Good planning, a careful choice of partners and a certain discipline in terms of personal wishes are important points, to allow you to respect your construction budget. Also, we tell you in which areas of construction it is better not to want to save at all costs.
Good planning, careful choice of partners and a certain discipline in terms of personal wishes help to respect your construction budget.
In Switzerland, whoever builds a detached house must plan a budget ranging from five hundred thousand francs to a million, without land or exterior fittings. In the medium standing segment, this represents around 800 francs per cubic meter of construction volume, knowing that no limit is set up. This dizzying number raises the question of whether it would not be possible to do cheaper. Where is it possible to save costs? Where, ultimately, are the savings paying off? The Zurich architect Valentin Loewensberg advises potential owners to lend themselves to the following reflection already before starting work: condominium apartment? The expert estimates that the living space in a detached house costs almost twice that of an apartment in a collective building.
Here are three important points to keep construction costs affordable:
- Careful choice of partners
Anyone who decides to build a detached house has every interest in keeping an eye on the costs already during the planning phase. Hans Röthlisberger, freelance architect, construction consultant and author, believes that choosing an architect cost-conscious is important, if not even decisive. But how do you find out how cost-conscious an architect is? “The primary condition is that an architect is fundamentally interested in building at a good price, that he has good expertise in controlling costs and that site management is provided internally”, specifies Hans Röthlisberger. If this is not the case, the external site manager must be involved from the planning phase. Besides the architect, Valentin Loewensberg recommends choosing carefully the planner and the contractors.
- Restricting your own wishes Project
owners, for their part, can also help to keep costs down. Indeed, the perpetual modifications of the plans during the construction phase, generate an additional workload for all the actors. Also, it is a good idea to take your time when planning to be sure you have found the right solution. Small extras are also expensive: niches, skylights or projections quickly increase construction costs, just like experimenting with materials or technologies that have not been tested. Hans Röthlisberger, therefore, advises opting for simple and standardized systems and products. Ie homogeneous shapes of doors, windows and roofs, as well as proven materials. “Generally, it is not appropriate to want to reinvent the art of construction,” notes the specialist.
- Knowing how to give up
Giving up on certain aspects is also a way of saving costs. How many square meters do I need? What level of comfort can I afford? Whoever incorporates these reflections at the start of planning will ultimately have better cost control. The interior layout also saves money, although the potential is quite relative. Indeed, this area represents only one-eighth of the overall construction cost. However, like parquet floors, in particular, there are large price differences between materials. In the field of kitchens and bathrooms also, the differences are important. About household appliances and fittings, it is a good idea to define your needs. Do we want a rain shower head that consumes 25 litres of water per minute? In addition to a combined oven and steamer, do we also need a warming drawer? Is the dryer essential? Costs can also be kept low by opting for noble raw materials, which do not require further treatment of surfaces, such as walls and ceilings.
- Where is it best not to save?
Experts advise against wanting to save on energy systems because this choice is generally unfavourable in the long term. An energy-efficient home has lower operating costs over the long term, which can quickly pay off any higher initial costs. According to Hans Röthlisberger, extreme cost pressure on artisans is also counterproductive. “The craftsman must also gain from the mandates he performs. When the salary is too low, we often deplore a reduction in quality or delays, which induce tedious compensatory procedures. Likewise, Hans Röthlisberger does not welcome the acquisition of services and products abroad. complete standard houses, offered by renowned foreign service providers, present on the Swiss market or the simple purchase of products such as ceramic tiles.
- What to do if your budget is exceeded?
If despite all the care taken, the estimate exceeds the budget, there remains only one solution: reduce the services, either at the level of the scale of the project or in the standard of development. Hans Röthlisberger strongly advises against reducing reserves. His experience has shown him that: “The costs only disappear temporarily, to generally resurface during the implementation phase. “