Wonder what has the most potential to significantly affect your construction budget in today’s commercial landscape? Below are the top things we’ve seen that are likely to bust your budget, every time.
1) Failure to set a firm budget or disclose that number with your construction professionals
The biggest culprit of a busted budget is not setting a firm budget beforehand or failing to disclose it with your design and construction professionals. Sharing your budget with our team will allow us to work with the designated project designers and architects to design your space within your budget boundaries and help mitigate any extraneous costs in the process.
2) Unrealistic expectations
All things are different than they even were 12 months ago, and they are changing at least monthly. If our client wants a top end space from a finish level complexity it is very difficult to attain that for less than $100/sf in today’s market….and that’s just construction cost. We want to be a creative partner and help our clients get the most out of each dollar, but we can’t take our partners shopping for Ferrari’s because they love them when what they can afford are very nice and dependable, Ford F-150s.
3) Replacing existing mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure
This pertains mostly to remodel projects however diving deep in the real estate portion of the process before leases are executed can pay large dividends when it comes to replacement of mechanical equipment, plumbing fixtures and electrical gear. Know what you are buying before you sign on the dotted line. How old are the fan-powered boxes? Does the building have digital controls for heating and cooling?
4) Selecting custom elements on standard products
Many acoustical and wood ceiling elements and light fixtures shown in standard product lines can be made “custom” by selecting the wrong option, causing a significant jump in cost and lead time. It’s important to verify with the manufacturer and contractor that your architect has in fact specified the standard line product.
5) Metal, metal everywhere
Nothing has taken a steeper climb in the post-pandemic world than the cost of metal. Over the last 12-18 months, the cost for metal products has increased between 50-300%, including studs, structural steel, and ornamental metal. We love metal and can’t build without it but be warned that it is a pricier item in today’s environment and can sneak up on your budget if you want high volumes.
6) Existing floor conditions
This can be a significant expense depending on the tolerance of your construction materials, especially where remodeling is involved. If a floor survey or existing conditions review is feasible early, then the added expense of possible floor preparation can be reduced significantly or mitigated all together. This condition is best reviewed before a lease is ever executed, so be sure your broker or construction manager team considers this in negotiations
7) Technology procurement and planning
Now more than ever, it is difficult to procure technology and many times is put on “back burner” status in the planning process. However, it is just as important to plan for as the final design, construction, and furniture. Not accounting for technology needs upfront can be a major budget and schedule killer in the long run. Understanding what your space requires in relation to audio/visual needs, structured cabling, access control, network infrastructure and service providers can go a long way to ensure your dream space is delivered on time and within budget.
8) Project changes
We understand that some project changes are unforeseeable or unavoidable. Whatever the case may be, we are happy to accommodate our clients if plans need to be adjusted or change direction. However, these shifts can have a serious hit on the budget and potentially prolong the original project timeline.