Cost Savings Ideas

  1. Prioritize your wants and needs - make a list of what is most important to you to what is least important - this is a very useful tool for this process.
  2. Finalize your decisions (as much as possible) and provide final specifications and plans to the builder to estimate upon. It is impossible to get to a tight number until all details are finalized.
  3. Let the builder bring the subcontractors in to survey the project and provide written estimates on the final plans and specifications. Their numbers will be tighter at this point. 
  4. Can you phase the project? A project may be separated into two or more logical phases that can be accomplished in a sequence over time.
  5. Reuse existing materials where possible (and feasible)
    1. Plumbing fixtures (low flow alternative may be better)
    2. Windows & Doors (if energy efficient)
    3. Wainscoting & moldings (if not covered with lead paint)
  6. Install energy efficient systems and look at the payback in savings over current systems - a new high efficiency boiler, energy efficient windows, extra insulation can save on energy bills in the long run
  7. Reduce the size - square footage reduction of total work area including new space and renovated space
  8. Reduce the scope - eliminate specific areas of work such as a bathroom, a porch or a deck
  9. Eliminate excavation and new foundation work - work within the existing footprint, go up, cantilever out
  10. Alter materials selections - there is often a less costly alternative, investigate options.
  11. Eliminate unnecessary details that add finishing steps:
    1. Pre-painted or primed materials can save on painting
    2. Each individual piece of molding adds finish time and materials
    3. Cathedral, tray or coffered ceilings add cost over flat ceilings
  12. Homeowner direct responsibilities - ask the builder if they are willing to let you handle these end of project tasks directly:
    1. Painting
    2. Landscaping
    3. Final cleaning