Over-spending and going over time-deadlines are, unfortunately, extremely common in self-build projects.

But this doesn’t always have to be the case. Ensuring that you have done proper planning before starting any of the work is the first step to staying on track. As simple or as complicated as you decide to make it, you can’t beat a good old spreadsheet of figures to help get your budget set.

Here are our top tips on creating and sticking to a self-build budget spreadsheet…


You should try and be as accurate as possible, if you can’t get the specific information you need, overestimate. Keep this to within reason however, as you still want a realistic view the total project cost.


We recommend a contingency pot of 10-15% of the total project. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because you know you have overestimated in some areas, this pot does not need to be as big.

Quantity Surveyor

Make sure to utilise your quantity surveyor’s expertise to help make sure you get the best deals. Use their predicted costings as a benchmark.

Consider Purchasing Options

Surprisingly, it can sometimes work out more cost-effective to buy tools and products then sell them on as oppose to hiring them.

Consider Cheaper Alternatives

There are many different products that can be used to achieve a similar outcome. Weigh out your options before buying.

Utilise Yourself and Others

If you can, utilise yourself on the project. Even simple things such as being there to sign for deliveries and tidy the site up at the end of the day will save having to pay others for it. A much more cost-effective (and usually more fun) solution for the minor jobs such as painting, moving furniture and tidying up, is to use your friends and family. It is of course nice to thank them with some money or at least a pizza for their hard work.

Buy in Bulk

It sounds obvious but it is often forgotten about.

For advice on managing your spending on projects, Contact Us today.