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    2-4. Cost engineering - Electronic Edition

    2-4. Cost engineering - Electronic Edition
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     Look at your purchases to be sure that you are not overdesigning your project. Sometimes a lower priced component has all the quality and the important features you are looking for.

     As a marketing consultant, I got cost-engineered once by an expert. I presented a planning proposal to Tom Fitzpatrick, a third-generation commercial construction man, and president of the oldest construction company in Ohio. Tom cut my proposal from $39,000 to $25,000 and left me feeling good about it. He selected the highest yield activities that he was really interested in and offered me an easier project with a better profit.

     Readers have cost-engineered granite slab countertops to granite tile, used brick only on the most visible walls of homes, eliminated rain gutters in arid areas, chosen upgrade woodwork in public areas of homes, but not in youth bedrooms, and installed quality cabinets or faucets without “designer” prices. As they say, the best way to save is to never spend at all.

     Reader Ivey Sutton built a 75% panelized home, but customized the front exterior to create additional curb appeal.

     Two readers installed radiant in-floor tubing to heat their homes and used standard concrete for the floors instead of Gypcrete which is pumped in at a high cost. They specified quarter-inch aggregate in the concrete mix, and got stronger better floors with a smoother surface at a big savings.

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