Building on a budget is one of the hardest aspects of renovating or constructing a new home. It would help if you are careful not to make any mistake, because fixing design and construction errors incur extra costs.
Here in Superdraft, we can help you mitigate these unforeseen costs and keep them from turning into major problems. If you are planning a renovation or a new build project and you want to make smart design decisions to avoid costly errors, here are the things you should do:
1) Invite your designer to inspect the site in person
Knowing and understanding your home’s location is a critical part of the planning phase, which is why conducting an onsite design consultation is highly recommended.
When you book an onsite design consultation, your designer will pay a visit on the structure you want to renovate or on the block of land where you plan to build. You will meet your designer there to discuss the important details about your project (e.g. your vision, budget, goals, ideas, and more here)
To maximise this meeting, prepare a mood board or a collage of the looks you want to achieve. A mood board looks like this (see image below) and this helps your designer get to know your taste and style.
At the end of the on-site design consultation, your designer should be able to produce sketches that illustrate how your future home functions. These drawings are not yet final because the designer still needs to design to budget.
Tip: More than the on-site design consultation, you also need to schedule a land survey. Your designer needs the result of a land survey to make sure the design suits the location.
A land survey determines the features of the land and the boundaries of a property. Equipped with more valuable information about the site, your designer can help you design a home that matches the site without breaking local codes and building regulations.
The land survey report also reveals all the possible problems that you should fix before construction to avoid costly construction errors in the future.
2) Use the right building materials
It might sound cliché, but identifying the building materials that you are going to use to build your house is one of the most effective ways to avoid costly errors during construction.
Pay attention to the details, particularly with the products and building materials that the designer recommends. You want to make sure that the materials that you will use won’t blow your budget.
Here are some of the top ways that our designers practice:
#1: If natural stone is too expensive, consider using manufactured varieties.
If your design plans call for stone cladding facades, fireplaces, or walls, the costs will escalate quickly. It is one of the most luxurious yet most expensive building materials in the market. It is also one of the most complicated to install.
If natural stone is too expensive, consider using manufactured stone that replicates the look of real stone. Manufactured stone is easier and quicker to install, so you obtain cost savings on materials and labor. It is also much easier to fix errors compared to using natural stone.
#2: Invest in the right insulation material
To save money on the long run, focus on the building envelope. Do not overlook the insulation.
Try not to be satisfied with just meeting the local codes when it comes to R-value for insulation. A great designer studies the construction site and does so much more to ensure year-round comfort and energy efficiency.
Yes, there are times when the right insulation material suggested by the designer costs more than expected. Trust your designer and follow the advice, because you will be happier when you see how low the monthly energy bills cost. You will appreciate it once you move in and live in your home.
#3: Never underestimate the power of a good and well-functioning HVAC system
Undercutting the budget for your heating and cooling system is a costly error for the long haul.
Think about it — if your HVAC unit isn’t properly sized for your home, your HVAC system will work overtime resulting in high energy bills. You will not be happy when you see your monthly utility bills skyrocket.
A great designer considers a lot of factors when sizing an HVAC system; from the local climate, number and types of windows, level of insulation, building envelope, ceiling heights, and the number of people living in the home. Having a good and well-functioning HVAC system means saving thousands over the long run.
3) Take ‘end-of-project costs’ into consideration
Homeowners often overlook the end of project costs, so it’s the responsibility of institutions like Superdraft to remind them.
Here in Superdraft, our goal is to give you a better design and build experience. Our main focus is to provide you with a beautiful, well-functioning custom home. It means our work doesn’t stop on the last day of construction.
At the beginning of our work, we’ll tell you to allot money for construction site clean up, final grading, landscaping, and interior design. We advise that you factor these into the budget to avoid any surprise expenses at the end of the job.
Building on a budget? Lean on Superdraft.
When you start a residential design project, consider some of these practical building and design tips to ensure you stay on budget and live happily in your new home for decades to come.
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