Cheapest Square Feet Rate: Should it be the primary deciding factor in house construction?
Long lasting houses are constructed for generations of a family to live in and not for a few years. That should be true, considering the amount of money that a common man spends on his house. So, does the cheapest square feet rate give an accurate indication of the quality of the construction?
The quality of the house determines the life of the building and this in turn would determine
- Safety of living in your home
- Livability of the house in terms of trouble free living
- Cost of maintaining your house over the years
- Resale value of your house
To build a good quality house hundreds of aspects have to be taken care of by the architect and the construction company that builds the house. The construction plan has to adhere fully to these aspects. As a result, this will ensure that the house being built is the house that has been designed.
Now let’s look at why cheapest square feet rate of construction might do more harm than good to your dream home.
Cheapest Square Feet Rate for construction
There are contractors who mislead customers by claiming to offer the cheapest square feet rate for construction. Contractors often lure customers by offering cost savings. Many of them do this without even thinking of how they intend to reduce the costs. While we agree that a certain amount of cost can be contained by adhering to efficient way of working and careful material purchases, cost reduction beyond a point can only be achieved by reducing what goes into the building. Very rarely would any contractor reduce the cost by reducing the amount of money that he makes out of building a house. Cost reduction is most likely done by reducing the cost of building the house by compromising on quality at different aspects.
What are the ways to reduce the Square Feet Rate for house construction?
There are many ways to reduce the cost of constructing a house. We have tried to list some of the most common ways in which contractors achieve building cost reduction. However, the sad part is that all these end up in compromising the quality of the house.
- Compromising on Building Foundation Strength by diluting Structural Design principles. At times, for reducing costs, contractors design the building without taking the soil conditions into consideration. In the long run, it affects the stability of the building and is therefore harmful to the life of the building.
- Another method of reducing cost is by reducing Foundation strength by choosing a wrong foundation structure. This is done by choosing a lower cost foundation compared to the ideal choice of Foundation for the building as per Structural Design. Rubble Foundation over Raft Foundation, Choosing Sand Piling over Under Reamed Piling etc
- Reducing Materials that go into concrete structures in Foundations. Reducing the amount of Steel and Cement that goes into Foundation structures reduces the Cost per square feet of construction.
Furthermore, cost of building walls can be lowered by using lower quality building blocks, Concrete or Bricks or Hollow Bricks which lacks strength and durability.
- Reducing cost of Roof Concreting by compromising on Concrete Slab quality by diluting mixing ratios; This is done by using less than the recommended amount of cement and steel in roofing concrete.
- Using sub standard consumable materials like Building Sand and Plastering sand can reduce Plastering Costs. However this will not protect the walls of the house for long from water, termites etc.
- Choosing non durable products that will show less resilience as time elapses. This includes Electrical and Plumbing materials that goes inside the buildings, wires, junction boxes, pipes, joining materials etc.
- Employing labour that lacks expertise resulting in lower quality finishes in different components.
- Cheap Quality or Second Quality Tiling Products that look good on outside but will wither away with time
- Choosing finishing products like Paint which may not be rain and heat resistant and would fade away thereby affecting quality of buildings in the first few years after the construction is completed.
In a nutshell, do not fall prey to contractors who try to lure you quoting the cheapest square feet rate. Good things always come at a price 🙂