Blog Posts

By:
Barry Shaw
May 31, 2013

How Clients Influence Construction Change Order Costs

Additional costs are never comfortable, but should be anticipated and accounted for, with a contingency fund.

Sticking to building the approved architectural plans, with little change during construction, will not only assist greatly with controlling costs, but lead to a more timely schedule as well.
When changes are made in the field, a multitude of trades will be involved with associated additional costs.
For instance, relocating one load-bearing wall could likely involve re-engineering; demo subcontractor; concrete subcontractor; framing subcontractor; structural connection supplier; steel supplier; architect; general contractor; lumber supplier; etc.
Allocating a minimum average cost of $500 for each of the above would result in excess of $4,500 in change orders, for this request alone.
Therefore, its advisable to thoroughly ‘live thru’ the plans in a patient and comprehensive manner, so that when one is confronted with the real world reality, it’s no surprise.
If you want to learn more about this process which will ensure a cost effective outcome to your construction pProject, please contact us.

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By:
Barry Shaw
May 31, 2013

How Existing Home Conditions Influence Cost

For a moment, lets assume we have an existing older home on a relatively flat site, whereby the owners are requesting that an updated, major remodel be designed and constructed. Here are a few significant categories for cost considerations.
In California, environmental considerations would be one of the first aspects to address.  This would likely involve a licensed Subcontractor specializing in lead and paint analysis, as well as the abatement of said materials in accordance with EPA guidelines.
The existing ‘utility’ capacities and condition of materials/equipment, would be another analysis to perform. Depending on the extent of the remodel, some or all of the electrical, plumbing and hvac systems may need to be upgraded or replaced. Within this world are many choices to be explored and evaluated, relative to the end goals of the new Project.
The conditions of the structure itself such as the roof; exterior materials; windows; and framing systems, will contribute to cost expenditures/upgrades, but can also contribute to future cost savings.
For instance simply replacing a 20 year warranty roof with a 40 year warranty roof (on the existing home as well as the addition if part of the project), will provide the typical Homeowner with their entire occupancy of a one-time investment, of ‘coverage’. Also, this is a wise expenditure, as the difference in cost between the two different grades of roofs, is minimal.
Obviously there are many, many more considerations regarding design and construction of a cost-effective Project.  To learn more, please contact us.

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By:
Barry Shaw
May 31, 2013

Controlling Home Building Costs Before Construction Begins

One of the biggest considerations in building a home in today’s economy is controlling home building costs.

Building a home involves many processes, but perhaps the most important factors are pre-construction architectural design and planning because these are important factors in controlling home building costs.

Typically the architect is responsible for the designs, specifications, engineering and permit processing, with a multitude of choices and decisions along the way. These solutions are a reflection of the home building design requirements, which are then incorporated into the plans.

One of the most accurate resources of data regarding construction costs will come right out of the files of the general contractor.  These files should hard numbers of material and labor costs for every trade needed.

An experienced design build firm will be able to analyze, scrutinize, refine and implement the most cost-effective design for the project.  At the same time, quality, function and schedule parameters must be maintained.

Selecting an architect who is also a practicing general contractor for this strategic part of the process will likely result in the most timely and cost-effective completion of the home building and/or remodeling project.

 

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