When building either residential or commercial, keeping a project’s cost of construction within budget is critical to its success. However, clients are often forced to choose between going over budget to get exactly what they want and compromising their “wish list” to meet the bottom line.
Finding the perfect balance between getting the result you want and staying within budget, can be achieved by following these guidelines:
- Understanding what’s involved in the building process
- Knowing which elements are worth splurging on and which elements to save on
- Knowing what to look for in the right construction company
Following these guidelines can pinpoint areas that can either unnecessarily drive up costs or provide long-term value.
Important Decisions Involved In the Building Process
Although there are studies out there to calculate costs per square foot by zip code, actual costs are dependent on many more factors. The cost for a 1500-square-foot house built from traditional materials will be much different than one that utilizes environmentally green materials.
The most important decisions to consider are materials, design, labor, and necessary features such as doors, windows and insulation. Energy modeling can be used during design to reduce the first costs or operating costs.
The location of a project is often the main driver of first costs. There can also be long-term maintenance costs when you consider cheap materials and equipment.
A site’s soil foundation is also extremely important. An improper foundation can halt a build completely or, if left unnoticed, may cause unsafe and expensive structural damage in the long term. For this reason, it is crucial to conduct a property survey before building any residential or commercial construction project. A building’s worth depends on a strong foundation.
The layout of a build is also a large cost factor in the construction process. Do you need a completely custom design, or could a more modular approach fit your needs? This is where clients tend to max out their budget, thinking “the bigger the better.” A well thought-out designs can save the owner from over paying.
Unless you need the aesthetics of your project to make a statement, delegate more of your budget toward smart interior solutions. Smart aesthetics can be achieved on the tightest of budgets.
Long Term Cost of Construction Savings
When deciding on the which materials to build with, always think long term. Features such as windows, doors, and the right type of insulation can save a huge amount of money in heating and cooling expenses.
Energy-efficient features have a higher initial cost, but you recoup the investment in about eight years. They are also a very attractive selling feature.
On top of energy savings, there are also incredible government incentives for sustainability initiatives you should be taking advantage of. Through programs such as DSIRE, commercial buildings that consider the environment enjoy federal tax breaks and a better public image.
Pay attention to finishes and fixtures if you need to keep within a strict budget. These items, although nice, can be added on later with relatively minimal effort. It is far more important for a build to be structurally sound and sustainable than fancy fixtures. Smart aesthetics can also apply to the interior design.
When it comes to labor, the sooner you coordinate your design and construction teams the better. A Penn state study found that team cooperation early in the process saves significant amounts of time and money.
When choosing your building partner, the company with the lowest bid is not always the best choice in the long run. A construction company with a low upfront cost can quickly run up the budget with miscommunication, delays and “out of scope” charges and baseless claims of delay from all parties. Opting to not choose a professionally licensed company that comes highly recommended leaves you vulnerable to having to make costly repairs down the road and possible litigation and fines from the jurisdiction authorities. Use a reputable construction company for a smooth road throughout the build process, and for years to come.
Choosing a Reliable Construction Company
Honest communication is the most important factor when considering a project build. You do not want your project to suffer delays or future damage due to inexperience. RMG Engineers average over 20 years in the industry and have completed hundreds of projects worldwide.
RMG provides honest, practical advice and coordinate with only dedicated professionals to ensure every project meets budget requirements and exceeds expectations.
To learn more about managing your project’s cost of construction, contact us at one of our many Colorado locations.