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Building quotes have come in double architect's est. HELP

(35 Posts)
NutellaMonster Thu 24-Nov-16 05:50:19


Just wondering if anyone has been in the same position. Planning single storey long side return extension to kitchen with roof lights. Adding a roof light to one of the rooms and new roof. Knocking through from kitchen into two adjoining rooms and renovation throughout.

Architect came a estimate and 3 building quotes have come in more than double that estimate. Not sure what to do. Project is such that it's hard to do some bits and not others but need to materially bring down costs.

Any advice from any professionals or seasoned renovators out there? Feeling sick and stuck.

bibbitybobbityyhat Thu 24-Nov-16 06:19:38

Go back to the architect and ask their advice.

NutellaMonster Thu 24-Nov-16 06:24:09

Yes doing that today. Got quotes back a couple of days ago. They were supposed to call yesterday but didn't!

NutellaMonster Thu 24-Nov-16 06:28:01

Just interested to see what others have done in this situation or if any professionals out there who can comment.

I understand an architect isn't a builder when it comes to pricing but the quotes are coming in more than double. I understand we need to take things out the project but not sure where to start when it's so much over.

How can I expect an architect or a builder to help and advise at this stage and hoe much can I expect them to aid us?

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Thu 24-Nov-16 06:35:36

We have been in this position. Architect estimate was nothing like the actual quotes I got and by a bigger margin than yours. Over twice by builders who had quite a poor reputation to over 4 1/2 times more by others. For one particular job.
It was a tricky job and a boom period for builders. A year later we got new quotes which matched the estimate much more closely. Quotes tend to be done based on a set figure per square foot. But small things can make the jobs difficult and mean you get wierdly inflated quotes. It might be worth going back to your builders and asking why it was so much above the £per square foot you expected you may find small changes to the plans make huge differences to the price. Structural work requiring engineering calculations and steelwork and drain moving , being the more common of the things that raise the price in my experience. Also getting quotes from builders outside your area..postcode quoting is "a bit of a problem" if your having building work done in a nice area.
Not totally helpful I'm afraid but perhaps a way forward.

AddToBasket Thu 24-Nov-16 06:36:47

This is the architect's problem. If you gave a budget, and he said it was possible then he will need to get the spec down.

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Thu 24-Nov-16 06:38:37

The architect should tell you the estimate per sq foot
Also will redraw the plans until satisfactory, depending on how you have agreed to work together.

NutellaMonster Thu 24-Nov-16 06:43:26

Thanks 665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast for ideas to try. I feel as though it's quite an expensive time to be doing works now as seems everyone is doing the same? Imagine raw material costs are quite high at the moment as well. Nodding my head at steel work and drain moving which of course feature in my plans. I imagine builders may be adding a premium to our particular property as have had that before with trades. Sorry to hear about your situation and good to hear from someone who has been in the same boat. Can't help but feel stupid though this is a reputable chartered architect and having spoken to a couple of people their estimates for the work were similar to ours so I am hoping it's the current climate being a factor.

NutellaMonster Thu 24-Nov-16 06:44:59

Thanks. DH should be speaking to architect today. Am hoping he can go politely nuts at them. So fed up!

Wallywobbles Thu 24-Nov-16 06:50:04

I'm in France but the postcode made a huge difference to our quotes. 30% more for identical wood/aluminium windows. Same manufacturer. We took the quotes and haggled down with our preferred guy so that his quote was never higher than the lowest we got elsewhere.

Where possible we have fewer companies intervening so a single company is quoting for a larger slice of the work. So windows, insulation, plasterboard all one company. Electric/plumbing/heating potentially one company.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 24-Nov-16 06:53:11

Don't go nuts at the architect - it's not his fault and he was just giving a rough quote. He can't force builder's to carry out the work.

Have you looked at the quotes in detail? The architect may have given a tough quite to get toms plastered shell whilst the builder's have included costs such as the kitchen and fitting and spotlights etc.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 24-Nov-16 06:53:36

rough quote

NutellaMonster Thu 24-Nov-16 06:55:07

Thanks Wallywobbles that's a shocking difference due to postcode. Builder quotes included everything as they'd be bringing in their own trades for all aspects.

The cost of decoration was eye watering so sanity checking with a local person we've used before but would hate to complicate things by bringing in our own trades and ones that the builder hasn't worked with before. Think we'd get off on the wrong foot with builder for doing that. Would be good to sanity check the quote though.

NutellaMonster Thu 24-Nov-16 06:58:43

Gobbolinothewitchscat - I know it's not their fault and not the sort to actually go nuts but it's just double what they estimated and just need them to help.

We have an itemised quote and a huge tender document so easy to go through line by line and everyone knows what's included so no way they could have been giving a rough estimate.

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Thu 24-Nov-16 06:58:58

It is expensive now, oddly so. We are currently having work done and the lead times for good builders are huge as the trades we currently need are so busy.
Don't shout at your architect by the's tempting, but it's probably the least useful thing you can do.

NutellaMonster Thu 24-Nov-16 07:03:25

Thanks. Honestly not the sort to shout but sometimes wonder if that's our problem!

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 24-Nov-16 07:10:09

We've done loads if building work (loft extension and house gut) and always used our own decorator. The builder has never had an issue with that. If you use the builder's, you'll pay a big margin on that. I either get the paint or the decorator does and he just charges me the cost price - gives me receipts. No chance would I use a builder's decorator and let them supply paint willy nilly - you'lol probably pay an extra 50% for that.

We also ask for the builder's trade discount to be applied to everything (doors etc) - howdens etc - and passed onto us. An honest builder doing a big job will have no issue with that.

Last year, we refitted 3 bathrooms. I chose everything at the plumbers merchant, they applied the builder's discount plus an extra 10% for buying so much. That saved a lot

Next year, we're doing a big extension. I'll go to howdens with the builder and his fitter and pick out the kitchen. Then I'll get the quote with him there to get his discount and the fitter can give us the head up if there is anything that he thinks will be especially complex in case that affects the builder's quote so I can be pretty assured that there won't be any funny surprises.

Ask for all of that. Plus most builders don't say, sorry I don't want the work, they just send bananas quotes to put you off

Are these builder's who've done work for friends?

NutellaMonster Thu 24-Nov-16 07:37:51

Thanks Gobbolinothewitchscat excellent advise re decorator. Will proceed with getting another quote.

And thanks too for trade discount advice - will look into this.

We have had 3 quotes. Mostly builders the architect had rec. One of the three was also rec by our bathroom supplier and existing roofer. We have a period property so haven't asked for quotes off of builders friends have used as our property is different and the builders who have quoted have extensive period property experience. Might be next step to get a quote from one of these though.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 24-Nov-16 07:42:54

We have a period property too - personally, I don't think you need someone with period pproperty experience per se. Unless you were perhaps doing something unusual with wattle and daub or something. It just gives the more, er, enterprising builders the opportunity to add another 10% on

I'm assuming your house is similar period etc to ones nearby? I would look for a good, established local builder who has worked on these types of house. That will give the experience that is needed

NutellaMonster Thu 24-Nov-16 07:49:07

Quotes are from good established builders who have worked on ones locally though there's definitely some others I could ask. House up street has had some work done so could ask. Also reputable builder nearby who has been recommended by a few friends but no real period experience but v happy customers so can go out to him with tender document.

NutellaMonster Thu 24-Nov-16 07:49:33

Thanks again Gobbolinothewitchscat

superking Thu 24-Nov-16 07:58:14

Could you get a quantity surveyor to have a look at it? Obviously the builders can charge whatever they like and if supply/demand is in their favour then that will push prices up. But a quantity surveyor should be able to give you the "sanity check" that you refer to. It would at least give you an idea of whether your architect has woefully underestimated the costs involved or whether the quotes you are getting are inexplicably high.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 24-Nov-16 08:46:42

That sounds worth doing nutella. Being able to see the work and speak to the customers is really important (well in my opinion!)

Quantity surveyor might be worthwhile too

Hope it gets sorted

CoffeeChocolateWine Thu 24-Nov-16 09:10:32

I'm the wife of an architect who does these kind of jobs and I can tell you that this kind of thing drives him nuts too. But when he quotes for jobs it is an estimation that is based on precedent - so the cost of similar recent jobs that he's worked on and have been built - and knowledge of the markets AT THAT TIME. He always tells his clients to have a decent contingency worked into their budget. Do you have this? But then the client makes the odd tweak here and there, adds bits, a few months go by and prices of materials go up, perhaps the builder is very busy at that or doesn't really want the job so inflates their prices, and then the client blames the architect when the quote isn't in line with his estimate!

Architects and builders (certainly in my husband's case) might work on the same jobs, but they are not linked in any way and the architect has no control over what the builder will charge. Having said that, for a quote to come in at double the architect's quote doesn't sound good. But please don't have a go at the with the architect to see where you can bring costs down. If your architect is anything like my husband, they are probably feeling stressed about it too and will feel a huge responsibility (despite their lack,of control of the builder quote) to get you a quote that will work with your budget or a new design that will be more in line with your budget.

PuraVida Thu 24-Nov-16 09:29:29

The construction industry is very sensitive to economic changes. I tender works for my job and we're seeing a lot of volatility in pricing st the mo. Lots of very high costs v oddly low ones too. I think it likely economic uncertainty in having an effect

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