How to Avoid Under-Budgeting New Construction or a Remodel

How to Avoid Under-Budgeting New Construction or a RemodelGiven that there are always unforeseen costs associated with building a new home and or remodeling an existing home, it is often difficult to determine exactly how much the project will actually cost. Here are my thoughts on how to avoid the trap of under-budgeting your project:

Create a Detailed List:

You should create a list outlining all the items you would like to incorporate into the proposed construction. Make sure that the Architect/Engineer includes all the items you want in your plans. Note: Be realistic about whether your budget will allow all your items and prioritize what is most important to you,

Have a detailed Architectural Plan:

The more details and specifications your plans have from the beginning, the less likely you will face surprise expenses during construction. Note: Finishes, materials, brands, colors – in selecting all these elements before construction will help you estimate the actual cost of your project.

Choose the Right Contractor:

You should get at least 3 contractor references because It is very important to find a contractor with a good reputation. Note: Always make sure to see the contractor’s work and to check their references.

Get Itemized Bids:

Give your plans to each contractor along with the project description and specific product lists. Request an itemized bid, then compare the bids to see which one is the most comprehensive, honest and competitive. Note: Be careful of the lowest bids as low bidders might not have included all of your specifications and may come back with expensive change orders during the construction process.

Contingency and Value Engineering:

Make sure to incorporate at least 10% – 20% contingency to the bid. If the total cost is still in your budget, then you are on the right track. If not, you may want to review the proposed scope of work and trim back where needed to a price that you are comfortable with. Note: You can substitute expensive finishes for others with the same look which are more cost-effective to lower the total budget cost.

I have been a realtor and a real estate land specialist in Los Angeles for more than 15 years creating opportunities for land-owners and Buyers, brokering vacant land throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. I can be contacted at sales (@) westsideland (dot) com and information from

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