So now that I finally have the last bill from my contractor in hand — he hates paperwork — I thought folks might be interested in a rough analysis of how project costs compared to our budget.

Home Construction 11%
Finishes 130%
Owner-Purchased 64%
Landscaping 12%
Total 15%

We did pretty well on the basic project, with construction and landscaping just slightly over our 10% allowance.

On the finishes and owner-purchased stuff (e.g., appliances) we were less successful in budgetary terms. On the other hand, all of those increases were deliberate, and done with malice aforethought. Why? Because as we saw the design take shape we realized that many of our earlier ideas for finishes (e.g., basic hardware store plumbing fixtures) wouldn’t “look” right. A beautiful design argues for beautiful finishing touches, so in many cases we opted to trade up.

From another perspective, there were very few surprises in how the numbers turned out, because we spent a fair amount of time and effort tracking costs and forecasting contingencies and options. The only bad change is the one you don’t anticipate, and we managed to identify pretty much all of the risk factors before we had to make decisions regarding them.

At the end of the day we are extremely happy with how things turned out. When your biggest complaints are things like slightly noisy patio heaters and a kitchen sink spout that’s slightly too big for where it was installed (and so gets great delight in spraying the unwary who turn it on too fast), you don’t really have anything to complain about :).

1 thought on “Wrapping Up…”

  1. After viewing your incredible project, I’m glad we bought one already built. It only took 7 months to get into ours. We’re too old for all that excitement!!! Now turn it into your dream house.

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