Anyone watching Grand Designs would have seen people changing their minds during the construction of their new home. Why?……well part of it is for the Show to provide drama and entertainment!

They would also have heard how much this added to the cost of the project- 20-25% as a rule! If you have access to an extra $50,000-$100,000 – or more – to meet the cost of project variations then by all means make as many changes as you like during construction. Move the stair, relocate the kitchen or make the bedrooms bigger……whatever you like. The builder won’t be impressed, but their frustration will be eased by the extra money they’ll charge you.

If you don’t like the idea of having to find more money than you expected to pay, then make sure you’re not only happy with the design before work starts on site, but that the working drawings and specifications put to tender accurately reflect the details of what you expect. This is where an experienced architect saves you whatever money you spend on him/her.

As an example – considering the furniture you wish to use and the important objects you want to accommodate – these become the centerpieces of how spaces, room sizes and “your home” come together – then being elaborated and textured by detailed interiors descriptions that will be put to tender.

The best of projects start with a terrific design concept, but builders don’t work from concepts! – unless owners have money to burn. They work from detailed drawings and specifications that tell them everything they need to know. If you want a great building using a lump sum building contract, commission a great design, well documented for tender, and then don’t change your mind during construction!

On the matter of project cost control prior to tender, it is appropriate that an independent cost plan be prepared by a quantity surveyor. Whatever scope adjustments can be made or ear-marked ahead of seeking tenders.