We had a similar experience - took design to a QS and were shocked when it was 30% over budget.
Architect shrugged his shoulders and said ' doesn't matter, prices here are rising' not making the connection that we didn't have the funds to commit.
We had the option of radically scaling back the plans but that would have meant another go though planning on top of the 3 rounds previously.
Instead, we took control of the build and project managed it ourselves (with zero prior experience), enabling us to stick to the original budget more or less.
Remember that a main contractor will need to make a margin or overhead on the build, which is fair as this is their business, you will not.
You will also benefit directly from getting the best possible price for materials and services and any value engineering you decide to implement.
Finally, if the budget is limited, you can focus on the fabric and upgrade the finishes (e.g. kitchen) at a later date when funds are healthier.
That is interesting.
Does that mean they did not know, or that they thought you were too rich and therefore not eligible to get an answer?
(For a service answering 4 queries a week it does seem a bit OTT to me as gatekeeping, though it might be a dead letter as their query numbers are approx. pro-rata with the English ones, which do 40 a week.)
Sorry, are you saying £1300 per SQM including the plot, using a main contractor? I know land in Scotland is relatively cheap, but that seems like an extremely aggressive price
You say it's £150k above what you were hoping for, but it makes a massive difference whether you were hoping to build for £500k or £150k.