COST CONTROL MEASURES FOR HOME CONSTRUCTION

Building own home is a big dream. Most of us accumulate funds for years and plan every day. Generally, people build their home once in their lifetime. He invests all his hard earned money and savings there. Building a home is a big budget matter. In many cases home building budget exceeds the limit for various reasons. Controlling budget is a tricky job. Successful controlling of budget during construction phase helps to complete the home within budget.

To control the budget, some useful steps help to reduce the cost of construction and expenses dramatically. But it should be followed from the beginning with practical strategy. The following cost control measures for home construction may help to reduce the cost.


1: Economic design of home

Make the building's design as simple as possible. Square or rectangular shaped building costs less than other shapes. Make floor plan optimizing your requirements like bedrooms, living-dining, washrooms, kitchen, balcony etc. It should not be too many or too large neither it should be too small in size. First of all, make a list of  all your requirements and think over it again and again. Sometimes we dream a lot of more rooms and space during planning, but actually they will not of use later on. So, optimize your plan on a particular room or space whether it is required or not at all. This will give you an optimum built up area requirement. A double storied home over a smaller area is a smart choice. A simple home helps the Architect and Structural engineer to make the most economical design. It also reduces cost of construction. To give aesthetic look to the building ask  the Architect to make a simple exterior design with less elevation features. Remember projected high elevation custom design with so many curved or sloped structural elements are costly affair. It makes  the budget bigger and time consuming.

2: Preparation of home construction budget

Those who want to build their own home has a mindset about their fund and knows how much he can expend for their home. So,make a construction budget beforehand with that fund. It will give you probable cost expenditure for each items of work. It is very necessary. Budget helps to control the unnecessary expenses. A detailed article on ' how to make home construction budget' is written in the previous blog. There you can find how to make a home construction budget in easy way.

Cost Control Measures

3: Preparation of work schedule

Time and cost runs parallel. If time increases the cost increases. So, if your home construction work gets delayed the cost increases.The budget also increases. To control and manage the construction work, prepare a work schedule. This is very useful Technic for tracking any project work. Work schedule is nothing but a list of works which are arranged in sequence with start date and finish date.To prepare a work schedule, list down all items of work to be executed on paper and arrange them in sequence with timeline. Better to take help from a professional. You can also take it from your contractor but it should be verified and agreed upon the timeline. This list will help you to compare the actual progress of work in site with the planned timeline in work schedule and helps to control the time. If any work is running delay, you can put pressure on the contractor to complete it within the given time. The work schedule is very helpful to complete the project within the stipulated time.

4: Selection of right contractors

Another important work is to choose a right civil contractor. The contractor should be resourceful and have a good track record. He should have sufficient manpower, plants & machinery and credential. If contractor is inexperienced, incompetent and has unskilled manpower, delay of work and bad workmanship is inevitable. Mistakes and bad workmanship lead to high cost. To avoid it, choose competent right contractor. Other vendors should also be selected on their past experience, workmanship, manpower and credential etc.

5: Uses of good quality materials

Always use good quality materials. Though it costs little bit more but in longer term it is more beneficial. Good quality materials are always stronger. It passes through tough tests to ensure quality and safety. It helps construction to be done faster with less wastage and little snags thereby saves cost and time. Local inferior quality material costs less but gives you pain throughout the life. To choose good quality material is a smart strategy for future.

Cost Control Measures

6: Optimum utilization of labours and materials

Idle labours and excess materials are the root of budget escalation. Though it comes under the contractor's part but indirectly harms to the home owner. No contractor works for their own loss. If they make loss, they always try to pass it to the client either directly or indirectly. So, it becomes mutual responsibility to save labours and materials. A good contractor never provides too many or too less manpower. They always try to optimum utilization of their resources with proper planning and strategy.

If materials supply is on client's part, proper monitoring is needed for no misuse and wastage of materials. Before procuring any material, prepare an estimate of requirements. Do not procure all materials at a time unless it is cost saving. Place the order in two or three installments. Remember right quantity of right materials should be used for the right work. Materials brought for particular work should not be used for other purposes unless situation demands. Otherwise material wastage will increase.

7: Avoid last minute changes

Any changes during end of the project work involves huge cost, poor quality and time loss. Try to avoid changes during construction as far as possible. Necessary changes should be done at the initial stages. Suppose any room size is to be changed then it should be done during partition layout of the room etc., not when the partition wall is completed. So, right planning is very crucial, do any addition or alteration on paper during planning phase and try to visualize it before confirming your decision so that changes can be avoided during construction phase.

Cost Control Measures

8: Uses of excess materials

During construction, site produce materials like cement mortar or cement concrete etc. becomes excess. Try to stop making excess material. Generally, at the end of the day either it is thrown away or wasted or washed. It's a bad practice. If it is excess try to utilized it to some other works. Mainly concrete, it is costly material, it should not be wasted. Excess concrete can be used in P.C.C work or to make piece lintels, precast blocks, precast cover slab etc. which will be used later on. Lintels are mainly used over door-window openings. Concrete blocks can be used for external paving work or landscape designing etc. To do this, there must be a beforehand planning and arrangement to utilized the excess materials. This practice not only saves money and materials but makes the site waste free and less hazardous. This is green building concept - Reuse - Reduce - Recycle.

Cost Control Measures

9: Uses of waste materials

Every bit of material is useful provided how do you think about utilizing it. Proper planning and skill can make waste material usable. Firstly, do not procure excess material. If possible, negotiate with the supplier to return back excess material. Secondly, estimate the exact quantity of materials required. Then add some percentage for wastage to get the actual required quantity.
Only required quantity should be procured. For different material different percentage of wastage are considered as follows:
  • Wastage for brick, sand, stone aggregates etc.     : 5%
  • Wastage for steel reinforcement                             : 2%
  • Wastage for cement                                                   : 2 - 3%
  • Wastage for concrete                                                : 1%
  • Wastage for tiles, marble , granite etc.                  : 8 - 10%
Now these wastage can be reduced further by using them in other works. To do that, from the beginning of the project make a suitable planning for different waste materials. All waste material should not be heaped or dumped in one place. It should be stacked at site separately so that these can be used for different creative works later on. This practice helps to reduce the cost drastically. Below given tips may be useful :

Cost Control Measures

Waste brick bats - Can be used for soling work, paving work or making brick aggregates for lean concrete work. it can be used as subgrade for approach path etc.

Hardened cement and concrete lumps - If possible, it can be used to make rock garden, landscape work etc. after discussion with Architect or landscape designer.

Cost Control Measures

Waste tiles, marble, granite stone - It can be beautifully used to make murals on walls, compound walls, floors, decorative approach path, rock garden, decorative planters etc. So many ideas can play with these waste materials. Practically, more than 90% waste materials can be utilized with these ideas. It looks beautiful and helps to reduce wastage and cost.

https://youtu.be/pibTzlKFc3Q

Hope the above cost control measures for home construction will be helpful to the readers.











            
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Green Environment

Hi, I’m Gobinda Burman (Green Environment). More than 27 years in the field of Building Construction industry, I’ve completed many high-rise building projects successfully. I have got the opportunity to learn and solve the critical practical problems related to building construction. I love to share my knowledge with those people who wants to build their own home and the budding civil engineers willing to build their career in this field..

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