A: The following are my Top 10 Cost Control Strategies

  1. Start with a reasonable budget.
    If you a trying to do too much with too little, either quality or your budget will be compromised.
  2. Identify what is most important to you. Know what is not.
    This way if you need to cut back somewhere to meet the budget you know your priorities.
  3. Get a contractor involved early during the design process.
    No one is more up-to-date on local prices than contractors and having one look at early drawings can be a reality check.
  4. Adjust the scope of the project if needed to stay on budget.
    It may mean reducing the size of the project. Sometimes smaller is better especially if you aren’t cutting back on the quality of finishes.
  5. Allow yourself time during the design process to make decisions.
    There are a lot of decisions to make during the design process. It’s better to take time to discuss them and think them through, rather than rushing to start construction.
  6. Have materials, finishes, lighting, etc. selected before construction starts.
    Finishes can be a large percentage of construction cost. Knowing the level of finishes will allow accurate price information before any shovels hit the ground.
  7. Prepare detailed plans for the contractor.
    The more information the contractor has, the more accurate the pricing.
  8. Consider having a negotiated agreement with the contractor.
    It typically sets up more cooperation and better communication between the contractor and architect/home owner.
  9. Have a contingency fund to cover unknowns (especially important when remodeling an existing house).
    Something unpredicted always comes up. It is important to plan for it.
  10. Try not to make changes after construction starts.
    Sometimes it happens, but it’s more cost effective to have confidence that the decisions you made during the design process were the right ones for you and your family.

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