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Extension - are we dreaming?

  • 12-08-2009 12:52pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 83 ✭✭kfc1


    We are hoping to add on a 400 sq foot extension to our house. Am only really starting to work on fiqures now, but we are probably going to go the direct labour route. I have a fiqure of 20,000 EURO in my head - is this anyway realistic? We are in north county Wicklow. It is a kitchen that we are adding on and we wouldn't need any eletric work done as oh is electrician. I know this is quite vague but does anyone have any opinion on this fiqure (obviously not to include any interior fixtures & fittings)
    Thanks


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Comments

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 1,583 Mod ✭✭✭✭kkelliher


    you could in theory spend the 20k on the kitchen units itself.

    Cant see you getting your structure up for less than 30K.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,375 ✭✭✭kmick


    I would think you would want 150 per square foot for any sort of decent finish. You might be able to persuade someone to do it for 100 per square foot (40,000) but results could be mixed.
    https://www.allianzdirect.ie/calculator.htm


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭sinnerboy


    OP - that budget is not realistic - even in todays economic climate


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 45 booboobear


    I think ya can do it. GO FOR IT.
    There are a lot of cheaper options now. Some of the Polish builders are a lot cheaper and more reliable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,845 ✭✭✭soundsham


    booboobear wrote: »
    I think ya can do it. GO FOR IT.
    There are a lot of cheaper options now. Some of the Polish builders are a lot cheaper and more reliable.

    thats a handy sweepin statement:rolleyes:

    your probably going to be closer to €40k than €30k imo for a decent job from a reliable builder


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 435 ✭✭onq


    kfc1 wrote: »
    We are hoping to add on a 400 sq foot extension to our house. Am only really starting to work on fiqures now, but we are probably going to go the direct labour route. I have a fiqure of 20,000 EURO in my head - is this anyway realistic? We are in north county Wicklow. It is a kitchen that we are adding on and we wouldn't need any eletric work done as oh is electrician. I know this is quite vague but does anyone have any opinion on this fiqure (obviously not to include any interior fixtures & fittings)
    Thanks

    Bruce Shaw figures spec house estate costs are 1250-1600 per square metre. Taking the lower figure, 400 sq.ft. = 37.16 sq.m = €46.451.

    Now, you can argue that this is an estimate and that prices have hit rock bottom since their website was last updated, but it looks about right to me.

    You could maybe get €10k knocked off, but at what cost in terms of finish and quality of work?

    And if, as you suggest you're going the direct labour route, who certifies the work?

    There are some dodgy financial instruments going around at the moment some of which require engineers to certify building works in the absence of a contractor and in my opinion these should be resisted for several reasons; -

    1. Engineers are only competent to certify structural work, unless you get an M&E who will certify services and heat transfer etc.

    2. Consulting engineers of any sort are only covered for certifying design work, not built work, which should be certified by a competent and experienced main contractor, or sub-contractors with their time served.

    In relation to the built work, who carries the insurance - you? Will you also make sure the Direct Labour jobbers follow the relevant health and safety legislation and have the proper site and task certification?

    There seems to be a lot more to building nowadays and if you're going to step into the Main Contractors shoes, you should understand how big they can be to fill.

    :)

    FWIW

    ONQ


  • Registered Users Posts: 552 ✭✭✭soldsold


    The best you will probably do is 30,000 euro. The cost of materials has not dropped a whole lot even though labour rates have.

    For example foundations will eat up a lot of blocks, concrete and reinforcing metal - have a look at recent threads on foundation costs where the poster did all the labour themselves and you can predict your own costs from the square footage.

    Budgeting 45 cent per block, 60 cent each for roof tiles, etc makes the structure look cheap - its when you add stuff like underfloor insulation, felt, nails, cement, grout, adhesives, tiling battens, door hinges and locks, paint, etc and of course your kitchen it quickly adds up.

    You could look at getting the structure up and watertight and finish it as you have cash to do it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 83 ✭✭kfc1


    Thanks to all who replied - just thought I'd post a quick update. Builders have completed and pulled out today, 5 weeks from start to finish, extension ended up being 330 sq feet, price 25,000 (cash) this included adding a window & new rad in the old kitchen, blocking up window & doorway so we could put double doors in a diffent location and installing new fitted kitchen. We are absolutely delighted with how things have gone and are yet to find fault with anything.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,793 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    kfc1 wrote: »
    Thanks to all who replied - just thought I'd post a quick update. Builders have completed and pulled out today, 5 weeks from start to finish, extension ended up being 330 sq feet, price 25,000 (cash) this included adding a window & new rad in the old kitchen, blocking up window & doorway so we could put double doors in a diffent location and installing new fitted kitchen. We are absolutely delighted with how things have gone and are yet to find fault with anything.
    I am truly happy that you got the works completed on a budget that is in the real world and not the for the type of figures that these so called contractors have been picking out of the clouds. This just proves that if you put a bit of effort in and shop around, haggle and wheel and deal with suppliers then indeed it is possible to get your project completed for a realistic figure.

    On a general note I am amazed at the number of threads and posts I see in this and other forums with figures being given that can only be referred to as "silly money"

    In fact Im going to sticky this thread for a while as its unique in a way. Not unique to me or the contractors/trades people in here in Donegal but it would appear to be alien to others in different parts of the country.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1 Gay Pride


    kfc1 wrote: »
    Thanks to all who replied - just thought I'd post a quick update. Builders have completed and pulled out today, 5 weeks from start to finish, extension ended up being 330 sq feet, price 25,000 (cash) this included adding a window & new rad in the old kitchen, blocking up window & doorway so we could put double doors in a diffent location and installing new fitted kitchen. We are absolutely delighted with how things have gone and are yet to find fault with anything.

    That is pretty cool to know. looking at getting the kitchen extended at the moment too. Thank you.


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  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 1,583 Mod ✭✭✭✭kkelliher


    It should be pointed out that the OP got the building done for cash which is not a like with like comparision to the prices been quotes by those in the thread.

    When you go cash if anything was not done properly you have no comeback what so ever legal or otherwise and you are at the mercy of the builder to rectify any snags or errors down the line.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16 taxman


    onq wrote: »
    There are some dodgy financial instruments going around at the moment some of which require engineers to certify building works in the absence of a contractor and in my opinion these should be resisted for several reasons; -

    1. Engineers are only competent to certify structural work, unless you get an M&E who will certify services and heat transfer etc.

    2. Consulting engineers of any sort are only covered for certifying design work, not built work, which should be certified by a competent and experienced main contractor, or sub-contractors with their time served.

    Interesting viewpoint.

    Do consulting engineers not certify compliance with 1) Planning 2) Building Regulations 3) Acceptable Construction Details as per Build Regs 4) Valuations for stage payments and covered to do all of the above by their PI?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 435 ✭✭onq


    taxman wrote: »
    Interesting viewpoint.

    Do consulting engineers not certify compliance with 1) Planning 2) Building Regulations 3) Acceptable Construction Details as per Build Regs 4) Valuations for stage payments and covered to do all of the above by their PI?

    I can't comment on their PI cover exclusions, but most engineers I deal with won't even offer certs comfirming that the elements of structure meet the relevant Part B Fire Cert requirements in terms of Fire Resistance. They isse certs solely in relation to Part A Structure. That having been said, solicitors may accept certs from qualified engineers, as well as persons with a minimum of 10 years of experience acting as Architects. And of course engineering offices are free to retain the services of architects and architectural technicians in-house to advise them.

    It comes back to what someone is competent to inspect and certify, and the fact is that most engineers are specialists. Once you get beyond their specialist training, are you wise to accept their certs? While prior to the Building Control Act 2007, Engineers may have acted as Architects and Planning Consultants and had certs accepted by solicitors, I think things are changing. In fact I know they are;

    Here, catch: Government Policy on Architecture 2009-2015

    http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/Heritage/ArchitecturalHeritage/FileDownLoad,21230,en.pdf

    Oddly enough, while building planning forms part of an architect's [and architectural technician's] training, most engineers don't study design except as it relates to structures, services, process plants, oil rigs and civil works like roads and bridges. I have yet to see one of their wiring diagrams or oil rigs win a design award. That's not a design snob talking, but their designs are usually sparse and utilitarian, building for 10 cent what others build for 20 cent, with little amenity - the Calatravas in the Engineering world do exist, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

    A Design Professional's knowledge and approval of details therefore, should stop with their competence. Similarly their awareness of acceptable levels of fit out works and finishes, which can be a considerable part of the budget for a commercial building. The old rule of thumb was 1/3 Structure, 1/3 Services, 1/3 Fit Out - two different engineers to Structure and Services. Neither deal with certifying control of interstitial condensation or weathering, although most M&E's are well qualified to comment on the former and some forms of structure [massed concrete] deal intrinsically with the latter.

    Naval Architects OTOH design ships, Landscape Architects design siteworks Interior Designs/Architect design the internal envoriment of buildings - and that is the definition of what the Architect does - he/she designs, using whatever materials and technology he/she decides on.

    I once worked for Dar al Handasah [an engineering firm] in London as a second year architectural student and they had whole departments of engineers designing road centerline plots with railway radius curves for bends and cut and fill sections to minimise the excavation, but I didn't see any architects. The best going rate in 1985 was ST£14 an hour - for contract electrical engineering diagram draughstpersons - third year architectural students were on max ST£ 5.50 an hour.

    I did learn how to draft in pen there, to use an offset stencil, to vet new employees claiming to be concrete detailers from Bolton Street DIT [they weren't and couldn't] and one particularly nasty 180 degree switchbadk coming into IIRC Riyadh has my name on it, but there was not much in the way of planning at human scale and no human habitation was being considered apart from digitising town plans and layout of site compounds.

    I resolve it simply - I don't tell them how to design Buckminster Fuller Dome node points, and they don't tell me how to design mansions, Designated Urban Renewal Site masterplans or mixed use commercial developments.

    The planning acts - in particular in relation to exempted development - are a minefield, and the current accepted details for Part L compliance still need some working out, in relation to service penetrations and sealing[you'll see excellent comments on this forum about these issues].

    That having been said, the knife cuts both ways.

    My Opinion of Compliance format for built work will include at minimum a Shedule A Assurance cert from the Structural Engineer on the job and I will call one in even on an extension.

    Its got so bad now in terms of getting plumbers who know what they're at that on the next small work I do I will be getting an M&E colleague to write the specification.

    While I am competent to consider costs, I advise clients to retain a QS for works over €100,000.
    While I can comment on rebuilding costs for the sake of insurance, I don't do building valuations - that's for the estate agent to do and my PI cover prohibits me doing it.

    So for me its horses for courses, and I hope this answers your question.

    ONQ.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,793 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    Can we please stay on topic please which is the cost of a domestic extension.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 Conlee


    kfc1 wrote: »
    Thanks to all who replied - just thought I'd post a quick update. Builders have completed and pulled out today, 5 weeks from start to finish, extension ended up being 330 sq feet, price 25,000 (cash) this included adding a window & new rad in the old kitchen, blocking up window & doorway so we could put double doors in a diffent location and installing new fitted kitchen. We are absolutely delighted with how things have gone and are yet to find fault with anything.


    Hi, I am at present thinking about getting a kitchen extension to the rear of our bunaglow. Roughly the same size as yours. Can you tell me where you are located and let me have the builders contact details. Did this price include your fitted kitchen? Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 451 ✭✭wexford12


    Just to add to this i have a quote for 429sq ft with 4 A rated windows and 2 french doors all up to spec. I have a list of what will be used how the finish will be etc for 25k, cant say the builder will make a huge pile out of it but something is better than nothing when work is not like it was.Every business in Ire has had to drop there prices


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 Conlee


    Hi Wexford, can you let me have the builders name so i can get a quote for my extension please/


  • Registered Users Posts: 451 ✭✭wexford12


    Not sure if i can post his web site but sure it can be taken down if its a no no . www.cooneybros.ie The site is under construction pardon the pun but his numbers are on it. Iv had good feed back from asking around about him but not started my build yet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 567 ✭✭✭bonnieprince


    Do the same prices still apply €100 per sq ft in the current economic climate for extensions?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,046 ✭✭✭archtech


    Do the same prices still apply €100 per sq ft in the current economic climate for extensions?

    i tendered an extension lately and it came in a 135/sq foot, but then it accounted for some additional works, like upgrading insulation/flooring to attic, upgrading of existing windows, moving partitions at first floor level and the was the small point of limited access to the site, excavation by hand. €100/sq.foot or less should build an extension where there is minimal disruption/works to the existing dwelling (which seldom happens)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7 dubext


    does the per sq foot cost for extension include architects fees/all fees or just the contractors quote?
    I looked into what it would cost to get architect plans drawn up for 400sq ft kitchen extension, and was told around 9000 so that would be about right?
    so if i take the figures quoted earlier "Bruce Shaw figures spec house estate costs are 1250-1600 per square metre. Taking the lower figure, 400 sq.ft. = 37.16 sq.m = €46.451." would my total cost be 46 or 55?
    thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,046 ✭✭✭archtech


    dubext wrote: »
    ?I looked into what it would cost to get architect plans drawn up for 400sq ft kitchen extension, and was told around 9000 so that would be about right?

    If I'm reading you right you say you've been told 9000 to prepare the plans, which if it is the case,it is high for an extension of just 400sq. feet. Maybe if the works included total remodeling of the house then that figure may be on the reasonable side. I would say even half that figure would be a tad on the expensive side for the work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,793 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    +1


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 510 ✭✭✭seclachi


    archtech wrote: »
    If I'm reading you right you say you've been told 9000 to prepare the plans, which if it is the case,it is high for an extension of just 400sq. feet. Maybe if the works included total remodeling of the house then that figure may be on the reasonable side. I would say even half that figure would be a tad on the expensive side for the work.

    I would consider that high for a full blown house, let alone an extension. Shop around, you may find an engineer who could do the job for you as well.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 435 ✭✭onq


    dubext wrote: »
    does the per sq foot cost for extension include architects fees/all fees or just the contractors quote?
    I looked into what it would cost to get architect plans drawn up for 400sq ft kitchen extension, and was told around 9000 so that would be about right?
    Sorry I missed this earlier.
    It depends on what is meant by "plans".
    If this included...
    • a planning permission
    • a building regulation compliance review
    • preparing and issuing tender drawings
    • advising on tenders and contractors
    • designing and issuing working drawings
    • limited inspections during the works
    • advising on interior design and fittings
    • administration of the building contract
    • issuing final snag lists
    • final account negotiations
    • issuing opinions of compliance

    ... then €9,000 fees might be light on a job with a builder who finds it difficult ot build compliantly, and there are still some of those cowboys around.
    You end up running around after him performing fire brigade actions because the stairs penetration is too small and he's forgotten to use warmboard somewhere, or the drains are laid ot a reverse fall or he hasn't fire-proofing the top of the party wall correctly.
    People who think fees are too high often just don't know the work to be done.
    so if i take the figures quoted earlier "Bruce Shaw figures spec house estate costs are 1250-1600 per square metre. Taking the lower figure, 400 sq.ft. = 37.16 sq.m = €46.451." would my total cost be 46 or 55?
    thanks

    Its a range of figures.
    Your actual cost will depend on what standard you want the work done to and the specification.
    I usually advise the client to retain a QS or I work with the successful tenderer's QS to ensure the bill is reasonable and include everything so there are no surprises after signing the contract.

    HTH

    ONQ.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,793 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    onq wrote: »
    People who think fees are too high often just don't know the work to be done.
    As it turns out I know exactly what is involved in these situations and the figure of 9K cannot be justified.

    But good luck to the person who charges and gets this fee.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 510 ✭✭✭seclachi


    onq wrote: »
    Sorry I missed this earlier.
    It depends on what is meant by "plans".
    If this included...
    • a planning permission
    • a building regulation compliance review
    • preparing and issuing tender drawings
    • advising on tenders and contractors
    • designing and issuing working drawings
    • limited inspections during the works
    • advising on interior design and fittings
    • administration of the building contract
    • issuing final snag lists
    • final account negotiations
    • issuing opinions of compliance

    ... then €9,000 fees might be light on a job with a builder who finds it difficult ot build compliantly, and there are still some of those cowboys around.

    I`m paying less than a third that figure for a full house, mind I have a few contacts in the industry who have helped me out. I hope you are referring to a full house here and not an extension, because how on earth would you ever expect anybody to extend when they maybe paying 20-30% of the extensions cost on an architect alone.

    I would only be thinking of spending that kind of money if the house was quite unique, ie. Grass roof or stuff along that vien. I also think that 9k plans wont help turn a cowboy builder into a good builder, a chancer will always be looking for an opening.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 435 ✭✭onq


    muffler wrote: »
    As it turns out I know exactly what is involved in these situations and the figure of 9K cannot be justified.

    But good luck to the person who charges and gets this fee.

    Allow me to clarify my position.
    I am not suggesting that €9K is an appropriate figure for all jobs of this size.
    I listed out a pretty full list of services to show how this figure could be justified.

    If you think this is off-topic for this thread Muffler please move it to another, but I would appreciate a right of reply somewhere.

    Architects and other building professionals get paid for their design, costing and/or managerial ability, their professionalism and the liability to which they are exposed.

    Limited liability does not appear to be the coverall people think it is.
    With a PLC, the limited liability works to protect the shareholders in the company.
    As far as I know it doesn't protect directors who have acted wrongfully, unlawfully, negligently, incompetently or fraudulently.

    Architects, particularly sole traders, are suable unto their estate, which means that their family home can have a charge levied against it by the courts if their insurance doesn't cover the costs.
    Getting paid addequately means that sufficient time is allocated to do the work.
    If sufficient time is allocated, but the payment is inadequate, the practice makes a loss.
    There seem to be very few millionaire architect in my experience, suggesting that most work hard for their money.
    Laypersons may not understand the work architects do or their liability and this may lead to a misunderstand undermining fee proposals.

    Private houses usually cost far less to build than office buildings, even ranged against small office or retail buildings.
    Thus calculation of fees on a percentage basis yields far less income to the practice on private houses.
    Extensions tend ot cost more in proportion to area but naturally less in over all terms.
    Fee rates in the range of 10 - 20% are not uncommon on private houses.
    My last fee on an extension was circa 7% of nett excluding site costs.

    In proportion to the nett building costs, architects put far more time into designing private houses than commercial projects.
    This is partly due to the fact that the clients can have great difficulty defining the brief, sometimes even between themselves where there are partners or spouses involved.
    This is not exceptional with private houses, especially where the clients may have a "numerate" as opposed to "graphical" view of the world.
    I'm told that most people divide into these categories but architect must be competent at both.
    In reality architects have a leaning one way or the other, usually towards the graphical side.

    Moreover the clients are not usually experieced at overseeing a development from a developers point of view.
    Often it is their first big building development and so they have a relatively limited understanding of contracts and the need to obtain professional advice at the right time, as opposed to contractor's/tradesman's advices, the scale and timing of payments due and, most importantly, visualizing the final building from drawings or even models and 3D views or perspectives.
    This usually involves the architect in far more discussion witha view to assembling the design team and proper documentation than on a commercial project.

    Private house clients may be more centred on costs than striving to retain a competent builder for a reasonable build price.
    Not being as experienced as a commercial client, the may not see the required balancing act or be prepared to accept a compromise.
    For all that private house clients can surprise you - one of my most able clients was a private house client.

    This is not the norm and so they can often end up accepting lower tenders from less than competent builders whose work requires a higher level of inspection by the architect to ensure they have built compliantly.
    This included opening up finished work that was allegedly completed to archtiects instruction where this has not been done.
    Unforutnately this is all too common.

    In some cases the difficulty arises from the site.
    The site may not be zoned, not zoned correctly, may not be easily accessed or serviced.
    Resolving these issues may entail extended negotiations and submissions and may require the retention of specialists dealing with digital surveys, planning appeals, groundwater and culverting, advanced sewage disposal systems, roads design and, in extreme cases, decontamiation and removed of unauthorised deposits of waste material.

    So from the normal expectation of 4 to 6 site visits, you may have 10 of 12 on site and instead of a month's lead in time to planning it may run to a year.
    The entire project could run to 18 months or more from initial client meeting to final certification.

    If the client refuses to retain a Quantity Surveyor or Engineer the architect will be expected to take up the slack and in an extension with adjoining properties to one or both sides, this can add to further time dealing with negotiations and agreements to build on the party wall line which may involve solicitors.

    I have been involved with nearly all of the above when building private houses, except for the waste and contamination issue, which I understand recently affected a solicitor friend of a client so I include it here for completeness.

    Thankfully these do not always all occur on the same job.

    If they did, the €9,000 cost would be a break even figure on the worst of them.

    FWIW

    ONQ.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,793 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    Had I wanted a newspaper I would have went to the shop :D

    Once again onq you have rambled on and on and seem to have lost sight of the topic. Can we stick to the matter at hand please.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 435 ✭✭onq


    muffler wrote: »
    Had I wanted a newspaper I would have went to the shop :D

    Once again onq you have rambled on and on and seem to have lost sight of the topic. Can we stick to the matter at hand please.

    Please forgive me Muffler if I try to raise the level of discussion beyond dismissive one liners...:cool:

    ONQ

    PS I've saved you a trip on dangerous pavements, haven't I? You owe me one.


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