A budget estimate is a financial plan
for your entire Design/Build process. It is the dollar equivalent for all the
work it takes to design and build your new home. You are NOT expected to
create this document accurately at the outset of your experience
so it's best to begin with estimates and refine your financial plan as
time goes by.
The primary purpose of preparing
a budget is to understand and control costs. Beginning with the estimates, one
is able to guess the total dollar amount for the style and size of a home on a particular lot. At the
very least an Owner should be able to consider if the project is feasible
once estimates are made. The total dollar amount can be broken into two categories:
hard costs and soft costs. Hard costs include labor and material to build
the house. Soft costs include everything else. The budget format provided here
outlines products and services which one utilizes
during the Design/Build process.
estimate for material and labor is a departure point for considering the
scope of Drawings and Specifications. These budgetary considerations BEGIN
early in the planning phase of the Design/Build process. Consider the initial
study of costs as an exercise in project feasibility. Based on your projection
of costs for material and labor, the Owner should be able to weigh and consider the Design/Build options.
With estimates prepared, attention can be given to the Budget review process:
1-identify priorities, 2-recognize trade-offs, 3-do cost/benefit analysis, 4-revise
The following percentage estimate of hard costs is a ball
park guess. It simply is a beginning point for determining if the amount you
have to spend is even close to the house you want to build. One should
realize that this is a very VOLATILE estimate. For instance, if you choose
the "Sub-Zero" brand refrigerator for your appliance package (and if comparable
products are used), then you might as well accept that once you complete
your estimate, you will hold the price tag on a very high-end, luxury house. If
you purchase the "General Electric" brand refrigerator for your appliance package
(and remain with comparable products), then your estimate will
result in a medium-priced, custom house. There is a cost range from economy,
to modest, to custom, to luxury which CORRELATES with
the products and materials you choose to install in your home. Match material/product
choices with the price category in which you can afford to build.
Tom interviews Duo Dickinson, author of The House You Build: Making Real-World Choices to Get the Home You Want. Mr. Dickinson packs a career's worth of wisdom and practicality into this book, and he shares this wisdom with Down Home listeners. Dickinson divulges actual techniques for getting a dollar's worth of value for every dime spent on the design/build process. He explains how he empowers owners in the residential decision-making process.
Remember: You're NOT looking to be a "weekend warrior" by doing the work yourself! You're job is to create a preliminary budget estimate by accounting for all the labor and material it takes to complete your home building or remodeling project. The following budget list represents cost categories to which you must assign preliminary dollar amounts for the work to be accomplished.
Download this free, Excel spreadsheet as a preliminary beginning point for your budget estimate BUT REMEMBER THAT YOUR LOCALE AND SITE REQUIRES THAT YOU ADD OR DELETE LINE ITEMS BASED ON YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE. You must go through a budget review process with your architect, designer, trade contractors and suppliers in order to do a thorough cost analysis.
Site Access and Street Culvert as well as Driveway
Plumbing and Trim Fixtures
Electrical and Trim Fixtures
Exterior Doors & Garage Doors
Tax (if applicable)
Getting started on a Budget Estimate can be exasperating with no formal training in the
business of residential architecture and construction. However, as you think about your home building or remodeling project, may be some of the information resources will be helpful to you.
The purpose of this
feature news article is to help you create a budget estimate for your home building or remodeling
project. Still another resource provided by Craftsman Books is the
"free trial estimator" download. Click on their "Try It/Buy It" button and
they let you download any of their cost books and estimating program for a
free 30 day trial offer. Also, Sierra
Log Homes provides an online estimating tool to help better understand
the costs of a log home.