Self build budget and finance tips

When it comes to building or renovating your dream home, accounting might be the last thing on your mind. However, with self-building it is very easy to get carried away. We have listed these top ten tips to help you stay on budget throughout your project.

  1. Determine your budget

Set a realistic budget for your project and then have a contingency amount for any hiccups or unforeseen work. Insist on your top line budget to your architect also, as they can get carried away with designs and hi spec materials that you will ultimately have to take back out if the money isn’t there.

  1. Remember about professional fees

Remember there are architects, engineers, legal fees, water/electrical and gas connections that will need to be factored into your budget also!

  1. Mortgage application

Most lenders will look for a breakdown of costs to determine their draw down amounts etc. DJ Build Estimations offers an express report that all lenders will accept for your application.

  1. Have a good detailed set of plans

There is nothing worse than handing a set of plans to a builder or a quantity surveyor with little or no detail on them. Specifying the types of materials, electrical and plumbing layouts etc will ensure a more accurate costing.

  1. Don’t deviate from plans

Once the building work has commenced, try not to deviate too much from your original plans. There are small changes that can be accommodated easily by the builder, but if you chop and change too much you are looking at knock on effects onto future stages. Keep your design simple, curves cost money!

  1. Contracts with builders and tradesmen

Get your builder and tradesmen to sign contracts to ensure peace of mind, timing and payment terms. Make sure that they all have their relevant insurance and paperwork. Stay in regular contact with them and take progress photos at every stage.

  1. Inflation and lead times

Remember that costs are rising regularly and to factor this in for stages that might not happen for 6 to 8 months. However, if you have got quotes from tradesmen they should have this factored in already.

Certain materials and products also have long lead times, like windows and doors for example. Make sure you have things ordered or on back order at least a few weeks before they are needed. Delays on site cost money too!

  1. Insulation

Don’t skimp on this! Having good insulation will save you money in the long run. Cutting corners can increase the need for future repairs and maintenance.

  1. VAT

You may be eligible to claim back VAT on certain purchases for a new build. Keep all your receipts and proof of purchase. If unsure visit or for advice

  1. Most importantly, get a Bill of Quantities

Keep an eye on every phase of your build with material quantities, labour costs and plant hire costs. Our simple and easy to follow layout includes guidance notes, financial breakdowns and terminology that you will understand.