When designing your home and potentially even more so, when selecting your fixtures and fittings, little changes can have a huge impact.
This week we had a meeting with one of our clients and the builder to discuss the quote to see how we could reduce the build cost, as the final quote came in a lot higher than the original estimate after the design was finished.
This much higher quote was a bit of a shock to our clients, consequently they would not be able to afford the build.
Firstly we had a closer look at what had changed since we finalised the design. The builder went through the big-ticket items and looked at simple options to reduce the cost.
When builders give you an estimate on design drawings or unfinished working drawings, they have to make a lot of assumptions.
In this instance, the substantial increase in the price was due to the high-end materials and the fixtures and fittings selected. These small changes had a huge impact on the final quote. Fortunately, we were able to come up with a big list of potential changes, that would not change the look of the house, but will reduce the overall cost of the build.
Here are some examples of how we potentially saved our client well over $100,000:
USING STANDARD CLADDINGS AND COLOURS FROM THE STANDARD COLOUR RANGE
Swapping custom folded metal cladding in a specialty colour for the roofing and the feature walls to a standard Colorbond material or FC (fibre cement) cladding.
Saving: Approx $40,000 – $45,000
REPLACING THE NATURAL STONE FEATURES
Changing the Natural Stone benchtops to high-end Caesar Stone
Saving: $30,000 – $40,000
Removing natural stone feature wall in the bathroom.
Saving: Approx $11,000
Same look but using a different supplier.
Saving: Around $7,000
CHANGING BATHROOM FIXTURES AND FITTINGS
Alternative quote from another store for similar products.
Saving: Around $5,000
FINE-TUNING DOOR OPENINGS
Importing triple glazed windows for this home and changing the door types.
We have a total of 4 big sliding doors. Each of these doors is around $10,000. Changing them to hinged doors saved around $5,500 per door. In this instance, having a large fixed section and then an openable door. We’re considering keeping the main door as a slider and changing the others to hinged doors.
CHANGING FROM HIDDEN BOX GUTTER TO EAVES GUTTER
By keeping the eaves gutter the same colour as the fascia board it will barely be visible.
Saving: Around $5,000.
Total savings are around $120,000.
The house will still look and feel the same, with a much lower mortgage for the clients.
This saving was achieved by changing just the big-ticket items. Additional smaller alterations are being considered for more of a saving.
In summary, when building and designing your home be mindful to stay with the standard range or off the shelf products and materials where you can. As even seemingly small changes, a few thousand dollars here and there, can have a huge impact on the total build cost.
Having said this, the one thing I would never skimp on is the quality and performance of the windows and insulation. I would rather install an Ikea kitchen than settle for a bad performing window, just because it is cheaper.