• I would like any input you would be willing to give me regarding saving money. I have a budget.

    Here are a list of items that will save you money in the long run.

    1) Start construction after the rainy season has ended.
    When I started we were having an El Nino weather phenomenon here in California. It rained for many days straight. I figure my project was delayed about 10 weeks due to the rain. Remember, time is money. Due to the delays we lost some contractors we had scheduled and had to delay others.

    2) Don't be the bottleneck.
    Make sure that you are getting your finish materials as soon as possible. so there are no surprises. The worst part of a cost overrun is one that you caused.

    3) Iron out as many details as possible before you start.

    4) Get the best contractors even if they cost more.
    I redid the stone on the living room fireplace 3 times and outdoor fireplace 5 times. The exterior stone on the house was 50% replaced by a different contractor. One bedroom in the house (first to be painted) took two months to prep and paint. That one 12x12 room cost about $5,000 to paint!

    5) Add a late penalty to your contract with the general contractor.
    I did not have that luxury as there was way too much work out there. I would have not been able to get a GC with that requirement at that time. I purchased a townhouse to live in during the remodel with the plan on selling it after the house was done. The estimate on the house was 10 months but due to the weather and manpower shortages, it took 24 months. Because the housing market was starting to turn down and I missed out on the prime summer selling season, I headed into October with the townhouse for sale. It sat for 8 months until the next summer. My estimate is that the delay cost at least $300K due to a combination of construction/material expenses, 2 mortgages, and losses due to the bad housing market; the prices dropped for every extra day we took.

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