How to plan construction costs

Most of us have heard horror stories of friends or neighbors about projects that started and never ended due to cost overruns. The key to preventing this kind of disaster is careful planning of construction costs before land is broken.


Determine the scope of your project

  • Discuss the overall objective of the project with its significant other. Having a clear understanding of the goal makes decision making easier to find inevitable obstacles.
  • Measure the area that has been added or modified to determine the number of square feet.
  • Visit local building shops and choose the necessary materials. Be sure to get a price per square foot on any material.
  • Create list materials from step 3 and price more or less what these materials will cost. Leave blank lines for the cost of items you are not comfortable estimating, such as drywall, tape and texture and material structure. Add 30 percent of materials costs to get a rough estimate of your workforce if you are hiring a contractor. If your project is an addition, you need to add the costs for the inspection and permit process.
  • Create a document detailing your goals, whatever special needs this area has and what you expect from the end result. Include a rough sketch of your project on grid paper and put the documents in a three ring folder for all correspondence relating to the project.

Determine a gross price

  • Purchase save an estimate guide building RS media on the Web or at a local building source to get a construction cost per square foot of a sum depending on the type of materials used. There are usually sections for estimating kitchen and bathroom remodeling, too. This estimate is good but can be up to 15 percent.
  • Use the bill of materials created in the last tranche to get a more accurate price and use the media guide to get the structure costs. This will give you a more accurate picture of your costs.
  • Ensure any adjustments needed to fit the project into your budget. Review your BOM and estimated cost accordingly.
  • Update your general document and get ready for review by any professionals are participating.

Call the professionals

  • Obtain offers from licensed contractors. Take analysis and give them a copy of your document. We ask that you provide detailed estimates of materials and manpower as well as an estimated time frame. If your project is an addition, a designer or an architect will need to create a plan before receiving the offers, and you need to start the Permission process.
  • Responsible to review the offers carefully against the document and RS media guides to see if something seems offline. Do not be afraid of your contractor on individual line items.
  • Choose the best global offer based on cost, experience and overall knowledge.
  • Ask your contractor if you anticipate any possible “tricks.” If so, work with him to quantify them and add their cost to your estimate.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to buy at the best prices and do not forget the internet as a source of good deals. Cheaper is not always better, be sure to get materials that are able to handle your intended level of use. Listen to your contractor. He or she has years of experience in creating those remodels and additions and can have some good cost saving ideas.
  • If you see that the project you had planned will cost more than you can reasonably afford during Section 1, go back and check your scope until you can fit into your budget. On the other hand, you can always get a construction loan.