TERRA TIPS – Construction Considerations: A Quantity Surveyor’s Perspective
Are you dreaming of building your own house, or renovating your forever home? If so there are some key things to consider when planning the works to be done, with the foremost item being cost! Barbados is a high-cost jurisdiction because many raw and finished materials need to be imported, and when you add freight, duties, and labour to the initial pricing it all adds up! A Quantity Surveyor (‘QS’) is one of your key partners in any construction project. They act as a custodian for the finances of construction projects – helping to estimate and control costs, from large scale builds to a small house for your beloved pet.
POINTS TO NOTE
There was a huge spike in construction costs immediately following the pandemic due to rising inflation and supply chain challenges. While current material prices are still in line with that of 2022, a rising demand for construction coupled with shortage of skilled tradesmen has seen an increase in labour costs and overheads. Since a home may be your single largest investment, QS’ recommend that you manage the costs which you can control i.e. research and identify what materials and finishes you like, know what you can afford – speak with your bank first, and shop around for the best deals on materials. Get referrals (the good and the bad stories) for contractors and try to see what other work they have done before making your selection and signing a contract. Also, since construction tends to shut down over the holidays -begin your build around March to avoid labour shortages. Houses can take as few as 6 months or more than 12 to build subject to size and specification so stay engaged with your contractor, be patient in the process and rely on professionals to help give you peace of mind!