Demolish Sky-High Construction Costs: 7 Tips to Maximize Cost Savings.
Cost overages are a common issue on tenant fit-ups. Budgets are dissected more than ever, and costs for labor and materials in commercial construction continue to rise. To successfully manage a project’s budget is less about penny-saving and more about working smarter. Although studies exist to calculate costs per square foot, actual costs are dependent on many other factors. The most important decisions to consider are materials, design, labor, and necessary features- think doors, windows, insulation, etc.
How can CRE professionals cope? You don’t have to sacrifice your wish list or go over budget. Armed with over 95 years of combined experience, the experts at R-PCI Construction provide the following guidelines to help you maximize your cost savings.
1. Choose the right General Contractor.
Most costs on a construction project fall into the labor bracket. While there is some inflation on goods, it pales in comparison to the rise in wages. Instead of considering a GC with millions of dollars in overhead, look to an off-market GC that works within your market. They’ll have much less overhead to better manage your costs.
2. Proper planning.
Proper planning is key to a project’s success. A rushed project leaves room for errors and revisions which will impact your budget. We collaborate with architects, designers and subcontractors to provide the best roadmap to bring your project to life. Consult an experienced pre-construction team to identify all aspects of your project. Inaccurate estimates can leave you unprepared for the real cost of construction. While the initial cost of working with an experienced team may be higher, doing so will likely save you money in the long run by providing a practical forecast of what to expect.
3. Less often equals more.
Commercial construction is a relationship-driven industry. Avoid dodgy contractors, subcontractors or vendors who overcharge for services or products. When choosing your building partner, the company with the lowest bid is not always the best choice. A company with a low upfront cost can quickly increase the budget with miscommunication, delays and unexpected charges. Working with a highly recommended GC can help you bypass delays or future damage due to an inexperienced team.
In commercial construction, there’s a higher demand in the summer for materials and labor. Why? The retail industry usually schedules projects for this period in preparation for the holiday shopping season. Educational institutions also take advantage of the summer months for renovation or expansion. The increased demand causes prices to rise significantly. If possible, schedule your project in the off-season to take advantage of lower costs. You'll most likely enjoy cost-savings if your project can be built during the fall or spring.
I can’t stress the importance of communication enough. I prioritize daily and weekly communication with our clients and the architect of record. I focus on proper documentation of changes to ensure that expectations are met, and I also recommend due diligence investigations when working on a design to avoid unforeseen costs. Be clear about expectations and schedule regular communication with your GC to stay abreast of what’s happening with your project and reduce the risk of a very high price tag. This keeps small issues from developing into major problems.
6. Choose the right architect.
Every successful project relies heavily on a great architect and experienced GC. Constant change orders will quickly increase the likelihood of unforeseen costs, so be sure you’re working with an architect and GC who keeps your best interests top of mind.
7. Reuse & source.
Reusing materials, particularly for renovations, can provide significant cost-savings. Naturally, reusing reduces the materials purchased for the project. Know which elements are worth splurging on and which to save on. If your project involves renovating an existing space, consider reusing materials and systems. If existing infrastructure is in good condition- such as ductwork, air conditioning units, electrical panels etc.- this minimizes the cost of replacement. When ordering materials, furnishings and equipment, I also recommend selecting a domestic supplier to reduce the risk of long waits, delays and high delivery costs.
R-PCI is a relationship-driven team and trusted advisor focused on supporting your success. Equipped with 30 years of experience Building Integrity from Start to Finish™, we’ve completed hundreds of projects for some of the nation’s most recognizable brands. Our team is honest and committed to delivering your projects on-time and on-budget to help you realize your vision.
Ready to get your project started? Connect with R-PCI Construction and uncover why we’re the preferred builder for some of the most image conscious brands in the country.