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Ultra Luxury Custom Homes, Villas and Estates by design

Luxury home plans, dream house design architect, European estate castle plans, English manor house plans, new home floor plans, custom contemporary Modern house plans, Tudor mansion home plans, Mediterranean villas, French castle and chateaux plans, by John Henry Florida Texas Architect. Interior design, furniture and accessories, antiques 

Custom Luxury Homes and Plans by John Henry . Period traditional and contemporary modern floor plans for new homes. Dream homes, Tudor mansion plans, French country chateaux, European castle plans, French country house plans, remodeling, interiors, house plans, luxury house plans, real estate, home plan designs, resources, free questionnaire. Also commercial projects: theme resorts, hospitality, renovation, urban planning, small town design, retail

#1 HOW TO NEGOTIATE A LOWER CONSTRUCTION COST WITH A BUILDER/ CONTRACTOR, or 'More Home for Your Money'

Welcome/ Intro  Home  Luxury Home portfolio  Custom Plans   Showcase   "Small Houses"  Castles and Mansions Interiors  Ultra Custom  New Homes Under Construction  Custom Details   Contemporary Plans CD/Books  Before/After  Recommendations  About the Architect  Feedback  New Products/Artists  Period Style  Resource/Links  Bibliography  Order/Contact  FAQs   Fee Schedule  Contact the Architect

Most builders today let out the finished construction documents to subcontractors to arrive at their final bid.  Most subcontractors do not allow for cost saving measures in the design unfortunately -- for example: back to back plumbing, modular dimensioning and materials, a relatively rectangular perimeter plan which reduces the cost of foundation returns, roof valleys and hips, etc.  In fact, the typical estimator will measure gross areas, total number of fixtures and outlets, and not give credit for savings that can be gained by the above efficiencies in design.  In fact in the current custom home market  the prime subcontractors and trades will quote 'per square foot', giving the builder a base model to figure costs.  During preliminary design, while the plans are still tentative, we recommend the Owner contact 2-4 builders in his/her area in order to get 'ballpark' numbers for cost of construction.  The Owner may or may not have a general feel for current costs, but should look at model homes and recent sales in the area to compare with the preliminary set.  Apples should match apples.  Details, scope of work, site considerations, budget, etc. should be weighed by the preliminary drawings.  Feedback based on the preliminary drawings obtained from a small group of builders the Owner feels most qualified, as well as by initial estimates provided by the Architect, should help direct the design further to match more closely the Owner's budget and general program from that point on.

STRATEGY: Supposing that the Owner is perfectly happy with the preliminary design but worried over a higher anticipated cost of construction after getting ballpark numbers back from the builders, we recommend the following strategy:  Study the plans and cut longitudinal and transverse sections out of the design to arrive at the most pared down version of your plan.  Since so much of the cost of construction is calculated by the total area (square foot) of materials involved, negotiate your best cost for construction on the smallest total area.  You may elect to complete the drawings based on the smallest acceptable area or develop a second set with your ideal total footprint.  When bids are returned on the smaller set of drawings (with specifications -- recommended) sit down with the builder with the most reasonable bid and inquire, for example:  "If we add x feet here and y feet in the following areas, how will this affect the total cost?"  Typically, the extra built area will not add a proportional cost to the total bid.  The result is more home for your money.

Another tactic is to grant the contract as bid provided that the builder accept the higher area.  If this move seems a bit questionable, realize that you can not believe the efforts builders go through in studying negotiation strategies!  Most survive through advanced tactics gained in seminars, etc.  The extra costs involved with producing two sets of drawings is more than gained by the lower construction bid!

An amazing psychological strategy is to print a large project at a smaller scale!

Here are more ideas from: www.money.cnn.com
 

How to haggle with a contractor: Want your home pro to cut costs, not corners? You have to learn to negotiate the right way.

By Josh Garskof, Money Magazine contributing writer

(Money Magazine) -- In this extreme buyer's market, you can talk down the price of everything from flat-screen televisions to summer rentals. When it comes to home improvement, though, haggling is as risky as ever. Even if contractors are more willing to lower their prices nowadays, they're still liable to get angry and to cut corners on the job.

To find out how consumers can safely play this give-and-take, we asked dozens of home-improvement pros around the country what approaches would work on them. Most didn't want to talk about it, but we persisted, and a few revealed plum tips.

Stir up competition

Get at least three bids so you know the market price range for the job. Tell each contractor that you're getting other bids, so he's motivated to give you a competitive number.

--Chris Cipriano, Landscape architect, Ramsey, N.J.

Choose all of your project details - the tiles, fixtures, hardware, everything - before you ask contractors for bids, so they're pricing the same things rather than guessing at parts of the job. Then ask for itemized bids, compare the costs apples to apples, and respectfully point out discrepancies.

--Paul Wallerus, Contractor, Minneapolis

Ask if you can pay the contractor's subcontractors and suppliers directly. That's good for him because he won't have to lay out the money - and for you because he won't be adding his markup to their fees.

--Ron Graham Jr., Carpenter, San Ramon, Calif.

Be flexible about timing. Exterior work is cheaper in the fall; interior renovation and decorating jobs January through March.

--Steve Brennan, Contractor (and Ph.D. in economics) Chicago

Help him save face: Suggest that he ask his subcontractors or suppliers for better pricing. Then he can say, "I pushed back on my subs and got you these savings," even if the money is coming out of his pocket.

--Bill Hirsch, Architect, Cary, N.C.

Chateau des Reves: click image above for exclusive video of interior space

 To contact Architect: johnhenryarchitect@gmail.com 

Ultra Luxury Custom Homes, Villas and Estates by design

 

Luxury home plans, Traditional dream house design architect, European estate castle plans, English manor house plans, new home floor plans, custom contemporary Modern house plans, Tudor mansion home plans, Mediterranean villas, French castle and chateaux plans, by John Henry Florida Texas Architect. Interior design, furniture and accessories, antiques

Welcome/ Intro  Home  Luxury Home portfolio  Custom Plans   Showcase   "Small Houses"  Castles and Mansions Interiors  Ultra Custom  New Homes Under Construction  Custom Details   Contemporary Plans CD/Books  Before/After  Recommendations  About the Architect  Feedback  New Products/Artists  Period Style  Resource/Links  Bibliography  Order/Contact  FAQs   Fee Schedule   Contact the Architect

 

Custom Luxury Homes and Plans by John Henry .  Period traditional styles and contemporary modern floor plans for new homes.  Dream homes, Tudor mansion plans, French country chateaux, European castle plans, French country house plans, remodeling, interiors, house plans, luxury house plans, real estate, home plan designs, resources, free questionnaire.  Also commercial projects: theme resorts, hospitality, renovation, urban planning, small town design, retail.  

Creating the American Luxury Home Available now on CD- rom. (click below left) This is a history of the luxury home with sections on working with an architect and builder, style, modern and traditional approaches, etc.  Also, companion volume: Dream Home Design Questionnaire and Planning Kit (click right below, available as PDF file via email)

copper cover DHomeQ

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