what other costs do I need to allow for?

There’s a number of costs associated with any building project, some are absolutely necessary whilst others simply reduce the risk of any potential problems. But if you’re spending excess of £50,000, you should ensure everything is done properly!

Here’s a brief list of the most common costs:

  1. site / plot of land – this is probably the biggest expense, obviously.
  2. site clearance – please bear in mind that a site may need to be cleared of existing structures or vegetation and made level, ready for the foundations.
  3. planning application – professional fees will be required to prepare the drawings, forms and design statements that form the application, plus the Local Planning Authority fees. A straightforward application for a single dwelle.ing on a plot shouldn’t cost more than £1,000, but any difficulties will result in additional costs. Some useful information can be found here.
  4. topographical site survey – depending on the proposed site we may need some accurate information on the exact dimensions, the levels and position of any existing trees, hedgerows and existing drainage.
  5. site investigation desk study – often described as Phase 1 of a site investigation, this forms the basis of the preliminary risk assessment – it can really save you money! More information on the www.ags.org.uk website.
  6. site investigation intrusive survey – Phase 2 of an investigation  – we’ll need this in order to understand the ground conditions and for our engineers to design the dwelle.ings foundations. If there is contamination on the site, further costs will be incurred through Phase 3 (Remediation) and Phase 4 (Validation) of the site.
  7. Party Wall Act notice – if the proposed building is on or close to a boundary, we may need to serve a notice to the owner of the land next door – full details are explained in this booklet.
  8. ground gas protection – radon and other ground gases, such as methane, are now more recognised as contributors to health and safety in buildings – if it’s present on your site (detected in a site investigation) then we need to ensure the building has sufficient protection.
  9. foundations and below ground services design – although our buildings are modular and are fixed in price, because every site is different, our engineers still have to design the foundations and how the buildings services connect to the drains etc. They’ll use the site investigation information to ensure the correct foundations are designed.
  10. utility connections – these costs will vary greatly – even if you go off-grid, you’ll still need to allow a cost for obtaining clean fresh water and a way to dispose of waste water and sewage.
  11. site insurance – it’s a statutory requirement to have insurance for a building site in the UK – construction sites are innately hazardous environments.
  12. building inspections – carried out by Approved Inspectors at key stages to ensure the construction meets Building Regulations.
  13. structural warranty – this isn’t absolutely necessary if you don’t have a mortgage lender that insists on there being a 10 year structural warranty, but it’s good peace of mind that you’re covered.
  14. energy performance calculations – you’ll need these to show the building meets Building Regulations.
  15. Passivhaus Certification – if the dwelle.ing you select is capable of meeting the very stringent Passivhaus criteria then there will be a cost for checking and certifying the building.
  16. airtightness test – this is required as part of the Passivhaus Certification and is becoming increasingly required for Building Regulations Approval.
  • Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of items and every project is different –  you should seek advice on your own specific project.