Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How to Save 30% or None at All

The Renovation budget is tight right? How much did you add to the budget for contingencies? Oops! It goes without saying that you want to save money. Couldn’t you save 10, 20 or even 30% if you act as your own General Contractor? Maybe, but at what cost? It is possible to save money by acting as your own General Contractor, but before taking the plunge consider the potential costs, both tangible and intangible, of being the boss.

So you’ve jumped in feet first and your kitchen Renovation is under way. You just realized that your electrician forgot to add that outlet under the window seat and didn’t provide power to the range hood. Now he can’t get back to your job until next week. You’ve scheduled an inspection for tomorrow and the drywall crew for the day after tomorrow. Can you add the outlet and power the hood yourself tonight and pass your inspection tomorrow? You aren't even a licensed electrician. What about the items that the inspector flags? You’ll have to have them corrected before the dry wall goes up. Can you take care of that tomorrow night after work? Does your boss frown on finding you asleep at your desk or the fact that you are always on your cell phone coordinating inspections, subcontractors’ schedules or the purchasing and delivery of materials?

If you think you’ve got the stomach to handle real world scenarios like these then take some advice from a Pro. Melissa Iannucci is the President of North Avenue Trades, a residential design build firm focusing on building high quality homes in downtown Indianapolis . She’s been in and around the construction industry for most of her life. Here are three tips that she offers to would-be contractors:

  • “The easiest way for things to go wrong is a lack of communication. It helps to constantly be on site, overseeing things, double checking, verbally explaining and reviewing with the subs; a lot of patience is necessary.”
  • “Always have someone with a lot of experience that you can turn to with questions.”
  • “My time is split between resolving design questions and following up on getting things done. Plan on spending a lot of time on the phone answering questions and scheduling.”

Do you have what it takes?

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