5 major causes of surprise costs in commercial construction

Learn more about the possible surprise costs and how to avoid them.
5 major causes of surprise costs in commercial construction

More often than not, commercial construction projects come with a variety of hidden costs. These surprise costs come about as a result of incomplete designs, biased expectations, dealing with existing conditions, changes requested by the owner, extended construction timeline — just to name a few. Continue reading to learn more about how these things happen and how to avoid them. 

Working with incomplete designs

Oftentimes, the designs aren’t complete due to the designer’s inexperience or partial knowledge of the building codes. For instance, the codes require two bathrooms but the design only has one. 

Having a project manager who coordinates with the designers, consultants, and the builders to discuss everything that needs to be done — the right way. 

Dealing with the site’s existing conditions

Many existing conditions discovered during the construction phase incur extra costs. Problems like failing HVAC systems, problematic electrical wirings, leaky pipes, asbestos, and layers of old, hidden finishes are not visible until construction. Fixing these incur extra costs.    

Making late design variations happen 

You, the owner, and the key person in your commercial construction project may change your mind about the initial plans and some parts of the design. 

For instance, you have decided that you want solar panels on your roof after the installation. This means the builders need to reinstall the roof with the upgrades. Re-installing the roof with solar panels plus the pay of the builders pull the costs up. 

We, in Superdraft, always believe that you should have it who you want. We are also here to tell you how the design variations you want will affect how much the project will cost or how long will it take to finish.

Biased specifications

The plans may specify a particular manufacturer for certain materials. If you and your designer can find a more affordable alternative, the costs of construction will go down. 

For example, the plans indicate an expensive brand of toilet to be installed in your bathroom, but all you want is the one you can purchase from a local Bunnings store. 

One way to mitigate this kind of cost is to have an approve/equal clause on the drawings or specifications to ensure you are not overspending unnecessarily. Superdraft can discuss this with you before accepting the final plans.  

Having an unrealistic deadline

It is important to establish the completion time, but speeding things up to meet an unrealistic deadline puts the quality of work at risk. Also, rush work is expensive. 

To alleviate unnecessary costs, allow more time for the builders to finish and deliver quality work. 

There are a lot more reasons why surprise costs come up during the construction projects, but these five reasons are the most common. The good news is that you can do something to decrease the probability of this from happening. 

The best way to handle a commercial construction project

Now, let’s discuss the best practice method when handling large commercial building projects. This method is time-tested and proven to deliver the best overall results for the project in terms of design, build quality, budget, and length of construction.

The client experience is typically easier using this method because you deal with a single party (Project Manager) who matches you to the best designer, the best consultants and the best builder at each stage of the process, based on your project brief.  Build costs are delivered upfront or early in the process, you maintain full ownership of the design / plans, and that design is tendered out to multiple builders to ensure you get the best builder at the best price. All boxes are ticked.

Superdraft has grown to become Australia’s largest and leading building design platform and a winner of multiple awards because it has built its platform around the best practice method. Not only does Superdraft specialise in the best practice approach to managing your project but we also provide clients with a handy project tracking app and exclusive 3D visualisation services to enhance your experience, and much more.

If you haven't yet received a free quote or consultation then feel free to get started today.

Contact our Sydney-based building designers for more info.



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