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Information needed for a quote from the online estimators


Indy
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So things are finally moving ahead with our planning. Had a site visit from the planning officer last week and we may be hearing in the next couple of weeks with a final decision. Which also means that discussions with my architect have finally started about the 'how to build' stage.

 

All my online research was pointing to ICF and while he's happy to do the next stage of drawings and prepare a spec for that, his view is that will definitely cost more than doing it in standard masonry or even timber frame. And my preferred option of concrete floors vs the timber floors/metal web joists will push up costs even further.

 

What I've agreed is that we get 'high level estimates' from the likes of Estimators Online or Build Aviator (Jewson) on the 4 options

 

Option 1a: Masonry build (block and block) with timber floors/metal deck and oak staircase

Option 1b: Masonry build with concrete floors and concrete stairs

Option 2: Timber frame with timber floors and oak staircase

Option 3: ICF build with concrete floors and concrete stairs

 

Speaking to Estimators online, they're happy to quote for the masonry option and timber frame, but not ICF. Obviously, every variant will be added cost (not about half the price of a full quote) but I'm hoping this initial analysis will allow us to select the best build method for our budget and then proceed to the next stage and draw up the building regulations drawings accordingly. The TF quote will also allow me to compare it to the actual quotes received from the companies I contacted (MBC, English brothers, Fleming, Scandi-Hus) to see how much of a markup there is between them.

 

In addition to the planning drawings, I've drawn up the following high level spec/information that I will be including in my request. Is there anything I've missed out and should be specifying?

 

Common areas

  • Compliant to Building Regulations that came into force on 15/06/2022
  • U Values for walls: 0.16
  • U values for floors: 0.11
  • U values for roof: 0.11
  • Wall thickness as planned: 350mm
  • 3 phase electric supply
  • ASHP for the main house that can also run in cooling mode
  • UFH throughout (ground floor and first) with individual thermostats
  • MVHR
  • Solar PV
  • Electric vehicle charging points  x 2
  • Data cabling (2 x CAT6) to each bedroom (x 4), snug, study (x2), living room, dining room and kitchen
  • 2 x satellite connections to each bedroom, snug, study, living room, dining room and kitchen
  • 2 x terrestrial (freeview) connections to each bedroom, snug, study, living room and dining room and kitchen
  • Cabling for a wired security alarm and CCTVs (PoE) on all 4 corners of the house, cover the front drive/gate, cover the rear garden and outbuilding.
  • Data and power cabling to the rear outbuilding (gym and storage/workshop)
  • Vaulted ceilings in the master bedroom and bedrooms 2 and 3
  • Good acoustic insulation between floors and rooms to stop noise travelling through
  • LVT flooring on ground floor living areas and study
  • Engineered wood flooring in Bedroom 1
  • Engineered wood flooring on 1st floor bedrooms and family snug
  • Silicone render finish outside – crisp white
  • Ducting and power connections alongside MVHR for active air conditioning to be added in the future to the bedrooms and main living area
  • Alu-clad triple glazed timber windows in grey
  • Alu-clad triple glazed sliding doors in the kitchen/dining areas with slim frames and for the master bedroom
  • Glass balustrade for master bedroom balcony
  • uPVC fascia and soffits in grey
  • uPVC rainwater goods in black
  • Timer/timber effect infill panels for the front elevation
  • Plain clay roof tiles in grey
  • External tap provision on the side of the house near the front – washing cars
  • External tap provision on the side of the house near the rear – watering/gardening
  • Large outdoor sink near the rear – washing the dog/muddy boots etc

 

Option 1a: Block and block construction with timber floors

  • Block and block construction filled with PIR to achieve the required U values
  • Timber floors with metal deck and noise insulation
  • Metal web joists to allow ducting of services and MVHR
  • Oak staircase
  • Timber walls / stud walls for internal rooms with noise insulation

 

Option 1b: Block and block construction with concrete floors

  • Block and block construction filled with PIR to achieve the required U values
  • Concrete floors – slab/beam and block/hollowcore with embedded UFH in the screed
  • Concrete stairs (pre-cast or in-situ with shuttering) with wooden covering
  • Concrete blocks for internal walls with plaster on either side

 

Option 2: Timber frame with timber floors

  • Timber frame shell with insulation provided and erected by a supplier on site to meet the U-values as specified
  • Timber floors with metal deck and noise insulation
  • Metal web joists to allow ducting of services and MVHR
  • Oak staircase
  • Timber walls / stud walls for internal rooms with noise insulation

 

Option 3: ICF construction with concrete floors

  • ICF walls to achieve the U-values as specified using Nudura or Thermohouse (EPS system)
  • Silicone render on the EPS layer in white
  • Concrete slab floors with UFH embedded on both floors
  • Concrete stairs (pre-cast or in-situ with shuttering) with wooden covering
  • Concrete blocks for internal walls with plaster on either side

 

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Request is in with Estimators, lets see what they come back with. They aim to reply by next working day which is pretty a impressive turnaround - given that most TF and ICF companies seem to take a couple of weeks minimum to quote.

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They came as a recommendation from the architect. Compliant to building regs (as I've been told) and within 7-10% of the PH spec without going all the way - and incurring the extra expense.

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Didn't see any mention of airtightness? This will affect cost.

 

PIR in cavity can be a nightmare and from reports on here never done and or not easy to do well.  Mineral wood or blown bead seem to give better results.

 

Read up about UFH heating and thermostats on buildhub. Our build started with them in every room had remove them as the heating system just started chasing its tail and used huge amounts of energy.  One zone for all downstairs (it will be heated to same temperature wether you like it not anyway) one in each bedroom, wet room run all the time there is s heat demand from any room. Going lots of thermostats equals huge buffer.

 

Option 3 why no timber stud walls and upper floor?

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22 hours ago, JohnMo said:

Didn't see any mention of airtightness? This will affect cost.

Good point about airtightness - what value should we be aiming at ?

 

22 hours ago, JohnMo said:

PIR in cavity can be a nightmare and from reports on here never done and or not easy to do well.  Mineral wood or blown bead seem to give better results.

Noted and we can play about with the type. PIR was the default option recommended by the architect.

 

22 hours ago, JohnMo said:

Read up about UFH heating and thermostats on buildhub. Our build started with them in every room had remove them as the heating system just started chasing its tail and used huge amounts of energy.  One zone for all downstairs (it will be heated to same temperature wether you like it not anyway) one in each bedroom, wet room run all the time there is s heat demand from any room. Going lots of thermostats equals huge buffer.

Ok, I thought each of the rooms would be configurable using their own thermostat but it sounds like the systems runs at a single temp overall.

 

22 hours ago, JohnMo said:

Option 3 why no timber stud walls and upper floor?

Mainly for noise insulation. If we're going concrete walls, may as well go concrete floors and blockwork walls was my thinking. However, I should be able to derive the cost difference by comparing the quotes from Options 1a and 1b.

 

I have submitted to Estimators now, and the prices for each option have shot up dramatically (should have expected that). When I spoke to them over the phone prior to submission and payment for 1 option, it was very simply £190+VAT for the first and then £90+VAT for every subsequent option you want to price.

 

It's now gone up to £165ish for every variant, another £165 for the outbuilding we want to build and a full £228 for the timber frame variant - due to the 'amount of work involved'. This meant I've pared down significantly what I'm asking them to quote and only getting costs for Option 1a and 1b (i.e. compare between timber and concrete internals).

 

 

 

 

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@Indyhow did you get on with estimators online? Our plans were approved a couple of weeks ago. We had a meeting with the architect you recommended and he is going ahead with our building reg drawings. He seems very knowledgable, so thank you for the recommendation. We are pretty nervous about the cost, once we have the drawings we will use estimators online too. Architect suggested a cost of £3500 p sq ft, which is a bit terrifying! We are hoping to get to first fix for around £2000 p sq ft, then complete the rest ourselves, he seemed to think that was doable.

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15 minutes ago, SarahG said:

@Indyhow did you get on with estimators online? Our plans were approved a couple of weeks ago. We had a meeting with the architect you recommended and he is going ahead with our building reg drawings. He seems very knowledgable, so thank you for the recommendation. We are pretty nervous about the cost, once we have the drawings we will use estimators online too. Architect suggested a cost of £3500 p sq ft, which is a bit terrifying! We are hoping to get to first fix for around £2000 p sq ft, then complete the rest ourselves, he seemed to think that was doable.

 

I think you are out by a factor of 10, so maybe you meant per square metre?

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On 30/06/2022 at 10:20, SarahG said:

@Indyhow did you get on with estimators online? Our plans were approved a couple of weeks ago. We had a meeting with the architect you recommended and he is going ahead with our building reg drawings. He seems very knowledgable, so thank you for the recommendation. We are pretty nervous about the cost, once we have the drawings we will use estimators online too. Architect suggested a cost of £3500 p sq ft, which is a bit terrifying! We are hoping to get to first fix for around £2000 p sq ft, then complete the rest ourselves, he seemed to think that was doable.

 

The turnaround was quick enough - 3 business days though I was relatively unimpressed with their service. A lot of standard things have been left out including glass balustrades, guttering, flat roof decking, MVHR, Solar PV. Not sure what I was expecting, but I guess they had limited information to work off of (without building drawings).

 

Pleased to hear that your plans were approved. Ours are due to come through within this week and I can't wait. Seems like a long and arduous journey and it has been over a year since we bought the place to even get to this stage!

 

And glad that you got on well with the architect. He's one of the few people that are both knowledgeable and keen to help. With most others that I met with and reviewed our plans, I have no doubt that they had the experience to deliver but getting any information out of them is like getting blood out of a stone. God knows I've tested our architect's patience on more than one occasion but he has always helped us out and set us on the right path, so no reason for me to complain.

 

Price wise, he said the same to me (£3500/sq m) which actually prompted one of my more discussed posts on the costing forum. It's actually not too far off from reality if you choose a complete turnkey build as I've had quotes in that region though our budget doesn't stretch that far. Plan is the same as yours - to try and bring it in at about £2000/sq m, which is just about manageable.

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9 hours ago, Indy said:

 

The turnaround was quick enough - 3 business days though I was relatively unimpressed with their service. A lot of standard things have been left out including glass balustrades, guttering, flat roof decking, MVHR, Solar PV. Not sure what I was expecting, but I guess they had limited information to work off of (without building drawings).

 

Pleased to hear that your plans were approved. Ours are due to come through within this week and I can't wait. Seems like a long and arduous journey and it has been over a year since we bought the place to even get to this stage!

 

And glad that you got on well with the architect. He's one of the few people that are both knowledgeable and keen to help. With most others that I met with and reviewed our plans, I have no doubt that they had the experience to deliver but getting any information out of them is like getting blood out of a stone. God knows I've tested our architect's patience on more than one occasion but he has always helped us out and set us on the right path, so no reason for me to complain.

 

Price wise, he said the same to me (£3500/sq m) which actually prompted one of my more discussed posts on the costing forum. It's actually not too far off from reality if you choose a complete turnkey build as I've had quotes in that region though our budget doesn't stretch that far. Plan is the same as yours - to try and bring it in at about £2000/sq m, which is just about manageable.

From reading other posts I think Estimators Online is good "as a starting place". It's a shame they missed items off, if they were included on the plans you would think they would be included in the quote. I think we will still go ahead and use them as a base, but only once we have our BR drawings. We are firmly set on masonry already anyway.

 

Just seen your other post. Some really interesting insights. We could potentially get close to £3000/sq m, if a lot of things go in our favour (that would need to be second fix though).

 

Good luck with your plans. It has also taken us a year to get to this stage!

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