WATCH OUT FOR CONSTRUCTION; UNPLANNED EXPENSES AND PERSONAL FINANCE, THE MAIN REASON PEOPLE GO INTO DEBT

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7.7 WATCH OUT FOR CONSTRUCTION; UNPLANNED EXPENSES AND PERSONAL FINANCE, THE MAIN REASON PEOPLE GO INTO DEBT

Completely new construction can be accurately budgeted for. However, many people change their minds in the middle of a job which can be very costly. As any builder or contractor will tell you, the fewer changes you make the lower the cost.

However, most people have trouble visualizing a new room or a new addition. It's only when the construction is partially completed that they realize they want to make a change. And changes at that point are costly.

To avoid these expenses you will need to try to imagine exactly what the planned room will look like. When I built my workroom in the woods, I staked string in the ground to mark out the area of the building and then I pretended to walk up the steps, open the door and go into the room. Then I walked with the strings and imagined what it would feel like to look out the windows.

There are other ways to help yourself visualize what you are designing. Some 3D computer programs can create a room or a house and let you do a walk through or you could make a cardboard model (something architects have been doing for years).

Construction which involves remodeling an existing building or repairing an older structure is much harder to budget for. The reason is simple. Once a builder opens up a wall he or she may find things that were never anticipated.

A good, very rough rule of thumb is to get a builder to estimate how long it will take, multiply the number of hours times their cost per hour, add a conservative cost for materials, and then add an extra 50%.


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