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Zak S
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Hi. Please could somebody share the cost estimation spreadsheet. We are embarking on our self journey (remodel/rebuild) and I want to cost both option so that I am clear as to  what can be achieved.

 

Has anyone been to QS. Are they worth the money? The issue is they would need plans and plans would cost money and two option would cost more moneys so I want to see first I can pull of total rebuild, if  not I will go down the remodel route. 

 

Would really appreciate any help you guys can provide. Thanks.

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depending on the scale of your rebuild, 1 room or whole house etc then it will be worth your time investing in a QS.  Expect to pay £1500 - £2000 m2, with the lower assuming you do the  labour.

 

If your planning to spend 6 figures or more you would be mad not to get plans and costed. How is a builder supposed to quote without detailed plans ?

 

https://www.estimators-online.com/

 

 

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Don't have a spreadsheet that high level but was in a similar position when we bought our plot with a tired 1950's detached 3 story house on it.

 

At this initial  'either / or' stage then you're better off working to a £/M2 figure. Talk to architects and builders. Find local people who have done similar (self builders love to share stories).

 

A couple of questions based on our experience.

  1. Is there a fundamental problem with the existing (aside from general condition) i.e. is it badly orientated on the plot, very poorly insulated etc?
  2. Do you have a scheme for the re-build vs the refurb, has an architect done some thumbnail sketches ?
  3. How radical would the refurb be? We have friends who basically ended up with about 3 walls and a slab before building back.

In our case the existing was at an angle to the large garden behind it and was not cavity built. While we could have rectified that somewhat with refurb and extension, would have been a lot of work.

 

The clincher for us was that a new build is zero rated for VAT, has fairly predictable costs and complexity (cost) can be designed in or out according to your budget. We were able to build a high performance (i.e. low energy), aesthetically pleasing house, well orientated on the plot in a reasonable time frame (12 months construction). Also included a basement which would never have been an option in a refurb.

 

No-one could give us a fixed price for a refurb, new build elements (extension) were easier to cost but the problem with a refurb was you don't know what you're dealing with until the house gets stripped back and there can be surprises that cost a lot of money.

 

We spoke to quite a few people who had completed projects and many said that they wish they'd been brave enough to just knock it all down and start from scratch. 

 

We certainly did not regret it at all, however it's a leap of faith to do it.  

 

A QS is indeed worth the money and are are often not that expensive in relation to the overall budget. However they will only work off a reasonably detailed set of drawings, which as you say also cost money and imply you have already received PP. They're best employed to get a working costing of the final scheme and to look for economies / opportunities to save money and to keep track of costs.

 

I'd caution that if the cost of drawings or QS is putting you off at this early stage, you'd better get used to spending a lot more on services before a spade goes in the ground - it's one of the often forgotten costs in a project. However one benefit of demolish and rebuild is that all services and access is in place, often one of the largest 'starting costs' in a new build.

 

 

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Most of the builders merchants offer a QS service I think TP charge around £250 for a full house Just send your drawings in 

While you are able to qualify the materials 

and also get a pretty good idea of Labour 

cost 

You will have to keep an eye on material prices As they seem to change on a weekly basis 

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1 hour ago, Bitpipe said:

Don't have a spreadsheet that high level but was in a similar position when we bought our plot with a tired 1950's detached 3 story house on it.

 

At this initial  'either / or' stage then you're better off working to a £/M2 figure. Talk to architects and builders. Find local people who have done similar (self builders love to share stories).

 

A couple of questions based on our experience.

  1. Is there a fundamental problem with the existing (aside from general condition) i.e. is it badly orientated on the plot, very poorly insulated etc?
  2. Do you have a scheme for the re-build vs the refurb, has an architect done some thumbnail sketches ?
  3. How radical would the refurb be? We have friends who basically ended up with about 3 walls and a slab before building back.

In our case the existing was at an angle to the large garden behind it and was not cavity built. While we could have rectified that somewhat with refurb and extension, would have been a lot of work.

 

The clincher for us was that a new build is zero rated for VAT, has fairly predictable costs and complexity (cost) can be designed in or out according to your budget. We were able to build a high performance (i.e. low energy), aesthetically pleasing house, well orientated on the plot in a reasonable time frame (12 months construction). Also included a basement which would never have been an option in a refurb.

 

No-one could give us a fixed price for a refurb, new build elements (extension) were easier to cost but the problem with a refurb was you don't know what you're dealing with until the house gets stripped back and there can be surprises that cost a lot of money.

 

We spoke to quite a few people who had completed projects and many said that they wish they'd been brave enough to just knock it all down and start from scratch. 

 

We certainly did not regret it at all, however it's a leap of faith to do it.  

 

A QS is indeed worth the money and are are often not that expensive in relation to the overall budget. However they will only work off a reasonably detailed set of drawings, which as you say also cost money and imply you have already received PP. They're best employed to get a working costing of the final scheme and to look for economies / opportunities to save money and to keep track of costs.

 

I'd caution that if the cost of drawings or QS is putting you off at this early stage, you'd better get used to spending a lot more on services before a spade goes in the ground - it's one of the often forgotten costs in a project. However one benefit of demolish and rebuild is that all services and access is in place, often one of the largest 'starting costs' in a new build.

 

 

Very helpful indeed. We received a wide range of quotes from architects ranging from 6k to 16k. We liked the top end but just want to be a bit cautious before spending half if that in planning to find out it not financially feasible. In case of refurb we will be left with just one wall some old flooring, not sure if refurb is worth it. It might save some money but unless we spend a lot it would not give us a house we are looking for. And VAt is important aspect which cannot be ignored. But i want to make informed decision and know if its is costing an amount, what is the make up of it so we know what we can flex.

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On 16/12/2021 at 10:34, Zak S said:

Very helpful indeed. We received a wide range of quotes from architects ranging from 6k to 16k. We liked the top end but just want to be a bit cautious before spending half if that in planning to find out it not financially feasible. In case of refurb we will be left with just one wall some old flooring, not sure if refurb is worth it. It might save some money but unless we spend a lot it would not give us a house we are looking for. And VAt is important aspect which cannot be ignored. But i want to make informed decision and know if its is costing an amount, what is the make up of it so we know what we can flex.

 

Unfortunately you do need to proceed at risk in the initial stages and spend some money.

 

Simple maths exercise - either take your budget and divide by £2000 or £2500 (depends where you are in UK and how much you can get involved in the build, PM etc) to get a m2 of you house (i.e all internal floor area) OR take your proposed house design and multiply the floor area by the same number and see how it compares to your budget.

 

If the resultant house is too small for your taste or the budget is way over your resources then you need to stop and think of a plan B.

 

If you choose to refurb, reduce your budget by 20% and repeat the above exercise.

 

For architects, make sure you compare apples to apples. 

 

Most architects will agree a staging process where the initial stage (usually the most creative) is based on the plot design, high level concept sketches etc. When you settle on a scheme you progress to the next stage of detail design which enables you to submit drawings to planning.

 

At this stage you can start to get costings but again, if you work to a rough £/m2 budget then you know if you're in the ballpark.

 

Once you have planning you can then proceed to building drawings (SE gets pulled in here) or in our case get a TF company to do all the drawings etc. Building control get involved at this stage to make sure the scheme is compliant and you can then start to get tenders from turnkey contractors or PM it yourself. At this point a QS detailed estimate is invaluable.

 

You don't need to use an architect for every stage, some self builders have a clear idea of what they want and just use a technician to get the PP drawings and drive it from there on - we took over post PP but the architect completed the first few stages and we were very happy with their scheme.

 

Also WRT refurb vs full rebuild, remember that the frame of a house is usually only about 20% of the overall project cost. Was 16% in our case. The rest you will spend either way (roof, services, interiors etc) but refurb will attract 20% VAT unless you're eligible for the 5% scheme (but that has a lot of strings attached).

 

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5 hours ago, Bitpipe said:

 

Unfortunately you do need to proceed at risk in the initial stages and spend some money.

 

Simple maths exercise - either take your budget and divide by £2000 or £2500 (depends where you are in UK and how much you can get involved in the build, PM etc) to get a m2 of you house (i.e all internal floor area) OR take your proposed house design and multiply the floor area by the same number and see how it compares to your budget.

 

If the resultant house is too small for your taste or the budget is way over your resources then you need to stop and think of a plan B.

 

If you choose to refurb, reduce your budget by 20% and repeat the above exercise.

 

For architects, make sure you compare apples to apples. 

 

Most architects will agree a staging process where the initial stage (usually the most creative) is based on the plot design, high level concept sketches etc. When you settle on a scheme you progress to the next stage of detail design which enables you to submit drawings to planning.

 

At this stage you can start to get costings but again, if you work to a rough £/m2 budget then you know if you're in the ballpark.

 

Once you have planning you can then proceed to building drawings (SE gets pulled in here) or in our case get a TF company to do all the drawings etc. Building control get involved at this stage to make sure the scheme is compliant and you can then start to get tenders from turnkey contractors or PM it yourself. At this point a QS detailed estimate is invaluable.

 

You don't need to use an architect for every stage, some self builders have a clear idea of what they want and just use a technician to get the PP drawings and drive it from there on - we took over post PP but the architect completed the first few stages and we were very happy with their scheme.

 

Also WRT refurb vs full rebuild, remember that the frame of a house is usually only about 20% of the overall project cost. Was 16% in our case. The rest you will spend either way (roof, services, interiors etc) but refurb will attract 20% VAT unless you're eligible for the 5% scheme (but that has a lot of strings attached).

 

Very helpful . Thanks 

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9 hours ago, Bitpipe said:

 

You're welcome - do share more about your location and the project - hopes, dreams, constraints etc.

 

We're all here to help!

 

Many thanks. People here have been extremely helpful. With the xmas coming up there will not be significant movement on the project until the new year. I do intend to share my journey and ask further advice as we make progress :)

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On 16/12/2021 at 10:34, Zak S said:

Very helpful indeed. We received a wide range of quotes from architects ranging from 6k to 16k. We liked the top end but just want to be a bit cautious before spending half if that in planning to find out it not financially feasible. In case of refurb we will be left with just one wall some old flooring, not sure if refurb is worth it. It might save some money but unless we spend a lot it would not give us a house we are looking for. And VAt is important aspect which cannot be ignored. But i want to make informed decision and know if its is costing an amount, what is the make up of it so we know what we can flex.

 

do a sanity check

 

Your purchase costs to date = X

 

Your projected build costs at £2000 m2 = Y

 

Does X+ Y = what the new build be worth ?

 

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4 hours ago, Zak S said:

@Dave Jones thanks. Ths issue is I dont agree with 2000per Sqm cost henc I am trying to get to a stage where I can see the breakdown of 2000 per sqm. 2000per Sqm includes builders profit plus there is a lot that can be flexed in there.

Are you thinking it should be more or less. If you think it’s less in this current world we are in you are dreaming. 
the only way to bring it in cheaper is to do 90% of the work yourself or build something just as bad as the bulk house builders. 

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24 minutes ago, Russell griffiths said:

Are you thinking it should be more or less. If you think it’s less in this current world we are in you are dreaming. 
the only way to bring it in cheaper is to do 90% of the work yourself or build something just as bad as the bulk house builders. 

Hi @Russell griffiths. I think it should be less. At £2000 it includes profit of the builder and the profit of retailers as well as their over heads. Why do you think its impossible to reduce by project managing yourself and focusing on procurement. You could at least remove profit for the turn key builder and for the retailers for the fitout cost. Having been involved in procurement and Retail my self, I am aware of the significant gross margin retailer charge (sometime more than 200%). My plan is not to go beyond planning stage unless I think my dream can be a reality but will definitely share my experience. 

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9 minutes ago, Zak S said:

At £2000 it includes profit of the builder and the profit of retailers as well as their over heads.

They spend a lot less on land, the professional fees are spread over many houses, completely different purchasing and supply chain systems, equipment utilisation is much better, design is standardised to reduce waste and time.

If a small developer makes any money, it is because they take so long to build that house prices have risen. They would have been better off just buying land and getting planning on it.

There isn't really brass in muck.

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@SteamyTeaThere is a rule of one third which apply across the construction industry. One third is the land one third build cost and one third the profit. No one is saying profit should not be built in. I am just interested to see how does it all add up together. One of the project, my architect did was 17 house development with project cost of 2.7m. That c170 per house. Sold for 300k per house. How is that possible? 150sqm house each? I totally get the argument about price rising which is not a real profit (that's house price inflation) but I am trying to comprehend the reality. At the end of my planning stage, I will have few options but paying a builder 2000 or more per sqm to rebuild is not of one them. I might just refurbish but it has to be an informed decision (£2000 per sqm is not informed) at least in my books. It will be informed if it comes with breakdown of the cost (materials and labour for each stage) hence need to go to the QS at the right time.

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Obviously the rule mentioned above  is based on ball park. Profit can go up and also down. But any profit less than 25% would make the project not worthy of doing. This issue I have when it come to self build because of profits margin for the turn key builder and Retailers, there is not much left for the house owner. The idea self build is sold to public as something they have to pay premium for which does not seem fair. It's similar new build methods like SiPs for example. These innovative ideas are never sold on cost basis but as premium solution as people have accepted the lowest cost in the industry so no point undercutting that.

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36 minutes ago, Zak S said:

Obviously the rule mentioned above  is based on ball park. Profit can go up and also down. But any profit less than 25% would make the project not worthy of doing. This issue I have when it come to self build because of profits margin for the turn key builder and Retailers, there is not much left for the house owner. The idea self build is sold to public as something they have to pay premium for which does not seem fair. It's similar new build methods like SiPs for example. These innovative ideas are never sold on cost basis but as premium solution as people have accepted the lowest cost in the industry so no point undercutting that.

 

your in fantasy land mate.

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28 minutes ago, Dave Jones said:

 

your in fantasy land mate.

Hi please could you elaborate. The reason I am in this forum so that I could benefit from others' insight. Why do you think, reducing the cost is unachievable? I have the experience of knowing inside margin of the developers, so my thinking can't be significantly out but just keen to know your rationale. 

 

If its not doable I suppose I will have to stop at the planning stage and switch to Plan B.

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21 minutes ago, TonyT said:

Developers have bulk buying power and economies of scale.

 

I did a 60m2 extension, and kitchen to loo conversion, new heating system  for £120,000 finished 1 year before lockdown.

everything is expensive..

Thanks @TonyT. I think comparing the cost could be very misleading because of level of spec and quality. My plan is not to buy from retailers but go to the sources / manufacturers etc. Given the scale I think I can at least remove the retail margin element and that is significant cost. In addition, removing the profit of the builder would also be significant. The issue is that when developer is building the house his focus is entirely on profit when self builder is doing the same he is doing it like he will live forever in that house hence create most efficient and top quality house. That is also one of the issue, self builder end up spending more. 

 

Did you do the work yourself or did builder do it? Or did you project manage? How was it done. I did two project one in 2008 (our first house) ant second in 2019. Both project managed myself. Stressful and over budget but still worth it.

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I managed everything myself and procured  everything that I was involved in apart from

 

plaster procured his own materials.

roofer procured his own materials.

groundworker procurered his own materials

stonemason procured his own materials.

 

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Thanks

37 minutes ago, TonyT said:

I managed everything myself and procured  everything that I was involved in apart from

 

plaster procured his own materials.

roofer procured his own materials.

groundworker procurered his own materials

stonemason procured his own materials.

 

Thanks. Unfortunately extension/refurb and new builds are not comparable with former a lot more complicated and expensive. I did total refurb of the house 205sqm plus utility room extension and included two RSJs new flat roof c45sqm, all new bath rooms x4 from bath store when they closed down, new electrics with RCBO for each room, drainage, plumbing megaflo system, two zone fire alarms, fire doors, security alarms, CAT6 and Sat cabling across the house, new kitchens x2, new interface flooring, seven rooms with vanity units so they had to have the cold hot water and drains. All in all it costed including 20k finance on bridging £120k. It was over budget as I had assumed £60k and my builder did a runner on me so i had to ask the labour to carry on working. It was still worth it. And yes also the full k render after removing the old and the apply the base coat first and finish with scraped finish. All the gutters and facias replaced as well as internal decorating (painting) was also done.

 

Oh yes and the drive way of 120sqm done with resurfacing tarmacadem one one block border for a little extra

 

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I doubt that your project would be of sufficient scale for you to be treated as a wholesaler by manufacturers. In the event that you persuade them as a small unknown buyer you will be offered their worst terms (price & payment), even if you are buying by the artic-load.  Transport costs have skyrocketed (along with demand for building products), managing logistics & customs would be challenging. 
As a self- manager of the project organising labour will be like herding cats. A job requiring a week’s labour from each of three trades could easily take over two months….. once you have found people to do it, which itself could involve several months wait. 
I have almost finished a self-managed build, it has taken well over twice as long as it could have if it moved seamlessly forward & has cost considerably  over £2k/m2 (all costs, inc. fees & demolition, exc. plot). Access wasn’t ideal, the ground was good. The design could have been more cost-efficient (but we like it), the spec is pretty good, but not extravagant. 

There is a fine margin between confidence/optimism & delusion, misjudging it could be very costly. 
 

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It cost me £600 to get my Part P electrical testing certificate.

Could easily save that on a full house rewire.

Not sure how much the equivalent GasSafe costs to do, no gas where I am.

Not sure if you actually have to be a Chartered Engineer to do all the structural calculations, for a house they are pretty basic (compared to an automobile). So you could probably do your own and let Building Control check them (just don't tell them you DIYed them).

There are probably plenty of ways to save money on a self build that are easier than buying a container full of chipboard cupboards and Chinese roof slates.

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