January 13, 2015Factors affecting the budget of a construction project

When should we discuss the Budget? What can affect the budget? How much will it really cost?


If you can take one thing away from this article it will hopefully be a realization that the budget is king, everything during the course of your construction project will revolve around this!
There are many things that can affect a construction project budget, we could write a book on it!

However we will stick to an epigrammatic style with this post.


Architects/Designers are sometimes criticised for not being commercially aware, that is they may be fantastic designers but there is little use designing a beautiful extension for a client that will cost £100,000 when the client’s budget is £50,000!


So to answer the first question when should we discuss the budget?  is right at the very beginning of the process, when initially meeting with your Architect/designer try to be as clear as possible about what you want and how much you have to spend, a good Architect/Designer will take the time to discuss your brief with you at this stage and help you with some good ideas to refine this.


What can affect the budget?



This can often be overlooked when it comes to affecting the budget, for example two houses might be the same size in terms of m2 but one may be a more traditional rectangle shape the other might be circular, the circular one will no doubt be more expensive to build. This is termed build ability, how complex is it to build? Generally the more complex the design the more it will cost to build. Bear this in mind when commissioning your Architect/designer to design your extension.




A sloping site will cost more to build on than a flat site also ground conditions will affect the budget with poor soil conditions requiring more specialised and expensive foundations and building methods.





A high end finish will obviously cost more than a budget fit out, for example a walnut floor will cost more than say laminate flooring, natural stone more than ceramic etc., your Architect/Designer should have a good handle on how much things cost and be in a position to find out, its often a good idea to check prices for yourself beforehand in order to save any nasty surprises.

As a rule if you are looking for high end bespoke finishes it will cost more than ‘of the peg’ fixtures and fittings




When the construction industry is booming it can often be more difficult and expensive to employ the best contractors for your construction project, contractors can afford to raise their prices and still secure work without too much trouble, basically a case of supply and demand, bear this in mind when things are particularly busy.





In Motor racing there is a saying: “Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?” This is also true in the construction industry. If your project has a particularly tight schedule, it is definitely going to cost more.



Professional Fees

Architects/Designers, Quantity surveyors, Structural engineer’s fees. Local authority fees for planning applications and building warrants. Your Architect/Designer will spell out what fees are involved and what other professional services will be required, they should also explain how much local authority fees will be.


How much will it cost?

This is a very common question, a price per m2 can be obtained and used as a guide, your Architect/Designer will know from recent jobs that they have been involved in and may be able to help you with this.

Hopefully this has given you an insight as to what aspects of a construction project can affect the budget. We have examined the contributing factors to the here and now, what about the life cycle cost of the building?

How can we reduce and control future maintenance and costs? How can our Architect/Designer help us with this?


We will discuss these questions in our next post.