Trying to get a handle on extension costs

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chicago_gal

Guest
Hello,
We are planning to extend, and drawing up plans at the minute with an architect. He is good, very creative which is what we wabted, but has no clue about building costs (not his job I guess)

So to date we have a variety of designs that we need to choose from. Obviously budget is going to be a big consideration. We need to get a handle on various aspects of the job, eg if we move the stairs how much approx will that costs? If we extend out by an extra 2 m at the back how mucvh extra will that cost? So it's not just a simple costing exercise of one set of plans, it is pricing bits and oieces and then putting it all together...

I assume a Quantity surveyor is the person I need. Does anyone have any recommendations they can PM to me, and also any idea how much the services of a QS for the above will cost? Or are we better off talking to a builder at this stage (we have a good one in mind)

many thanks for any input.
 

onq

Registered User
Messages
4,388
I would advise that you not put yourself in the hands of one builder.

The architect is able to offer you competent, independent design advice.
As part of this process, he is competent to issue and comment on tenders received.
However, unless he is very busy (!) he may be unable to offer current advice on construction costs.
The quantity surveyor is intended to give independent advice on monies and in some cases, may offer comment on methods of payment and financing.

Having worked with them I can suggest (not recommend per se) the services of Austin Reddy & Company and Ramon Massey & Associates.
Whoever you appoint, make sure you detail the work you intend them to carry out for you and get and estimate of their fees/an hourly charge-out rate before appointing anyone.

Builders will genuinely not entertain working as a QS on such detailed work as you suggest.
Most architectural firms will advise you to agree plans first before seeking detailed costing, as opposed to changing small things and trying to perfect a design.

Quantity surveyors may not be in a position to offer repeat and detailed costings for every minor change.
I would strongly suggest you consider at most three plan types and get Budget Cost Estimates on each plan.
The nature of the business is such that the spread of any tenders may fall to either side of the Budget Cost Plan.
However each Budget Cost Plan if prepared by a QS should be accurate relative to each of the others, i.e. you will get an idea which will cost more to build.
Then make your choice, balancing cost against amenity and utility and go out to tender on that one.

===========================

Be careful about seeking the lowest tenders, but equally be wary of chancers charging over the odds for what they will deliver.
We have seen estimates previously on AAM - circa six months ago re the likely range for building work these days.

€60 per sqft / €646 per sqm - what some self-builder claim they have achieved, but on at least one occasion this was for bare walls
€80 per sqft / €861 per sqm - a tight builders standard fit out built to a price with a small allowance for kitchen and tiling
€100 per sqft / €1076 per sqm - a reasonable level of fit out and finish, but without expensive materials, kitchens or sanitary fittings
€120 per sqft / €1291 per sqm - a higher standard of build and insulation but without expensive materials, kitchens or sanitary fittings

The exclusions on the "expensive materials, kitchens or sanitary fittings" is because a Chalon or other high end kitchen can cost €90,000.
The above also exclude the costs of extensive landscaping, boundary treatment or a long driveway or large car parking area.
They assume your site is on a pipe, since with the impending new legislation sanitation treatment may be significant.
They also exclude triple glazing and the cost of the new Part L insulation regulations which come in on 1/12/2011.

Be wary of builders charging €120 and working to standards of €60.
This is where it pays to retain your architect and QS on site.
You might revert with updates costs as you progress.

ONQ

http://oneillquigley.eu

All advice on AAM is remote from the situation and cannot be relied upon as a defence or support - in and of itself - should legal action be taken.
Competent legal and building professionals should be asked to advise in Real Life with rights to inspect and issue reports on the matters at hand.
 
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chicago_gal

Guest
Thank you for your very detailed and informative reply.
Yes, I agree we shouldn't go with one builder at this point, I just thought as he was on site next door and seems approachable he might be able to give some indication of current costs in my area etc.

If we were to select 3 designs and ask a QS to cost each one for us (not in a very detailed way, but quite ballpark) how much apprix would he/she charge? Do they charge by the hour typically? I think its important to get costing before we go for planning, as our architect really in his own words 'hasn't a clue' whether we are takking 150K or over 200k - big difference

Thanks
 

lowCO2design

Registered User
Messages
575
glad to see your going to a QS, most archs will admit they end up using some rule of thumb to reach provisional costing figures

whatever you do allow a sizeable contingency fund that is for the unknown unknowns:) (and nothing to do with your provisional sum for the likes of a kitchen) - as an existing house will often through a spanner in the works.

+1 of ONQs comments

by the way what is the existing floor area?
and what is the proposed ext?
do please come back and tell us how you get on with the QS - what this consultation costs and roughly what the msq refurb/extension cost is:)

best of luck
 
C

chicago_gal

Guest
Hello,
Existing floor area approx 1600 sq feet. But the kitchen extension put in before we bought the house is of very poor construction, very cold etc. So the plan is to demolish that and rebuild, but make it bigger. Also build double
storey to the side.

I think we will end up with approx 2000 sq feet, a very liveable size for a family I think. But again if the costs are huge we will look at trimming that back, which is really where we need the QS. What I most want at this stage is a decent liveable kitchen, an additional shower room and toilet and an extra bedroom. Everything else is 'nice to have'.

I will certainly come back and post of my experiences with a QS. Again if anyone has any recommendations I would be glad to receive them.

Thanks.
 

Sue Ellen

Moderator.
Messages
8,346
Does anyone have any recommendations they can PM to me

Please keep all recommendations to the board rather than Private Messaging. We have had problems in the past with people receiving spam by PM. Recommendations are also best discussed here.
 

Superman

Registered User
Messages
595
hi chicago gal, i am please you have considered using a QS.
I would definitely recommend getting one. It is funny how peoples' perspective on money changes from before a construction project (where spending €1000 is considered a lot) to the end of a construction project (where by not getting a detailed handle on the early project by spending the extra €1000 leads to overspends of €10000s)...
 

phester

Registered User
Messages
134
I am following this thread closely. We are replace existing extension with a a 21 x 12 single story extension but I know the area grounds are not great for strip foundations. (previous extension done by my Grandfather with no rebar in footings) this has begun twisting away from the main house. 1/2" over the last 40 years.

I have seen a few extensions done recently by by neighbors and they have used a raft for the 2 story extension.


The issue I have is the architect I am currently engaging with is costed at 3100 + vat and he needs construction engineer costing 1200+ vat to design footings. This is over 20 % of my expected build cost on professional fees. Does anyone think this is excessive. 99.9% sure that it is planning exempt

D
 

lowCO2design

Registered User
Messages
575
I am following this thread closely. We are replace existing extension with a a 21 x 12 single story extension but I know the area grounds are not great for strip foundations. (previous extension done by my Grandfather with no rebar in footings) this has begun twisting away from the main house. 1/2" over the last 40 years.

I have seen a few extensions done recently by by neighbors and they have used a raft for the 2 story extension.


The issue I have is the architect I am currently engaging with is costed at 3100 + vat and he needs construction engineer costing 1200+ vat to design footings. This is over 20 % of my expected build cost on professional fees. Does anyone think this is excessive. 99.9% sure that it is planning exempt

D
:confused:

  • you must give more info here: arch cost = ?? level of service
  • the engineer fee, does seem a little high but then we haven't seen the structural complications!!
  • how did you reach your expected budget figure? are you just guessing what the extension will cost? (maybe there's ground, drainage, access, existing structure, boiler, elec, building regulations etc, the list goes on)
the builder gets to site, the existing building get opened up and the unknown unknowns must be addressed. then you deal with the details that are site specific. but in the beginning a fixed price is demanded. would you have excepted an hourly rate? I doubt it:(
 

phester

Registered User
Messages
134
arch service is for drafting a sketch and working drawings, help in structuring the tender and selecting a builder and then a cert of compliance with 2-3 visits during the build.

Sewers have been redone 2 years ago and brought around from back to front of house. plenty of AJ to connect to but no major works

Existing structure needs to be demolished and yes access is a side only entrance.

building regs obviously have to be adhered to and the building is planning exempt.

It is a kitchen and bathroom extension so there will be electrical works, gas works and plumbing and minor drain alteration. Additional gulleys required

The building cost I am using is only to get a PC sum so that a builders finish can be achieved excluding cost of kitchen and minimal sum for basic bathroom ware.

I am just trying to avoid a 21 x 12 extension costing way over 40k as this sum will never be realized in the resale value and I don't believe it is valve for money
 

Superman

Registered User
Messages
595
The issue I have is the architect I am currently engaging with is costed at 3100 + vat and he needs construction engineer costing 1200+ vat to design footings. This is over 20 % of my expected build cost on professional fees. Does anyone think this is excessive. 99.9% sure that it is planning exempt

D
Depends on what he is doing.
It is very easy for me to do very little work while covering my ass by getting you to spend money - oversize everything.
It might cost you €10k extra on foundations, but if I'm only able to do 1/2 hr.'s work on the basis of the fee paid to me, it's all good (from my perspective).

Skimping on the design fee in this type of scenario is a false economy (as demonstrated in the above example).
As to whether it makes sense in your example, you'll need to give more information.
 

beetroot

Registered User
Messages
72
Question for Chicago Gal - did you meet / appoint a CS to help you with your extension?
I'm doing something similar at the moment and would like to know your experiences?
- I appointed an architect to get as far as submitting the planning (waiting on decision).
- I have appointed an engineer to oversee the build.
- Currently investigating getting a CS on board to help get the building specification and tender documents written and send out for tendor.
Just wondering approx cost to create tender documents?
Thanks.
 

BoscoTalking

Registered User
Messages
290
i would like to resurrect this thread to see how Chicago Gal and beetroot got on and also to see if i can get any additional information regarding a conversion / extension i would like to so this year. We have a garage and part of it was badly converted to a loo and utility room - leaky rads and cracking plastered stud wall etc. We bit the bullet and have gotten planning for a basic garage 2 story conversion. Study and utility downstairs and bedroom and small bathroom upstairs.
Thing is we are clueless how to start much less how to get stuck in! the budget is probably too small to fit out the upstairs so we will lay flooring / paint and plumb / fit washroom furniture at a later date.
so questions are
- where does one get an engineer to oversee works? is one absolutely necessary or could it be done but a Sarah Beeney wannabe [ Moi :) ]
- what would people who have done this consider is the least amount of money which is required....
and beetroot - can your own question on the tender documentst pls - it wouljd seem useful to know asi imagine cost could vary widely!
 

Ceepee

Registered User
Messages
113
Elmosong, we are embarking on an extension/renovation, but we engaged an architect from the outset, plus a quantity surveyor, so that we could have a handle on costs before even starting. So I can't (yet) help answer your questions, but am I right to understand that you got planning permission without engaging any professional services at all?
 

beetroot

Registered User
Messages
72
Hi elmosong, I used our planning drawings and a detailed specification (drafted by our architect) to go to tender. I also engaged an engineer (recomended by a friend) to oversee the build and to specify an do steel drawings. I would recomend getting a set of working drawings first though (am doing this now), these along with a specification will be enough for the job to be priced accurately.
 

BoscoTalking

Registered User
Messages
290
Ceepee - planning was granted on the basis of drawings carried out by architect technician. While he was quite thorough and plans are accurate in what we wanted he was not an architect. the detailed spec we are lacking. Our planned extension is bog standard convert garage and put room over it and extend existing roof (bamb just like that lol).
 

lowCO2design

Registered User
Messages
575
Ceepee - planning was granted on the basis of drawings carried out by architect technician. While he was quite thorough and plans are accurate in what we wanted he was not an architect. the detailed spec we are lacking.
:confused:there are different stages of drawings required in any project.

A planning set of drawings are for PLANNING, not construction;)

SO of course the detailed spec is lacking!! the irony here is that an architectural technician, generally deals with the 'detailed spec':D

IMHO go back to your technician and thank him/her for helping to secure your planning permission:) and ask about for a cost to prepare tender/construction drawings & detailed specification (as mentioned by beetroot above) or ask him/her should you go else where for the subsequent service;)

best of luck with your project
 
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