Research shows that more than half the population would like to build their own home at some stage in their lives. Nick Cook, an experienced builder and Founder of the self build cost calculator ProntoCALC, explains why he developed a method to help them turn that dream into a reality.
So, you have set your hearts on a self build, you have done your research and worked out an approximate budget. Next comes the all-important aspect of planning your project and working out how much it is going to cost. Access to the internet means clients are becoming far more informed when planning their dream building projects and selecting competent builders.
We developed ProntoCALC, the online build cost estimator, for Builders, Architects and Self Builders to make estimating the costs much easier and more accurate. The application uses a simple & straightforward data entry system to produce a 16-page PDF which details all aspects of a build. The format confirms to both the Builder and the Client, that all items are included, and it is easy to make adjustments to suit budgets.
ProntoCALC allows both builders and self-builders to manage a project. Any design changes during the construction process can be recorded. The cost changes will immediately be applied to the budget. Self Builders can choose what level of detail they require. By using the ProntoCALC system to provide full details, both parties can be confident that they are completely aware of what is, and what isn’t included in the budget.
One of the main benefits is it saves time by doing all the calculations. It also holds all of your Builder’s rates – If you ensure that the Builders you choose to price your project are using ProntoCALC, they can provide you with all the information from the beginning so that you both have the same figures and can look at like-for-like quotes.
I have worked on many projects where my client has used ProntoCALC to price the project before I (The Builder) was ever involved. They go onto ProntoCALC and they put in all the information and then they began a conversation with us and we were awarded the work. Many clients like to have their own account so that they can go in, make changes and see what affect the changes have on the budget then they can go back to the builder and instruct accordingly.
As soon as you put an amount in roofing square meterage, it calculates the timber, the batten, the felt, the insulation, the tile finish or slate finish. There are simple equations on overall square meterage that most people can do easily and it does all the calculations. It has all the benefits of the room section which has bring in:
Number of radiators
Number of electrical outlets
All of that is quantified and goes into the system so that you the client can understand where your costs lie. The variations section also records everything. It adapts the budget, and this can be agreed by all parties at any time. Enabling the Client, the Builder, and if necessary the Architect, to know exactly where they are within the budget. As a builder with 30 years’ experience, I find this highly valuable. I often say to clients that I run a ‘no-shock’ building company. I won’t shock them. If they want any alterations I can tell them what the figures are, I can show them what the budget changes are. They don’t feel like they are bounced into anything, they always know where they are.
ProntoCALC holds all the rates in the site, it does all your maths for you. It produces a PDF format 16 pages which details every aspect of the project and is laid out how you would build a house. The first item is clearing the site, and then you go step-by-step through the process from the foundations to the walls, to the roof, to the internal works; plastering, electrics and plumbing. So if you are seriously thinking about doing a building project, and you have gone to the effort of having drawings done and have got planning permission, you have obviously thought quite a lot about what you would like. ProntoCALC will take you through the step-by-step costs of what it takes to build your house.
ProntoCALC allows you to easily estimate the costs involved when building an extension, a self build, barn conversion or any other type of building work. It makes it quicker and easier for you to plan your project. I designed the system to help all users save time and money by providing an honest and accurate way to produce building quotes. If your builder isn’t using ProntoCALC, find one who is! By using ProntoCALC you can better understand the build process, select a competent builder and get a realistic grip on what it will take to make your dream project come true.
Sign-up for a free 14-Day Free trial, visit www.prontocalc.com