Once you determine your financial cap, or maximum budget, you must make that very clear to your team and stick to it. In addition, there should be an agreed upon contingency built into the budget which can be anywhere from 5%-15% depending on the project.
- · I’m sure that you have heard horror stories about projects going over budget and have friends whispering in your ear about not telling the architect what your ACTUAL financial cap is, but let me explain why that doesn’t benefit you.
- · Picture yourself getting through months of design, decisions, and pages and pages of details for the permit set. Concrete is poured, framing is finished, and the electricians and mechanical contractors got through their inspections. The sheetrock got its final sanding, the cabinets and tiles are ordered, and you realize that you are pretty close to the predetermined budget, because the rot the contractor found in the wall was fixed and paid for out of your contingency. Now you think to yourself, “I can afford that wonderful soaking tub I’ve always wanted!”
- · Not so fast… That, what would have been a $1000 tub, just quadrupled in cost, because in order to get it to fit, the toilet needs to move over 12” which means the waste line running down to the Basement and the vent running up through the roof need to move, which moves the new studs that are supporting the new sheetrock, that houses the new electrical wires behind the new cabinet. Get my drift?
- · What should have happened was you should have given your architect your wish list and worked together to fit as many of them in the predetermined budget as possible from the very beginning. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have all of your priorities in order, plan for a contingency, and be honest with your architect about your financial cap.