Keep control of costs on a build

Plan your costs at the outset. A useful exercise is to itemise all of the main elements and then assign approximate costs. As your project develops you should be able to hone these costs.

I always encourage clients to either have a cost plan prepared by a cost consultant, or on smaller projects to undertake a simple cost plan themselves.

This can be in the form of an excel sheet. It would list both the main elements required to set up the site  such as skips, hoardings, scaffold etc and the work items of a build , which would each be assigned approximate costs. As the project progresses these items become firmer costs. For example, glazing companies will readily provide quotations for their projects.

It is wise to always allow for a contingency. On every build, no matter how well planned there are always unforeseen costs. Also, don’t forget about VAT where it applies, together with any ongoing consultants or local authority fees.

There are also ways savings may be made:

    • Undertaking elements of the work yourself (especially tasks requiring unskilled labour)
    • Employing contractors directly and managing the works yourself
    • Identifying which elements are essential and ring fencing costs to cover these
    • Re-using materials and elements
    • Working with existing layouts, by identifying their shortcomings to make simple improvements


If you are considering managing the works and undertaking the works it obviously helps to have some experience.

As ever, should you have any questions, or wish to discuss a potential project, please feel free to contact me.