‘An estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time’ is the official definition.
A Budget is about trying to make a prediction at a moment in time of costs for the project.
Is your budget a target, a goal, a limit, an idealism, or something to guide some of your decisions? Budget can drive scope, likewise, scope impacts on budget. It’s something that isn’t independent of other aspects of your design and build, therefore understanding the whole picture allows you and us to understand your budget better.
When deciding how much is in your budget, looking at your current savings and lending capacity are a good start. Being realistic early on can really save you having to eliminate or alter significant design elements later, which can be tough and costly.
Included in your budget will be the actual build cost plus drawings, council fees, other specialist costs ie engineers etc, furnishings and appliances, landscaping, insurances and possibly accommodation if you need to relocate whilst building. We also recommend including a set amount as a contingency.
Putting together your team early in the process is important with regards to budget, as the building team can feedback to the design team, making an efficient and collaborative process. The other people that can assist at this stage is a good Financial adviser.
For Leonard Construction & Design, a good design is around prioritising your vision to fit within your budget, so understanding both of those is paramount.
We put a considerable emphasis on understanding the costing of your design as it progresses, by doing several rounds of preliminary costings. This allows everyone to check in on your budget along the way and allows you the flexibility to change either your design, or your budget if required. We can’t overstate enough that the best time to influence your budget is during this design stage, because as you continue through the project the ease of making change reduces and the costs of making those changes increases
But what about during the build?
Yes, of course we can change things then too, we do know savings at this point can still be made but also might be limited. Often there is a secondary impact on and change, possibly your timeline, so something else for you to consider.
Remember, at any stage, there is always the possibility to move some items to a later phase
What can we do to manage a budget once you start building?
- Understand as much as you can upfront- your priorities and your limits, if you have the option to change items.
- Share the information with us, we can design and build to fit in with you, we can’t mind read
- Be realistic that all elements to a build have a price and when changing one material for another might reduce the cost of the material but could take longer to install so might not save you money in the long run. We always consider these factors when suggesting items to you
- Make decisions quickly. Being able to communicate information and decisions to us efficiently means we can manage time on site of ourselves and our sub-trades, this is always a win in terms of cost
- Look at your budget information on a regular basis and during all stages of the design and build process and ask questions. We understand it isn’t the most exciting task during a build, but one that ensures you understand where your money is being spent and allows you to make decisions along the way.
Leonard Construction & Design always aim to be as accurate, transparent and detailed as we can with budget information during both the design and build stages. By doing this it allows you to better understand where your money is being spent, to make better decisions and have the greatest influence at each stage. It is after all your budget.
Leonard Construction & Design
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