How to combat the rising cost of building
Updated: Mar 16, 2020
Did you know that the cost of building is going up, with the rapidly increasing cost of materials putting the squeeze on building contractors’ margins to the point where they are no longer able to be competitive. So how can you cut costs without compromising your renovations plans?
UK market analysis by Turner & Townsend earlier this year found that contractors expect tender prices to increase by 2.9% in 2019, compared to increasing materials costs of 5.3% and rising labour costs of 4.5%, which clearly puts some builders in a bit of bother...
The 2018 construction cost index revealed iron and steel accounted for the largest price increases in the building materials group. But all building materials are getting more expensive.
This means that the cost of your planned home improvement and extension projects could potentially be a lot more expensive than you originally hoped. Even with these rising build costs, the comparative moving costs, together with the irretrievable and dreaded stamp duty means that to stay put and do up is, in most cases, still by far the preferred option.
So what should an extension cost you?
According to building website, householdquotes.co.uk, the average cost per m2 for an extension in London and the South East is around £1,500-£2,000+. For two-storey extensions, add 50% to the cost of a single-storey extension. If you want to add a bathroom or kitchen, add £5,000-£10,000.
However local builders say that with the rising cost of materials, together with supply and demand, a more realistic price is around £3,000 per m2, with an average, fully-fitted kitchen coming in more in the region of £20,000.
While it's worth being aware of these increasing costs, it doesn't mean we need to put our projects on hold or shelve them entirely; it simply means we have to be smarter about our plans and more creative with our materials.
Firstly, it's even more important to get good advice, ensure your plans are achievable in terms of cost and planning permission; that your budget is realistic and you have a decent contingency and that you or someone else can keep a and tight control on the purse strings.
Secondly, shopping around for materials is also a great way to combat some costs, and using architectural and decorative salvage can be a great way of doing this.
There are lots of different salvage yards in our area. Some specialise in certain types of salvage, including building materials (bricks, timber, tiles, flooring) and decorative salvage, such as fireplaces, basins, doors, ornaments etc, but all can provide you with really cost-effective materials.
Here are some of the main ones...
Sussex Demolition Services - Warlingham, Surrey
Authentic Reclamation, Stonegate, Sussex
Symonds Salvage Limited, Bethersden, Kent
Comley Reclaim, Farnham, Surrey
Premier Reclaimed Bricks, Croydon
Woodstone UK / Cronin's Reclamation, Little Bookham
If you want to discuss your plans for an extension or need some advice, please contact Julie Bliss, e: firstname.lastname@example.org, m: 07960 348661 or t: 01883 712389 (messages only).