cost estimateWhen building or renovating your home, the budget will often determine all aspects of the project. People often make the mistake of only considering construction costs when planning their project. However there are a number of other costs to consider.

Building permits
Most municipalities have a sliding scale for the building permit fees based on the value of construction. For example: $5 per $1,000 of construction up to $10,000, $6 per $1,000 of construction between $10,000 and $20,000 etc. $1000 and $6000 for construction value of $100,000 and up. Plumbing and electrical permits may be additional to this.

Elevation Surveys
Most municipalities require an elevation survey by a legal surveyor to determine the elevations of the grade at the corners of the lot and the corners of the house. This will determine the setting out point for the building height. The survey also locates pins used for construction and locates existing buildings if any. This determines zoning set back requirements.
$1000 to $4000 depending on the number points surveyed.


Consulting Fees
Architectural fees may range from 5 to 26 per cent of the construction budget depending on the level of service required and the size and complexity of the project. All building permit work also requires a structural engineer. There is a fee for design and for inspections of formwork and framing.
$1500 – $10,000 depending on the size and complexity of the project

Some municipalities require a geotechnical engineer to provide documents. This will determine the capacity of the soil to hold up the building as well as the foundation design
$600 - $1,000

Don’t forget 5% GST on all consulting fees and construction fees and costs

You should carry a 10 to 20 per cent contingency amount for changes in the work. There will be changes. Omissions from the drawings, items or upgrades added during construction, surprises under the soil.
$10,000 minimum

Appliances and furniture
Appliances and furniture are typically not included in the construction costs and are supplied and installed by the owner.

Living costs
If renovating you may have to live somewhere else while under construction. This can be anywhere from two to six months.

Demolition costs
If renovating, you will likely have to demolish part or all of an existing building. Costs are incurred for labour, bin rental and transport and disposal fees.
$5,000 and up depending on the size of the site.

Construction costs
A good rule of thumb is to allow from $150 to $300 per square foot for construction costs.

Unrealistic budgets are the cause of many problems on a project. The problem is compounded because complications cost even more money to fix. Having a realistic budget at the beginning will ensure your project is a success. As you can see you should allow for at least $50,000 for fees, taxes, contingency, appliances and furniture in addition to construction costs.