Don't forget, the plumber gets a discount, but he doesn't shop around for the Stainless steel kitchen sink with drainboards best deals. We would let our contractor install the hardwood in the rest of the house. We priced around, found sales and decided to install the basement flooring and cork flooring in the kitchen ourselves. We decided on a contractor who was willing to enter into a "Cost Plus" contract.
Electrical: Our electrician allowed $2,500 for lighting fixtures which we were able to purchase at a local do-it-yourself box store for about $1,200 a $1,300 saving!
Kitchen: Our contractor estimated $29,000 for kitchen cupboards based on mid to upper scale cabinets. After purchasing the material, we saved $4,000 on labor. My husband had a handy trim air-nailer that rarely got used up until then.
Landscaping: The quote for landscaping was $25,000, much of that figure involved heavy machinery to move dirt and add rocks for a retaining wall. The end cost was going to be tight so we were exploring different ways to cut costs. With normal building contracts, the stainless steel sink manufacturers customer is presented with a quote for the cost of construction, and that is the total amount they pay, even if the end cost is higher or lower. Part of that was used to lower the mortgage, the rest paid for our dream trip to the South Pacific. We had no desire to rent scaffolding to paint the high ceilings upstairs, but we decided to take on the basement ourselves, saving $2,500. We ended up saving about $1,100 on plumbing fixtures, but used that saving to upgrade to slate walls in the shower.
Flooring: The one that hit us hardest was the flooring estimate for $30,000. We left that to the experts, but dealt with the grass seed and shrub planting ourselves, for a total savings of $5,000.
Trim: The trim was priced at $6,000, and since we were doing drywall returns on all the windows, we only required trim on the bottom sills of the windows, around the doors and baseboard. This concession saved us $15,000 we had cut the flooring bill in half! Hmmm, this was fun, what else could we save?
Plumbing: We determined how much of our $15,000 estimate included fixtures and were able to go out and purchase our own sinks, tubs, toilets, etc. On the other hand, if you can find a deal on material, or agree to do some of the work yourself, the customer celebrates the lower costs.
In a Cost Plus scenario, the builder provides an estimate that fluctuates based on the actual end cost of building. After meeting with the cabinetry people, we got just what we wanted for $22,000 a $7,000 saving!
Doors: I couldn't get past an estimate for $7,500 for doors in the home how could they justify that much money? After counting the doors and getting a price on hardware and securing a quantity discount, we got that price down to $4,000 a $3,500 saving!
Painting: Our contractor allowed $5000 for painting which is not bad, but still too much.
All totaled, we saved over $39,000 by putting in a few hours work and doing some extra shopping around. So if the kitchen runs an extra $2000 because of those cherry cupboards you have to have, the cost of building is increased as well. on sale for better prices.
.When we decided to build our own home a few years ago, it was an eye-opening experience, to say the least. We started scanning our builder's estimate, analyzing where we could pitch in to save
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