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Building Budgets and Costs


In this post we are going to discuss the importance of having a budget that is based on real costs. When a client calls me to set up an appointment, the first thing I ask them to prepare for our initial meeting is to prepare a budget. It is most important that when you are employing an architect, that you have a budget for your project clearly in mind.


Without a clear guidance on the budget, it is impossible to get to a realistic proposal and this can lead to abortive work which is frustrating for the architect and costly for the client.

It’s important that you the client have a realistic idea on what your costs will get you.


Often times clients will use google to get an idea of cost guidelines which can be useful but can also be misleading, as its human nature to see what we want to see.

The RIAI Building Construction Cost Guidelines for Consumers for 2019 is probably one of the best places to start when trying to evaluate what your budget should be.


This document guides that when ‘traditional building methods’ along with ‘reasonable finishes’ are to be employed, then one should guide a construction cost range for Domestic Extensions at a rate of €1900 to €2300 per m2, and ‘Where the construction methods are non-traditional and/or the level of finishes and/or fittings is high, you should use a cost in the order of €2,500 to €3,000 per m2’.


However these figure are pre COVID and the Ukraine War, so it would be advisable to add at least 20-25% to these figures when trying to begin with your budget.


When starting out initially on your project your architect will advise you on the feasibility of your brief versus your budget before ever embarking on the design process, as it is of no use to either party to run blindly into a design, that will never see itself get off the page.



At JEA we offer an on-line consultation where you can test your ideas and budget at a high level before committing to your project. Click on this like here if you want to book an on-line consultation to advise on your project and its budget.

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