With the economy in a relative downturn, most contractors are trying to lower the cost of projects, both to appeal to prospective clients, and to help minimize costs (and therefore maximize profits). Many building projects have, in fact, been stopped in various phases, due to the lack of financing or a sharp upturn in the price of materials. Here are a few ways of lowering the cost of construction projects.
Cost estimation. Cost estimation is usually part of the initial phase of any construction project. Most estimates already provide for a 10% to 20% allowance for cost increases. While initially, an estimate would involve a per square-foot approximation of how much construction would cost, the next step would be for a contractor to canvass among suppliers for raw materials and equipment.
Knowing the alternatives. Experienced contractors know how to source items and manage resources such that costs are minimized. For instance, rather than use expensive materials, you might be able to look for lower-cost alternatives. An example would be flooring materials. Instead of using polished granite, you can instead use tiles or less expensive marble. Just make sure you don’t necessarily compromise quality just to save a few bucks.
Past experience. Low cost construction projects might also involve reusing ideas and designs from past projects. This way, you won’t have to spend big money over and over again, in hiring the services of architects and designers. Of course you will still need the services of these certified professionals in order to follow regulations and requirements, but you might be able to save significantly if you can reuse previous plans and design concepts.
Efficiency is key. Apart from saving costs in the form of raw materials and equipment, a construction project can also save a lot of money with a more efficient use of resources. This means minimizing wastage and maximizing the utility of each of your project personnel and project equipment. For instance, instead of wasting fuel in transporting only a few items at a time from your supplier, you can have these delivered at one time only to save on money and fuel. Efficiency also involves just-in-time management of your supplies and inventory. You should only order materials when you will be needing them, so these will not have to incur storage costs.
Speed. Apart from efficiency, projects also benefit from speedy execution. Prices of construction materials usually follow the general trend of commodity prices, and you should expect these to rise anywhere up to 10% within a year. Therefore, a construction project would benefit from finishing early, so you won’t have to shoot past the budget.
As with any project, managing a low cost construction project would involve maximizing all possible resources, while minimizing losses and costs. This can be achieved through efficiency, diligence, and a good grasp of your aims and goals for the project.