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  • Writer's pictureFiona Gibson

The Cost of Building: Construction Methods and Materials

Construction methods and materials can have a big impact on the cost of your build.  Given that labour can constitute up to 40% of your build cost, considering pre-fabricated or pre-finished building elements and materials can help to keep check on your budget.

Prefabricated frames or building systems can not only reduce labour costs on site, but can speed up the build time, which then also reduces the cost of your preliminaries such as skip, toilet and scaffolding hire.  This also reduces the amount of waste generated on site, so better environmentally too.  Cross laminated timber panels (basically enormous plywood) provides both structure and internal lining in one application and has great insulation properties (no stud, then insulation, then lining etc.).  These can be prefabricated to the required size in a workshop and delivered to site for fast assembly.  Depending on the application, they can be a cost effective building solution.

Pre-finished materials also help to reduce labour costs by reducing (or avoiding altogether) the need for painting and sealing, as well as scaffolding.  Even though the supply cost of such materials can be more upfront, this is quickly balanced out by the install and finishing costs.

For example, we used lightweight, pre-stained and sealed, timber ceiling boards in a recent project.  They were simply cut to length, glued and nailed into place and the ceiling was up in a day.  Comparatively if we’d specified a plasterboard ceiling, it would have been a week of installing plasterboard, plastering then painting (and scaffold hire).

So in short, there are a lot of new building solutions and materials available so it’s worth thinking outside the box when you come to building, and end up with a unique home that hasn’t overstretched your budget.

Our next instalment of this newsletter series reveals how you can save up to 20% on your build without changing a single thing!  Curious?  Then keep an eye out.


Fiona and the Sanctuary Design Team

Project: Stonehouse

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