How close was your final number to your estimates?

katmuMarch 12, 2014

I have the preliminary bids back from the builder and I'm just wondering for those who have completed their builds, how close was your final number to your first estimate? The estimate was pretty detailed as I gave him a lot of details on what I wanted (model numbers, specs on areas where I wanted things above what might be standard, flooring grade and type of finish, etc.) but still I wondering if it would be good to plan for 10% over, 20%, etc.

Thank you.

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Ours went up by the time we got to the actual contract by 20-30%. That was after seeing plans but prior to our loan closing and the contract being written up. The initial estimates were based of a job several years old as he had been doing remodeling and not new builds last few years. Some raw materials have skyrocketed. However, we did a fixed price contract so everything has been ok since then. We are far from done though, perhaps someone closer to finished can chime in.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 4:51PM
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ours has already increased because we increased the square footage of the house but i have a friend who used the same builder and she didn't pay a dollar more than the contract price. that being said, they kept a tight reign on things, used plans from the builder with slight modifications (so builder knew what he was getting into), never had a work order change, and stayed in budge for anything that was given a budget for like tile, flooring, etc.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 5:13PM
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My builder went out and asked for estimates from the subs based on the final version of my plan, and the allowances were based on the windows, siding,tile, cabinets, flooring, plumbing fixtures, millwork, etc that I had selected so I'm hoping my final number will be within 20% at the most.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 5:17PM
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The best advice has already been given. Limit changes and know going in if the allowances are realistic for the finishes you are hoping to have. Ex. If you want exotic hardwoods and your allowance is enough for linoleum then you will most definitely have issues. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 5:22PM
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You are very likely to change your mind on some things. Other things you are planning will not work for one reason or another and you will go over budget on some things, under budget on others, etc, etc.... If you can afford it, I would suggest planning for a 20% contingency amount to account for unexpected expenses and those "OMG! I have to have that!" moments that will come up.

MFatt - you have been MIA on How is your build thread. Get back over there!

This post was edited by JDez on Thu, Mar 13, 14 at 9:43

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 9:07PM
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LOL, I have been MIA. Some of our trusses were wrong and so the progress is not that exciting. I know they are sheeting the roof but it basically looks the same everyday from the outside. I felt a little left out at March part II opened and I didn't have anything on part I yet. Hope to post progress soon.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 9:26PM
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So far it has been really close. We are nearing the end so soon we will see exactly how close we are. Our builder is VERY determined to stay within the budget he bid out, we've made some slight changes which added cost and also some that subtracted cost. With that said, we also cashflowed many expenses that we couldn't really get estimated until it happened such as water and electrical hookups. If I could go back, I would have tacked another 5,000 onto our loan for little stuff like that which came up. Luckily we are staying with my parents so we had extra money to keep up with those things.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 8:21AM
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The only thing (so far) that wasn't anticipated in the original bid was extra sand needed. To the tune of 3K, so fairly significant. Everything else that we go over on is because we are choosing higher finishes, which we knew we would do going in. Even though we figured in many upgrades into the bid up front, we knew for example, that the allowance for wood floors, tile, etc, wasn't going to meet our expectations. But we did know that before we signed. Spent a lot of time going over the standard allowances and what exactly it would get us. Spent a lot of time with the cabinet designer knowing what I wanted in my kitchen (and I have actually not gone over on my kitchen budget because I was so thorough up front). Everything besides the sand that's over is a "want" not a "need".

So far (we are half way through)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 8:39AM
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