What do you do when you have challenging news to share? Do you hope it goes away or do you bite the bullet and do the hard thing? No matter how thoroughly we plan for a project, surprises are inevitable. When our team develops a construction budget, we don’t lowball anything. We put in honest numbers and account for the fact that there are natural fluctuations in pricing over the course of the year. Even so, certain elements are out of our control and this is a reality we just had to face with one of our clients.
We set the budget for lumber (yes, every material should have its own line) and, as construction was underway, the cost of lumber rose 50 – 75%. If you consider how much lumber goes into the construction of a home, I’m sure you can see where this is going – our cost was going to far exceed what we projected.
We got busy calling on the owner of our lumber affiliate to see what they could do to help and immediately communicated the update to our client. It’s not an easy conversation but it’s one that allows us all to hit pause and reassess the numbers. We discussed whether the client wanted to reduce costs in other areas or if they would prefer to forge on with the knowledge that their total projected cost would increase. Having the tough conversation now means no surprises later.
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Designer: Marie Flanigan Interiors
Architect: Brickmoon Design
Photography: Julie Sofer