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5 Proven Ways to Cut Construction Costs in Half

Hussain Ali

Do construction costs have you stressing out?

American households have over $14 trillion dollars in debt, and many people are still dealing with unemployment issues. As construction costs continue to soar, contractors have to deal with more disgruntled clients than usual.

If you want to outbid the competition without giving away all of your profit, then this article is for you. We’ll show you the best tips and tricks for cutting down costs in construction, so you can get back to doing what you do best; making money.

What are the best ways to reduce project costs? Read on to find out.

1. Ways To Reduce Construction Costs With Materials

First, contractors should explore alternative materials when looking to lower construction costs. Just because the material is cheaper doesn’t mean that it won’t be just as effective as the more expensive option.

As you begin working on the project details with the client, help them start thinking about material alternatives. Plant the seed by letting homeowners know that recycled materials can be a cost-effective option.

For instance, recycled steel is a wonderful deal, and it doesn’t compromise the integrity of the home. Even though the steel has been reused and refined, it’s still structurally sound. A home built with recycled steel will last year after year!

The same line of thinking holds true for other alternate materials. Recycled plastic, concrete, and even recycled wood are great options. When purchasing recycled materials, make sure that they are reinforced to ensure the best results.

Another way to go would be to introduce innovative materials to the project. Let customers know about fabric structures and how these designs work.

Tension fabric buildings are great for small projects, like sheds. If done correctly, you can even use fabric to construct homes or warehouses.

2. Avoid Overrun Costs

If overrun is driving you crazy, then you should learn about Boston’s big dig. The city launched the construction project to deal with traffic problems, and it included adding 10 new lanes for drivers to use.

The project plan allowed 7 years for completion and had a projected cost of about $2.5 billion dollars. Instead, the project didn’t end until 2007, cost $14.8 billion-plus interest! The Big dig fiasco never would have happened if the city had taken the time to properly plan the project.

If you don’t do all of your homework ahead of time, you’ll wind up with major problems down the road. Getting the exact numbers for the cubic yards of concrete you’ll need for a project is the way to go. Whereas, getting halfway through the project and realizing you need a whole new shipment of concrete by tomorrow isn’t so ideal.

Devote enough time before the project begins to figure out all of the processes, materials, people, and information you need before you can start work. Sourcing equipment is also something you should do during the planning stage.

Instead of buying everything yourself, take the time to find a smart rental company that maintains each piece of machinery. You’ll be able to avoid costly delays while also keeping customers happy.

3. Good Site Management

After planning things, the next step is to properly manage your site. We suggest investing in good construction management software. There’s a lot of digital tools that can help you do your job that didn’t exist a few years ago.

Construction management software will give you the power to stay organized without being weighed down by paperwork. You’ll be able to handle all of your bid management, invoices, document management, timesheets, and more.

The best part is you can usually download mobile apps to help keep things accessible. Instead of being tied to your laptop, you’ll simply pull out your phone when you need project updates.

4. Building Information Modeling

Is your company taking on a lot of big projects? Minimize costs in construction by getting a glimpse into the future with building information modeling. Building information modeling software (BIM) lets you digitally create buildings that you haven’t begun to build yet.

The digital creations make it easier for you to visualize the building before you start spending any money. You’ll be able to come up with a realistic schedule with the right amount of materials and notice potential problems.

For instance, BIM can help you figure out how many occupants would go in and out of the building every day. You can use this information to calculate the best setup for your water heater, pump sizes, and more. If you’re working with a strict budget, there’s a lot of free BIM tools available.

5. Reduced Project Cost With Value Engineering

Last on our list of ways to reduce construction costs, let’s talk about value engineering. Value engineering is a strategic way of applying cost-cutting tricks.

For instance, you can start by reducing square footage. Constructing a two-story building with a ranch design will be cheaper than constructing a one-story building that moves outward.

Are you building a house that uses logs? Reduce lineal feats of logs. By adding cedar shake, or decorative stone, you’ll be able to save on lumber prices. The decorative materials will help highlight the logs that you are using, making the home even prettier.

You can also opt for a simple roof design. A simple ridgeline roof with a shallow pitch is an affordable option. Whereas a complex roof with a lot of valleys and hips is going to cost a lot more time and money.

Minimizing Costs in Construction

Now you know the best tips to cut down costs in construction. Since perfecting the planning process is the best place to prevent overspending, start there.

Take a moment to think about your next big project, and consider every expense it’ll take. Then begin to look for alternative materials that you can offer to clients to start driving down those costs.

The more practice you get planning projects with a strict budget, the easier it’ll become. If you’d like more helpful insights, read another one of our articles.


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