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Does Your Design Reflect Your Budget?

A common mistake made by home builders is not setting a realistic budget for their project. I often see clients who come to us with images that they have found on the web of huge houses with detailed features, complex design and luxury interiors. It all looks great however the only problem is their budget is not a good fit for their concept.

An even more disturbing problem is when a client brings a design to us for costing the construction and the cost is way above their budget. The problem here is that they have paid an architect a large sum of money for a design they can’t build which equals a big waste of money and even more money wasted on a re-design.

So where do people go wrong?

1. Unrealistic Budget

Firstly, be realistic about your budget. Whether it’s a project home or custom design, the cost depends on your inclusions just as much as your structure. Once you have set a budget, stick to it.

2. Inexperienced Designer

Find a reliable designer who has construction experience and understands the cost relationship to a design. Anybody can draw a pretty picture however it takes a bit of skill to understand the cost implications of a design.

3. Lack of Communication

Be open and up front with the designer / builder about your budget expectations. This doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice a certain look but it will encourage you and the designer to come together to work out feasible solutions. There are options out there and it is far cheaper to investigate them now rather than after you have paid big bucks for a fancy design that you can’t build.

4. Not considering the entire project

Look at the design as a whole, what are your interiors going to look like? What fixtures and fittings do you expect? How much will it all cost? Where can I find a cost effective solution? Set up a detailed specification with your design and send it as a complete package to your builders. The more detail, the better. Remember that it may cost a little more now to prepare detailed documentation but it will save you a fortune in variations down the track.

5. Not sticking to your guns

Let’s be real, builders make a fortune on variations. Make sure that your design and material specification reflect your budget. If the builder is suggesting upgrades, make sure they fit within your budget. Also check for alternatives and establish if you are getting value for money. It is easy to get out of hand when you are adding small pieces here and there, you will be surprised how quick these small items add up.

You can still have your dream home but make sure you set a plan and stick to it. What’s your dream design feature? Do you consider the interior or exterior a priority with design? We would love your feedback.

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