When working with an architect, the budget is one of the most important things to our clients. Remaining in budget is of the utmost importance to our firm and having a conversation about budget is crucial for a successful project. It’s important for you, as the client, to be open about your budget and explain any cost limitations.
Once hired, we serve as your project team lead and will take the budget into account when making decisions with you, our consultants, the interior design consultant and anyone else involved.
Throughout different phases of the project, your budget will be top of mind.
- Pre-Design Phase: We will discuss your budget in terms of “cost per square foot” based on historic numbers.
- Schematic Design Phase: We will refine the discussion and provide a more detailed cost opinion, still based on historic numbers.
- Design Development Phase: We will make selections, refine the design, determine items that will not be selected and determine a proper allowance cost for the item. Then we will further develop and detail our cost opinion beginning to use actual numbers for items we can now quantify.
- Construction Document Phase: After this phase, we can prepare a final cost opinion or, in most cases, have the general contractors send the plans out as part of the bidding and negotiation phase.
We don’t take our status as project lead lightly, and we take every step to make sure the budget is maintained. Throughout the process, there are multiple opportunities to change direction and make appropriate design recommendations that may be necessary to remain within the budget.
Based on past projects, our cost opinions typically come in within 10 to 15% of the actual cost submitted by the general contractor. Therefore, we will redesign or make alternate material selections, at no additional cost to the project, as required to complete the work within your stated budget if the lowest contractor bids exceed 15% of the stated budget. We will only re-design at no additional fee if we (Schaub Projects) are involved in selecting finishes, whether that is making the selections or developing and maintaining the cost allowances for finish selections.