The best $30 you can spend on the project... / by Graeme Fan

This post follows on from working with your architect or draftsperson.

When receiving your plans from your architect, the scale of the drawings can make interpreting the plans difficult. By purchasing a scale ruler (around $30) you will be in a huge advantage when checking the drawings.

It could save you literally thousands of dollars by ensuring your drawings are as you intended. A scale ruler can be purchased from most good stationers.

What can you do with your scale ruler?

  1. Check important dimensions such as room sizes, depths, heights and positions of key architectural elements for example windows in relation to floor and wall junctions. 
  2. Check whether features important to you are proportionately scaled to how you wish them to be. 
  3. Check whether furniture items, particularly ones that you already have will fit in your proposed positions...

These are just a few things that I strongly recommend you consider when reviewing your drawings. It is so much easier to make these changes on paper rather than realising down the line during the build phase to make them then. You will invariably incur the cost to revise the work, whether that means some of the works are already done and if the work is considered major, then (within the Auckland Council) a Minor Amendment incurs additional charges and potential time delays in processing. All of these things add to the cost of your project. 

For example, re/moving a partition wall (midway throught the build), you will need to get the plans changed (architects fees), re-approved by council (council fees), builders works and any knock-on effects such as structural implications, revisiting bracing elements, services (electrical, plumbing) being re-routed - any one of these can be in the thousands of dollars. It's worth considering the knock-on effects so that the time invested early on, will literally save you thousands later on which is not great particularly when you are midway and cashflow is potentially fixed.

There will always be changes during the project, I've not been involved one where there hasn't been. But the more you can do to minimise the advent of these before the plans are finalised, then the more you will save in the long run.