Updated: Jul 2
The process of designing is of utmost importance in any project. Design not only helps you to utilize the spaces better but it can also help you to reduce the cost of construction by 20-30%. In addition, a well designed project will also save the maintenance cost after the construction too. In short, investing some time, budget, and hiring a good architect will save you tons of money in the longer run.
What is Construction Cost:
The construction cost is actually the total amount of cost which is required to construct a project. It includes the three main costs that is the, -The cost of Material -The cost of Labor
-The cost of Time
This value does not involves the pre-planning or the design cost of the project. However the design cost (Small Amount) can help to ultimately save the construction cost (Bigger Amount).
In this article, the following three major points will be discussed;
1. Ideas to reduce Construction Cost
2. How to Control the maintenance cost that includes the utility bills and repair
3. How can you maximize the return of your investment
*A project having implemented all the above mentioned points plus no compromise on the quality and aesthetics is the need of today and tomorrow.
Role of Architect in Designing:
It is to keep in mind that; 'The work suits in the hands of the one skilled to do it'
Whatever project you embark on, it is highly recommended to hire a professional for it for example for designing hire a professional architect. The architect with his experience and knowledge will help you optimize your project. Few people assume that an architect is not required and anyone can design which is not right at all. An Architect helps you enhance the value of your building and can provide much better results in the same amount of incurred cost. See these Duties and Obligations of an Architect.
The design phase of any project include two main steps. 1. The Planning Phase 2. The Form-Making Phase
1. Planning Phase:
The planning phase entails the division of your space, i.e, the number of rooms, arrangement of rooms, etc. In the planning phase after the site analysis the first step is to define the shape of the building or the shape of covered and uncovered areas.
Cost cutting process starts right here when you choose the building shape. Always remember that circular or any inorganic shapes will cost you more than the square and rectangular shapes. Plus in circular shapes there is more wastage of internal usable space while in case of rectangular or square shape the usable internal space is maximized. The use of simple building shapes will not help you to achieve higher building aesthetics but also maximize the functionality of the building.
The nest step is deciding the type of building plan. Building are either open plan or closed plan. Open plan design is preferable when it comes to cost saving ideas. An open plan refers to the building design in which two space are combined in such a way that both can function independently. For example, in a house the drawing-room and dining-room can be combined together or kitchen and dining space can be combined together. In short, one large space can serve for two purposes thus saving the overall construction cost. See these awesome open plan house designs.
Another strategy to save construction cost is to create multi-functional spaces. The multi-functional spaces refers to the technique of using one space for multiple purposes. For example, a bedroom that can also be used as a study room as the timing for both these functionalities are mutually exclusive (do not overlap). Such strategy will reduce your covered area that will effect the overall construction cost. See these Smart Ideas of multi-functional rooms.
Splitting of levels is another brilliant and easy idea to reduce the construction cost. For example, if your requirement is of four bedrooms then you can have two bedrooms on the ground floor and the other two on the first floor. By doing so, the foundation cost will decrease that will ultimately decrease the construction cost.
Another important thing that can help you cut your building maintenance cost is designing appropriate clear heights. Increasing the clear height too much (higher ceilings) will increase the running cost of the project too much. The cooling or heating system will have to work a lot more than usual. In Pakistan, the ideal clear height is 10-11 feet. You can create an illusion of higher ceiling with these simple ideas.
The thickness of walls is another feature that can help you reduce the construction cost. The outer walls should be kept 9 inch thick for reasons including security and also because they are also bearing load. Often there are walls inside which are only providing partition and are not bearing load these walls can be kept 4.5 inch thick. By doing so you will be saving your time, labor and bricks which would directly reduce your construction cost.
Designing a load bearing wall structure reduces construction cost too. That is the walls of the first floor should be exactly above the walls of the ground floor so that you do not have to provide extra beams. If beams are provided then it would increase the steel, cement and concrete requirement which would directly increase the cost.
Always reconsider your requirements. Because in the excitement of a new house construction often some necessary elements become a part of the requirements like, high ceiling luxurious appearance, etc. Such requirements when are considered again with an open mind can be avoided thus reducing the construction cost.
2. Form-Making Phase:
The form-making phase refers to the creation of outlook of the building. The design of the house appearance should be chosen very wisely keeping in mind the budget. There are various options for house form design like, Classical, Contemporary, Modern, Industrial, etc.
The Classical Style costs more than the other styles as it requires more detailing, very skilled labor, expensive material, and more time.
But the other styles like contemporary the cost of construction can be cut down if you use minimal false elements. False elements refer to the objects and structures that have no role in the building structure. These elements are for the sake of outlook and aesthetics only. An elevation can be designed beautifully even without using these elements. It should be kept in mind to extract a good elevation design from existing structures without adding False Elements as they unnecessarily increase the cost.