To estimate how much a building will cost at an early stage in the design requires skill, experience and knowledge of the market. Normally a ball-park figure can be established using a realistic square meter rate for the build costs. Currently, this is between £1300 and £1700/m2 for a new-build domestic property- although much will depend on the scale and nature of the project. Remember that VAT will apply to renovations and extensions, but not to new-build construction.


Precision is not possible until the design is progressed. There will be variables such as site conditions and geographical location. However, at Dualchas we will work to your budget to allow you to progress to construction with confidence that costs are being controlled. A quantity surveyor (Q.S) can be appointed so as to give budget costs, and can also prepare a bill of quantities for tender, so all work can be itemised to make it easy for the contractor to price. An alternative is to work with a trusted contractor from an early stage of the design process which will help ensure that costs are controlled.


The more knowledge that is established on a site, the easier it is to make design decisions. A topographical survey and a site condition report (from an engineer) can be invaluable in making decisions which can minimise cost. The site works required, the size of the build, the type of construction, and the quality of the finishes all play a part in the final price, which is why our architects at Dualchas will discuss with our clients the cost impact of different options. Remember - you may not be able to get everything you want within a tight budget, but an architect will be able to provide you with the best outcome for your money.


A contingency is normally required during the construction, as there may be unforeseen costs - particularly below ground and in renovations. However, the more detail that is provided, and the less variation to the contract (changes to the agreed build) then the more cost certainty there will be. This is why we will detail the building with our client prior to it being tendered so that decisions are made before work commences on site.


It is always best to employ a contractor of good reputation than one who appears cheap. Dualchas will only tender to contractors who we feel are capable of delivering a product to a high standard. The recession in the construction industry means that there are plenty high quality contractors looking to price work. While increased building regulations and material costs means that construction costs are not low - they are competitive. There has never been a better time to build.



March 15, 2017

Dualchas seeking Architect in Glasgow

Dualchas Architects is looking for a talented architect for the Glasgow office.  Should have at least three years post qualification experience and be ARB registered.  Should be creative ...

November 02, 2016

New Dualchas house in Sleat completed

Ancala, a Dualchas-designed house near Armadale in Sleat, south Skye, has been completed. The three bedroom house has dramatic views over the Sound of Sleat to the hills of Knoydart, with t...