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The top reasons people bust their building budget

Busting the budget. It’s the big fear of everyone who sets out to build a house, especially if it’s the first time their attempting such a project.

But according to G.J. Gardner Homes Managing Director, Matthew Hope, there are steps people can take to minimise the risks of overspending their budget.

The company recently commissioned the Building My Home, which revealed the main reason people lost control of their costs.


Planning is the key to success

throughout construction,” Matthew says. “It was no surprise that almost two-thirds (62.5 per cent) of owner-builders overshot budget, compared to just half of those who used a commercial builder. In all cases, the main reasons for additional costs were changing or upgrading fixtures during the project (25.4 per cent) and altering the design midway through construction (22.8 per cent).”

Matthew says it’s important, and financially smarter, to finalise all design and style requirements at the start of the project to help avoid unexpected costs that could hurt the back pocket. “If you’re working with a commercial builder, get all the costs up front or seek a fixed price for the project,” he warns.

He also advised people to seek inspiration and advice from as many sources as possible to get a clear idea of what they wanted in terms of design requirements and style and then speak to a professional about how to make it all happen. “It’s is also important to make sure you are working with a reputable builder who will give you an accurate and comprehensive budget estimate.”


The top reasons that home builders went over budget included:

  1. The home builder improved the quality of their fixtures/changed the fixtures throughout the build. (25.4%)
  2. The home builder made changes to the house design throughout the build. (22.8%)
  3. The builder didn’t quote correctly and surprised the home builder with extra costs. (18.8%)
  4. The home builder did their own budget and underestimated the costs involved. (10.9%)

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Phyllis Stylianou

Phyllis Stylianou is a journalist with 35 years’ experience as a reporter, sub-editor and editor. Writing is the great love of her life (after her family) – as is renovating old homes and building new ones (which she’s embarking on again!) So writing about everything to do with building, renovating and gardening is her passion.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.