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  • Writer's picturePamela Allen

The Three-legged Stool

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

Before starting the fun of an architecture project, it is worthwhile venture to assess all the costs involved in a project and the basic realities that effect cost. I like the analysis of the ‘three-legged stool.’ Scope, Quality and Cost are what each leg represents. As much as you may like to have total control of those 3 items, you need to take control of 2 of them and compromise on the third or the stool will topple.

1. Scope:

The scope is what you need and want. Could be a new bathroom, new bedroom, or kitchen. It has to do with ‘square footage’ of an existing, as an addition or new construction.

2. Quality:

This has to do with materials that you plan to use on your project. Are you going to go with wood or vinyl windows? P-lam or stone counters? There is significant cost difference in material and brands. Always good to consider warranties too.

3. Cost: This includes hard costs (labor, contractor overhead and profit) Soft costs that includes permits, design team fees and taxes. Another cost includes direct purchase costs this includes appliances or furniture that needs to be purchased. Also, would include cost of renting while your house is under construction. Contingency cost also should be factored in, which is about 5-10%. This is unexpected costs that occur during construction. An example might be discovering something like dry rot in area when wall or attics are opened.

Balancing budget and dreams need to be looked at before you get started to keep the stress level at bay!

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