Choosing the right materials
Buying the correct quanitity
Buying the right amount of building materials – a 'bill of quantities' – is a difficult balancing act.
Purchasing too much can be an expensive mistake, while you run the risk of disruptive trips to replenish stock if you buy too little.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways of estimating quantities you can use to avoid any disruption or wasted costs on building materials and products.
If you have used an architect or designer, you will likely have a written specification of what materials are needed.
But if you haven't had a professional provide a handy shopping list or are not experienced at quantification, don’t worry, there are still a number of ways you can build an accurate and cost-effective bill of quantities.
How many bricks do I need?
Builders’ merchants like Jewsons offer dedicated self-build teams who can advise you on quantities using your plans.
Merchants also offer further benefits, such as a self-build account that provides a host of financial benefits, including favourable trade prices and attractive credit terms.
There are also cost-effective and easy-to-use internet estimating services – such as brick calculators and block calculators – that use software to convert building drawings into accurate estimates for labour and materials, including insulation.
Tradesmen can also supply and fit – it might be marginally more expensive but it will ensure a smoother process in the long run.
Be aware that any complex design choices for your home – pretty much anything outside of a 'box' design – can make estimations harder, so take extra care if you have split levels or similar features.
Take into account wastage - bricks break, tiles crack, and pipes bend. Ask your contractor or builders merchant what materials you may need a little extra of.
In addition, consider buying or renting storage containers. Having safe and secure storage on site allows you to bulk buy and keep materials on site. You have a greater chance of securing discounts through bulk buying and if nothing else, it's convenient and saves time.
Try our calculators for some basic help.
Calculators can be a easy and simple way to help guide you in making sure you get the right amount of materials for your project. We've put three of our most popular calculators in one place for you to use - bricks, blocks and tiles. Let us know if you woudl find other calcualtors useful for your projects and we'll add them soon!
Did you know?
One of best ways to make sure you order the correct quantity of materials is to make use of one of the professional estimating services. They offer years of experience in accurately estimating everything needed for building projects, and making sure there's nothing missed out that can hold contractors up!
You can access Build Aviator, a recommended estimating service, at your local Jewson or Gibbs and Dandy branch, or learn more below.