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Try one of our new Construction Bargain Strategies for free. Coupon code: CBS. One strategy could save you $1,000 or $10,000 or maybe $50,000 when you build or remodel.


Special Report 15: Staying on budget - Electronic Edition

Special Report 15: Staying on budget - Electronic Edition
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Author: Mark A. Smith
[This is the Special Report 15 in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. Our electronic products download immediately to your computer upon purchase.]

A friend with a million dollar project came to us for a chat and we saved him $50,000 on wood windows alone. He seems determined to go over budget by 50%. . . We know of another million dollar home that went to $1.8 million. Big or small, your house doesn't need to go over by even $1,000 if you follow the money-saving rules of budget fanatics like us. Eighteen pages, revised and updated with new reader tips, web links and comments. Includes sample budgets and budget forms.

Topics include:

  • How do I treat sales tax?
  • Using budget spreadsheet to track actual costs
  • Square foot costs
  • Internet cost estimating
  • Special HD and Lowe's costing services
  • Contingency planning
  • Usng study plans for preliminary budget
  • Include land costs?
  • Sample percentage budgets
  • What the bank wants to see

Excerpt from Report:

"...You have every chance of staying on budget during your project. This is another area where street wisdom is that you can't do it. "You will go over - everybody goes over" is what you will hear. Let me tell you that you don't have to go over. Here's the plan:

A Review

Build a good budget in the first place. Use the budget template that we have provided in this Special Report. Seek bids from three general contractors who build homes like yours. Tell them you want line item bidding - each category spelled out with it's expected cost. Enter the bids by line item on the template. Make a column for each of the generals so you can compare their bids.

Now call each general and go through his bid with him. You are looking at the template so you see many potential categories that he may have not mentioned. Where you don't know, ask "Why did you estimate nothing for a sewer trench?" "That's included in your plumbing bid." "Why is your roofing estimate so high - I have another estimate that shows roofing at 25% under you." "Did they take into account the pitch on your roof? Roofers won't work on a roof that steep without charging extra."

Bit by bit you get a clear picture and tight bids from the generals. Once you are satisfied that you have a complete budget outline for your house, enter it onto a computer spreadsheet. If you don't know how or don't have the hardware or software, get help. This is crucial to saving money. On every street in North America there is someone who has a computer and uses it skillfully..."

Sample Reader Tip Excerpts:

“I built a huge spreadsheet after reading your book that was 90x154 cells in size. It had a section for land, house, farm, and estimated costs, costs to date, (‘willing to spend, bids, and actual costs’).”
Dale B.
Tucson, AZ

"We passed our final inspection on Monday. We are about $25,000 over budget! Part of it was that we forgot to budget for sales tax on every single item. The decisions for additional expenses were made consciously. Most extras had to do with the finish work and higher quality materials. We are nevertheless happy and it is a wonderful house for us."
J.M. & Nancy B.
Chelan, WA...

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