Staying Within Budget On A Construction Project

By Steve Juzefyk

Reliable sources indicate that proper budgeting and management of construction projects reduces stress and saves money. With today’s emphasis on maximizing every dollar, careful planning that focuses even more attention on costs and energy efficient materials have changed the way individuals are viewing their construction projects.

Most construction projects begin with laying out a realistic budget with time frames and funds that are adequate to accommodate for any unexpected incidents. Suppliers and contractors may need some time to order materials or schedule crews, and for that reason, being flexible can often times earn a better price.

To avoid any unnecessary time constraints, experts stress the idea of shopping around in today’s buyer’s market for the best deals on materials before starting the project. Suppliers can usually offer discounts on overstocks or returns that are not available on new stock items. When this isn’t possible, give the supplier plenty of time to receive the materials before they will be needed on the construction site to avoid delays.


Going green with construction materials is designed to improve the environment and the results will save energy. While this may cost more upfront, the lifetimes savings in energy bills are worth considering. Bat insulation made out of recycled cotton or a vegetable oil based polyurethane spray is both free of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s).

Other ‘green’ areas to consider include low VOC paints, certified sustainable wood products, bamboo, tank-less water heaters and water efficient toilets and shower heads. Solar panels installed on the home and underground thermal heating systems can save staggering amounts of money on the energy bill. While some of these options may appear pricey at first, keep in mind that there are several tax incentive programs as well as discounts offered by some energy companies for the use of these revolutionary technologies. The idea is to look at every aspect of the project to see where energy can be saved and/or sustainability can be supported.

All projects should have an allowance for the unexpected. Discrepancies may be found during construction and remodeling projects will have an even greater likelihood of discovering problems during demolition. Experienced contractors suggest a reserve that is determined by the complexity of the project, and is usually somewhere between five and twenty percent.

Using a good project management tool will go a long way toward a successful project. It will help to lay out a chronology for the project as well as providing time lines and reminders of all of the steps necessary for completion. In addition, it is important to assign duties to avoid finger pointing or steps being missed. Regular reviews of progress and the next steps in sequence, along with plan or budget revisions, will keep everyone on task.

Many contractors agree that the easiest way to exceed the budget is by changing the plans or materials. This will incur change orders adding additional unplanned cost, so it is always best to decide for certain what you want before beginning a project. Quality and quantity of materials should be determined and adhered to in order to keep the project on time and on budget.

Having a well thought out plan and sticking to it is the surest way to a successful project.

About the Author: Juzefyk Bros. Construction has been providing superior quality masonry work for over sixty years. Now in its third generation, Juzefyk Brothers continues to offer a wide variety of interior and exterior construction, renovation, restoration, and design.


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