North Woods Construction Ltd

Design & Build contracts

We favour Design & Build contracts wherever possible which achieve a commitment on both sides from an early stage. From the client’s viewpoint they also mean that VAT is not charged for the design services of a new build house for instance.

'Cost Plus' or fixed price options

We offer what are called “Cost reimbursable” or “Cost plus” contracts to private clients for new houses but are more frequently asked for fixed price contracts. In the public sector the latter are more or less standard. However for a private client there is considerable flexibility and control in a ‘cost reimbursable’ contract as well as security for ourselves. In essence, the contract offers to build the house (or other building) at cost price but with a declared profit and overhead. The books are open to inspection and there is a sprit of openness and collaboration which is hard to match in a fixed price situation. All materials are supplied at cost price allowing the client to choose many of the fixtures and fittings they desire and to make changes (within limits !) as the build proceeds. Labour is at a fixed daily rate and a work log maintained. In practice a spreadsheet of all costs is maintained throughout the project and can be viewed at almost any time by either party to the contract.

design fees

Design fees are charged in much the same manner as architectural practices except that VAT is not charged on new build houses where a ‘design and build’ contract is in place. Where design is provided as a standalone service it always incurs VAT. Structural engineering is provided by a third party and the contract is sometimes administered by ourselves and sometimes direct with the client. The fee will vary with the complexity of the project but usually lies between 2.5 and 5% of the build cost. Once again, if provided as part of the design & build contract of a new build house, these professional fees are zero VAT rated.

cost range

Current rates of inflation in materials and fuel make it hard to set out construction costs at this time, but we expect houses commissioned for 2017/18 to cost between £2000 and £2700/sqm depending greatly on specification and structural type. One bed-roomed houses (see Inverkirkaig cabin) start around £75k and budgets of £150k (excluding fees and siteworks) can be considered for modest but bespoke dwellings. Such individually hand-crafted buildings represent exceptional value for money and are a completely different product from catalogue cabins or standard 'kit framed' houses. Our long experience and care in design enables smaller scales to feel larger and the quality of many materials that we use is the same as that found in our larger houses.