11

December
2019

Construction Costs and Budgeting

In today’s ever changing building & energy codes, availability of cutting edge materials and escalating labor costs, how do you control the cost of construction? How do you ensure that the design path is in-line with your budget and comfort zone?

To ensure a project’s feasibility, an experienced and reputable General Contractor (GC) can play a valuable role during the design development stage.  At times builders are engaged with the design team and owners early on and well before the plans are fully developed to help guide the costs. By engaging a General Contractor in design development stage to analyze preliminary drawings, the design intent and the site conditions, owners can ensure that the path of the design is in line with the client’s comfort zone in costs. The old-school methodology whereby the client and design team develop full architectural, structural, and MEP plans, then get multiple bids misses out on valuable tools and input that could give owners a considerable advantage and avoid costly disappointments. 

There are other added benefits to engaging a reputable General Contractor early on. During the preliminary design’s budgeting process, the client, design team and GC will get to know each other and develop a working relationship. The triangle of Owner/Designer/Builder is an important dynamic in the success of a project. During the pre-construction process, these parties have the opportunity to work together and get a taste of the chemistry in place. This gives everyone the opportunity to ensure great synergy in working together. If the chemistry is not palatable, it is much easier to end the relationship in pre-construction stage and to engage others instead of discovering the lack of synergy during construction process. 

 At Earthtone Construction, our approach is to thoroughly evaluate the project and present a thorough budget that becomes an invaluable tool to our clients. If there are multiple bidders in this process, our approach is to almost ignore that fact and provide the tool in spite of the potential to lose the project to a “low bidder”.  And, in over 22 years in business we have indeed lost a fair share of projects to a low bidder. But time and again we have heard from owners how the “low bidder” wasn’t actually low at all- they had either missed important components, not understood the design intent or bid it so cheap that quality and timeliness suffered.

If you or someone you know is interested in an honest evaluation of your project’s needs call us and we’ll give you the benefit of our experience. After all, wouldn’t you rather know up front what you are in for before engaging in your project?  ~ Kashy Ghazzagh

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