How to budget for a home renovation or extension

Sort It: When you plan any building project, you need to know early on if you can afford it

New building regulations, global shortages and the shutdown of sites  have all increased prices. Photograph: iStock

New building regulations, global shortages and the shutdown of sites have all increased prices. Photograph: iStock

Budgeting for a renovation or extension project is challenging at the best of times, but the circumstances over the past 12 months have made it especially challenging. I asked quantity surveyor (QS) Patricia Power for her expert advice about current building costs and tips for staying on budget.

The current position

“I do not see a crash or any reduction in prices over the next 12 months; if anything, prices will continue to creep up,” says Power. There has been a 5-6 per cent increase in construction costs since this time last year. There are a number of reasons for this. New building regulations aimed at improving homes’ energy ratings have driven up prices. An increase in demand for contractors and other trades has also contributed to prices going up. Global lockdowns have impacted the supply of materials, causing longer lead times and scarcity in the marketplace. As a result, there have been increases in prices for items such as timber and insulation. 

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