Article 7

Article # 7 - Fitout & Finishes
(in a series of 10)

This is the seventh in a series of Facebook articles which will explore this complex issue. If you would like to follow this series, simply "like" us on Facebook and you will receive these articles as they are published.

Fitout and Finishes

The additional fitout and finishes in our typical sample architect designed house are shown in the chart below.

For the purposes of this comparison, "Fitout" includes internal walls, doors, joinery, appliances, and plumbing fittings; "Finishes" includes internal wall, floor and ceiling finishes.

Internal Walls

This component of a house is a relatively small cost and unless there are some feature internal walls such as masonry, stone, rammed earth etc, there is usually little difference in cost between a volume builder's house and an architect designed house.

Internal Doors

The cost of this component of a house can vary significantly between a volume builder's house and an architect designed house - a typical internal door including frame and hardware can be as little as $250 each in a volume builder's house whereas it could be $1,000 or more in an architect designed house.

Internal doors are a good example of where a number of incremental changes to design and specification can result in a 400% increase in cost. Examples of the various components that make up a typical internal door are listed below.

 

 

Joinery, Appliances, Plumbing Fittings

The cost of these components of a house can vary significantly between a volume builder's house and an architect designed house, due to either higher quality, increased scope or both.

Volume builders tend to include items selected from the lower cost range as this is what the market dictates, whereas with architect designed houses the client expectations are usually higher.

Wall and Ceiling Finishes

The predominant wall and ceiling finishes in both architect designed houses and volume builder's houses is painted plasterboard, and this component does not vary much in cost between the two.

Feature ceilings or wall, and also the extent and quality of wall tiling have an impact on the cost, and these are more prevalent in architect designed houses.

Floor Finishes

Floor finishes can vary significantly, from budget carpet as low as $30/m2 up to stone tiling at $300 to $400/m2. Volume builders tend to include items selected from the lower cost range as this is what the market dictates, whereas with architect designed houses the client expectations are usually higher.

The most significant differences in finishes costs occur in the type and quality of floor finishes, and also in the extent and quality of wall tiling.

The extent, quality and cost of fitout and finishes is generally driven by client expectations, and these costs can be reduced by careful management and briefing. However, in general , clients who engage architects to design their new house have higher expectations of quality etc than normally found with volume builder's houses.

In Article # 8 we will discuss the differences in services costs (plumbing, electrical, heating, cooling etc) between volume builder's houses and architect designed houses.