When entering into a project, whatever it may be, you must first understand that custom building is not an exact science. Don’t let anyone fool you. There are many factors that lead to variances in the cost to construct a home. Be it the site conditions, materials specified and their forever fluctuating prices, structural requirements, personal wants and needs…the list goes on. Setting a realistic budget for your project is key to an enjoyable building process with minimal stress.

Unfortunately, in the custom building market, it’s not uncommon for clients to have had a negative experience when it comes to the cost to complete their project. Often this can be a case of an uneducated expectation, a guess of what it ‘should’ cost, or perhaps what a friend has suggested without understanding their individual project.

This is where setting a realistic budget based on the available information and working with a builder to stick to it helps. At Primebuilt Constructions, we’re often approached by people who have been ‘stung’ by budget blowouts. This is often a result of unprepared builders who establish unrealistic budgets with clients and then blow these wide open or, in many cases, the client not understanding their contract or the building process. We hate seeing this as it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of clients, who are simply trying to achieve the project of their dreams.

That’s why at Primebuilt Constructions, we have processes in place to assist you in establishing a realistic budget and avoiding disappointment or surprise. By working with you, and getting to know and understand you and your project, we can be as upfront as possible from the start by ensuring we do our due diligence into potential costs and considering all options. Having been building custom homes and townhouse developments throughout Melbourne’s East for over 30 years, we understand the pain and stress it can cause to have your building budget blown out. 

Our many years of construction experience give us a unique insight into the industry, meaning we can be realistic about your budget and give you comfort and peace of mind in your building experience. With a builder like us, you’ll know what to expect at every step along the way as communication is our highest priority right from the start.

When it comes to setting a budget for your project, there are a few things you can do to make sure this is as realistic as possible. 

1. Consider your goals

When trying to determine a budget, you need to think about what your project will be used for and why you’re doing it in the first place. For example, if you’re building a family home, you need to have enough bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas to cater for everyone. 

If you’re building an investment property, you should speak to a real estate agent to discuss rental returns before you lock in a final budget. Likewise, if you’re constructing a development, you should consider sale prices and potential profits and work backwards from here. Once you understand what you’re trying to achieve with your building project, it’ll be easier to set an informed and realistic budget.

2. Choose a builder you trust

While you can certainly do your research into material and labour costs, this will only take you so far. A builder is the one who deals with genuine construction costs on a day to day basis and is ultimately responsible for packaging it all together, therefore they are the only ones who can give you a realistic estimate of what your project will cost to build. 

It’s essential that you find a builder you feel comfortable to work with to research your project in depth and communicate every possible option to you. If there is a cheaper way to achieve the desired look, feel or finish, a good builder should make this known to you, giving you the opportunity to pick and choose along the way. 

3. Make selections early 

A trusted and reliable builder will also work with you to make as many selections as possible before construction begins, meaning your budget is likely to remain similar or the same as first estimated. Making last-minute selections or variations is a great way to blow out your initial budget and this is something that less scrupulous builders won’t tell you about until it comes time for you to write a cheque. 

This often comes in the form of prime cost items (allowances) in your contract, which will allow for the most basic fixtures, fittings or appliances. When it comes time to make your selections, you’ll likely want to upgrade from the bottom of the range, meaning extra cost added to your “fixed price” contract and a potential budget blow out if you haven’t allowed for this. Again, communication with your builder is crucial. Ask the questions early.

If you’re interested in learning more about setting a realistic build budget, get in touch with Chris and the team at Primebuilt Constructions today