What’s this Construction Project going to cost?

“How Much is this Construction Project going to cost?” is one of the most common questions I get asked. Call me @ 914 674 2950, let’s discuss your situation.

To answer,  one must fully understand there are two main components of a project that influence what you can build:  scope (what you are building) and budget (cost of building: called hard costs, and soft costs: architects’ fees, surveys, application fees etc.)  To know how much one can build and afford -one has to identify the budget early in the process.  So many times we need to  “back into” the scope via the budget that is available. Why bother designing something that is unaffordable?  http://ypj.cf5.myftpupload.com/bidding-mistakes-for-the-hayseed/

Among the first budgeting questions I get asked during an initial project interview is “What’s this going to cost, and how can we lower that?”.  My response of course is to find out the following -before answering:

How big?

How quickly?

What level of finish?

Where is it located?

External factors?  ( pandemic, wars, foreign / energy policies )

What is it being used for?

Who is building it?

Each of these questions has an impact on cost and delivery of the project.  When we don’t get the answers, we are forced into this dialog of “Just gimme a ballpark feel for the budget”  ok- so here goes (fall 2023):

Rule of thumb and why:

We take the recent projects for which we receive bids and glean the numbers from them as a simple database…..We first divide up the project into similar areas and their uses (i.e. bathrooms cost more than garages) then multiply the size of the proposed project in square feet times a rough dollars per square foot (psf) to obtain an order of magnitude/ballpark figure:

  • -New construction residential wood frame for single family homes varies between $300-500 per square foot. (bathrooms and kitchens are 20-40% additional)  With a large delta in location.
  • -Heavily residential renovation  (gutted)  areas that include moving walls, new mechanical, new electrical, new finishes runs about $200-300 psf.
  • -Office space interiors , i.e. tenant fit-out with medium level of fixtures, finish and equipment we budget around $75-450 psf.  (Yes it’s a big Ballpark)
  • -One story commercial building $350 sf for core and shell (meaning that the space is raw and awaiting tenant improvements-see above)
  • -Some site improvements include new asphalt for driveways or parking include:  figure $8 /psf including decent gravel base and curbs.
  • -Regrading averages very widely due to site characteristics,  but at a minimum of $15,000-30,000 for site work for an medium sized addition in Westchester County NY which would include 2 medium drywells for drainage.
  • Don’t forget a contingency budget for when things don’t go according to plan!  https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2305349/how-much-to-budget-for-construction-contingencycost reduction

So start with some graph paper,  count up those squares and start doing the math!or better yet give Steve  a call and let’s talk 914 980 5532…..ask away!

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