Architecture / June 23, 2018 / .
When considering building a new home, completely redesigning or doing a major addition on an existing home, the reality is there is a certain amount of money budgeted for the project. With a finite amount of money, if you were to only focus on the size of the house, the quality would suffer. The same is true of the inverse–using all of the best finishes and choosing high-end materials to enhance the quality of the home will necessitate a smaller-sized home. You must have a balance between size and quality. This relationship is not always obvious at first, but I have found that by talking with my clients about making smart choices and decisions, they can achieve a balance between size and quality and achieve their dream home.
The materials specified and the proposed construction details will have an important bearing on the cost of the project. The relationship of quality to cost has been commented on above, and buildings which incorporate high quality and innovative features are invariably more expensive than those which are purely functional. The choice depends on what the client is willing to pay. The materials, nevertheless, should be appropriate for their use; over-specification is wasteful.
Many people will choose a new home because they want to be as maintenance-free as they can. They do not want the headache or hassle of failing systems. But when you choose lesser-quality finishes in appliances, tile, flooring, roofing and windows to achieve size, these items, too, will fail sooner than a higher quality item.
The choice of the material, and hence the cost, may be influenced by factors other than aesthetic qualities. For example fast-track construction projects may use a steel frame in preference to an in-situ or precast concrete frame in order to reduce overall programme durations. Although the concrete option may be cheaper, the shorter programme achieved by using steel may offset this initial cost advantage. Technical decisions such as these are made for each building element and these have a direct bearing on the eventual cost. Where considerable repetition can be achieved it may prove economical to prefabricate certain structural elements or to standardise various components and fittings.