How To Save Money on Construction
Here are 10 simple ways to save money on your construction project, be it a small renovation / remodel or building a new house.
1. Set a Budget! It is important that you control costs. The best way to do this is to start with a, "not to exceed number," set down on paper and in your mind. You can get a rough estimate of the cost of construction that you want done by searching the internet and talking to contractors. This will give you enough information to set your rough budget.
2. Add 20% to your budget to be used for unanticipated costs which you will label your, "contingency fund." This total should be the final amount you will pay under any circumstances. Make this number work for you and do not release any part of this money without carefully exploring all alternatives.
3. Decide how you want to proceed, either acting as your own contractor doing all of the work yourself, or do some of the construction yourself and subcontract some parts such as Electrical and Plumbing, or, hire a General Contractor to handle the project you decide to build. This is your first opportunity to stay within your budget and reduce your construction costs. You do this either by negotiation or competitive bidding. You can further reduce costs by furnishing some, or all of the materials.
4. Material Costs- Once you have determined what you will be building and the method you will use to get the work done, a material list will be needed to enable you to go shopping for the best prices. Here is an area where you can reduce costs by comparing prices, for example; between your local lumber store and home depot. When you make this shopping list be sure you are pricing apples to apples and oranges to oranges and that the quality of the material is roughly the same.
5. Material Substitution- There can be substantial savings by substituting top of the line material with lower priced products. You do not want to get transported away with this approach by going to the very bottom of the quality barrel. You need to consider how long this product will last and how good it will work for you over time.
6. Building Permits- There really is no good way to get around permits and associated fees without taking the risk of an inspector coming around at a later date and making you take part of you building apart, to enable the inspector to determine that the materials and installation conform to the local building codes. They have the authority to do this in most areas of the country. You do not want to make the mistake of starting a building project without having a permission from the local authorities along with the required inspections or you might find yourself having to take apart and redo some of the work.
7. Insurance- Yes you do need insurance coverage while your construction project is being built. Check that any contractor you hire has insurance prior to signing any contracts. Your homeowners insurance may protect you for uninsured workers on your house, but check to make sure you are covered and if there will be an added cost. If there is an added cost you may want to bid this out, but as I mentioned earlier, when taking bids make sure you are comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges.
8. Legal- If you are going to be signing contracts, you should seek some legal advice regarding any contract before signing. Lawyers should be shopped for price and quality prior to agreeing to use their services. Here is an area you can save money. Careful shopping for an attorney will get you good advice at the lowest possible price.
9. Contractors- I could write a book about working with contractors as there is a large diversity group out there and they all want your business. My uncle Harry was a purchaser agent for a large corporation and his criteria was, "Quality, Price and Dependability." This is a very good rule and it requires you to do some investigative work by checking references and reputation before engaging. Once you have determined the contractors you would like to have, allow them to give you a competitive bid or negotiate the price of the work. This is a critical time for adjusting the costs to conform to your budget, and for saving money.
10. Starting the Work- This is where you can prevent extra charges to your construction project by scheduling the work to enable the different crafts to be on the job when they are needed and not when they can not do the work because of someone else's unfinished work Egypt lack of materials. If you are furnishing the materials, to save money, you will need to ensure that they are at the project when needed by the craftsmen or face additional charges when they must come back numerous times.
There you have some of the ways I have learned to reduce construction costs, be it a remodel / renovation or building a new house. There is one final item I would like to add, and that is attitude. Craftsmen that are treated with respect will generally respond in kind. Yes you are paying the bills but remember the Golden rule and treat the workmen with dignity. Trust me on this and it will pay off for you in unimagined ways. Wishing you Good Luck on your next project.