Understanding Costs

Here's how to understand the costs of construction and materials.

Photo: homenewconcept.com

Frank Lloyd Wright was once asked if he could design a $10,000 house. The question was asked many decades ago, so it wasn’t so absurd as it sounds today.

Wright replied that yes, he certainly could. But he added a qualifier: One thing he couldn’t do would be to design a $20,000 house for $10,000.

Wright could sound like a wise guy at times, but those remain wise words. In fact, the same principle he espoused underlies a simple formula you might keep in mind as you think about the estimated cost of your project

Budget – Quality of Materials x Size

It’s deceivingly simple but it’s practically a law of nature. Especially if you are concerned with cutting dollars out of your budget, you will have to shrink the house or compromise on some of the materials. True, there are other extraordinary options that we will discuss later (being your own contractor, for example) but in general this formula is painfully accurate.

If you discover you can’t afford to do what you want to do, then think about reducing the size of the job or finding cheaper alternatives.