What's the best way to save money on a construction project?

By controlling the scope of work.  Reducing the size of the project, while maintaining quality of work, can lead to savings. 


What's the worst way to save money on a construction project?

Reduce energy efficiency by lessening the quality of building components such as insulation, windows, doors, and mechanical systems.  


How do I find a good contractor?

The referral system is always the best.  Ask around, check references, view past projects, and interview. 


What is Construction Management?

A Construction Manager (CM) charges a fee for services, bids out the major subcontracts and manages the construction process from start to finish.  Typically, this is a more open-book style of managing a project where the CM is continuously working with the Owner, Architect, and other team members to develop the project.  


What is Design-Bid-Build?

This is the "traditional" approach to construction where a prequalified group of General Contractors will bid on a project by using a set of plans and specifications drawn by an Architect, Engineer, or Designer.  Typically, the low bidder will win the project. 


What is a Change Order and who pays for it?

In construction, a change order is a component of the process whereby changes in the Scope of Work agreed to by the Owner, Contractor and Architect are implemented.  A Change Order is work that is added to or deleted from the original scope of work of a contract, which alters the original contract amount or completion date. The most common causes for change orders to be created are:

•          The customer or contractor discovers obstacles or possible efficiencies that require                     them to deviate from the original plan

•          During the course of the project, additional features or options are perceived and                      requested


The contractor then typically generates a change order that describes the new work to be done, and the price to be paid for this new work. Once this change order is submitted and approved, it generally serves to alter the original contract such that the change order now becomes part of the contract. 


Do all projects need a building permit?

Not all projects will require a building permit, but it is always best to assume that it does.  Your contractor, or local building official, can help you make this determination. 


What is a "contingency" and why do I need one?

A contingency is an amount of money that is added to the construction cost in order to account for a certain amount of uncertainty that is present in most projects.  Your design professional and / or CM will help with establishing this contingency during the estimating phase.  



Why should I limit the number of contractors who bid on my project?

Most qualified contractors prefer to bid against other qualified contractors.  If there are too many contractors bidding on a project, or unqualified bidders involved, winning a project starts to become a matter of luck rather than skill. 


Can I be my own general contractor?

For many residential projects you can act as the General Contractor.  When structural work, life safety, or commercial / public work is involved, a licensed construction supervisor with the proper insurances is required.   


What do I do if the bids / estimates for my project are over budget?

It may be necessary to adjust the scope of the project.  Most contractors and design professionals will assist you with making these changes. 


HIC# 175168

CSL# CS-102457

USDOT 3017204