECIALISES IN CALCULATING BUILDING COSTS, IN DETAIL, FOR THE RESIDENTIAL MARKET. The cost estimating service is similar to Quantity Surveying, the difference being that we calculate & list all material quantities, labour costs and sub-contractor rates separately. The material detail includes the following: number of bricks required, packets of cement, litres of paint, lengths of skirtings, and number of doorstops to name but a few. All labour rates are also included i.e. the total cost to lay bricks, plaster walls, erect the roof, hang doors, paint walls, fix tiles etc. All the labour and material rates are also split into the various building stages, such as foundations and superstructure etc so that materials can be ordered separately for each stage if required.
Before we start measuring the plans, we will spend a short time with the client (who could either be the builder, architect, project manager or home owner) to obtain as much information as possible. This initial detailed brief is necessary because not all the required information will be indicated on the plans. Typical examples could be: have the site levels been correctly indicated on the elevations and what finishes are to be specified for the skirtings and cornices? If certain finishes are unknown at that time, BUILD AID will assume a minimum specification for you. The more information that is supplied to them, the more detailed and accurate their measuring will be.
The finished document will usually consist of about 35 pages and will be listed in the various stages of construction e.g. municipal costs, site preparation, foundations, superstructure, plastering, and ends off with a list of P.C. Items & Provisional Amounts such as kitchen fittings and appliances, light fittings, swimming pool, landscaping, wine racks etc.
Upon collection of the finished cost estimate, the estimator who undertook the measuring will again spend time with the client explaining the cost estimate and making sure that the client understands all the detail and terminology used. The client will also be advised to make provision for unexpected costs, such as time delays due to possible delivery problems, price increases on materials or delays to construction due to inclement weather etc. Other possible reasons for additional costs could be finding rock when digging the foundations, necessitating the use of power tools or having to dig the foundations deeper than what was expected due to poor soil conditions. BUILD AID will however try to allow for such items by including a contingency amount for these possible eventualities.
The cost analysis can also be provided in an Excel spreadsheet format, enabling the client to manipulate both the detail and prices to suit their own particular requirements. All the rates and prices that we use are market related, and as BUILD AID does not dictate what rates the building contractor should or will use, it is therefore necessary for the builder to possibly adjust certain rates and costs to suit his own particular requirements.
We, through experience, know that our clients will save money and prevent a possible building nightmare by being made fully aware of all the costs and detail relating to their building project, whether it is for a new house, townhouse, additions and alterations or maybe just a boundary wall. The cost estimate puts the client “in charge” of the project, eliminating much guesswork and aiding in making the project a pleasure and not a nightmare.
The BUILD AID cost estimate can be used:
* AS AN ACCURATE GUIDE TO BUILDING COSTS
* TO ASSIST IN ESTABLISHING THE CORRECT CONTRACT PRICE
* FOR RAISING FINANCE AT A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION
* TO ORDER CORRECT MATERIAL QUANTITIES
* FOR STOCK CONTROL (THEFT ETC)
* AS A GUIDE TO MATERIAL PRICES
* AS A GUIDE TO LABOUR COSTS
* AS A GUIDE TO SUB-CONTRACTOR RATES
* TO TAKE THE GUESSWORK OUT OF QUOTING
* TO SAVE MUCH TIME, MONEY AND BE MORE PROFFESSIONAL
* TO AVOID HIDDEN COSTS AND PITFALLS
* TO PUT YOU IN CHARGE
It is wise to use the services of an experienced Cost Estimator as they have had years of experience and are in touch daily with market related prices and rates. They have a good feel for hidden costs and can also advise on possible savings. If you do not know all the labour rates and do not know how to accurately calculate the material quantities yourself, then it is strongly advised to utilise the services of a professional cost estimator. They are there to advise you as to what the market related price should be for your anticipated project. Without this information, you are walking in the dark!
For more details please visit the Build Aid Consulting website.
Contact: Martin or Dieter:
Tel: 011 781 5170
Cell: 083 271 9392