Congratulations! You’ve finally made up your mind about moving forward with your construction project. You’re ready to hire someone to oversee the logistics, since you don’t have either the time, desire, or knowledge to do it yourself. Now what?

In the same way that the only certain things in life are death and taxes, the only certain thing in construction is that something unexpected will inevitably pop up.

I learned something early in Boy Scouts; and it has been confirmed throughout my career, while completing over 500 construction projects. Whether it is exorbitant costs or the excuses I hear throughout the process, nothing is shocking. So if there is any advice I can give an owner about to undertake a construction project it is just that Boy Scout motto…. Be prepared.

What can you do to prevent blowing the budget?

Take your time planning your project and run it by your project manager to make sure it’s feasible. If you change things once construction has started, it could cost you a pretty penny. It could also cause delays and affect the rest of the project. One change always effects at least five other things. Ask questions before construction starts, and make sure everyone’s on the same page. Also, be available. Playing phone tag with you will cause delays, aggravations, and will cost you money in the long run (those workers have to get paid, regardless of how busy you are). Better yet, confirm all communications via email so that you have written record of what you want. Verbal agreements lend themselves to misunderstanding and litigation.

Also, have a contingency budget. As mentioned above, things will pop up. You’ll be able to adequately prepare for this by discussing with your project manager or Owner’s Representative all foreseeable risks. The higher the risk, the higher your contingency budget should be. The more experienced your team is, the clearer answers you will get regarding estimates. This is why communication is paramount. I cannot stress this enough.

At InVision Advisors, we have two decades worth of experience to guide you through the right path as Owner’s Representatives. We can take the stress out of running your project, and become your in-house experts for design and construction. Give us a call, and let’s discuss what you have in mind.

Good luck, and keep your hard hat tight.