Cost Over-runs

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Fun topic, eh?

When you are building a house, everyone tells you that their house building or reno, was more expensive, than they thought it would be.

That's not surprising...but the difference in how much people spend over their budget is largely variable. It can run from thousands to tens of thousands, and beyond.

At some point, there really must be a time where you have to say, no.

(I mean, there really is a point where the bank must say "hell, no".)

We can't go endless amounts over budget, is my point. We have savings, but we need to avoid being house poor and we need to maintain our savings in our RRSPs and education funds for Emma.  

So the problem so far, is that our contractor is super-fabulous and talks in very practical terms.

He tells us things that he thinks are appropriate to consider...and I am thankful for it.  But as a result, we are just over a month in to the build, and so far, we have run into three cost over-runs that we signed up for.

Let's chat about them...

Basement gravel with a hit of coral - so chic

1) We get a phone call in the first week, to ask if we want trees to be removed at the lake front area of the property, since they are excavating the site for the house.

We say:  "We were thinking we would do the removal at another time, to prioritize the house, rather than landscaping."

We hear: "Well....right now we can get a large excavator down there and remove foliage and trees, faster.  When your septic field goes in, you can't get a big machine down there, due to the width of the property and fear of crushing the septic tank. Hence, it will cost more down the line, because smaller equipment will take more time.".

Darn you, reasoning skills. Less money now....less chance that we will be wading in our own waste, on the front lawn... Budget - 0, Reasonable thoughts - 1

Some Fox Gloves hanging out near the waterfront

2) We hear:  "Hey, the basement that is facing the water, is going to look like a concrete monolith.".  (I am exaggerating, but that's how I imagined it).

Let's try again:  "Hey, the basement wall that faces the water, is exposed floor height to ceiling height, and will not look very good aesthetically, without a window....when you look at it from the water, it is a lot of concrete. Plus, a window will allow a lot of light in....and if it is an egressed window, it will allow for you to put a bedroom, in the basement, in future."

 (P.s. did you know what "egressed" means?  I didn' means "openable").

Darn you teenage Emma, who will want a basement bedroom, so she can sneak out at night and drink beers with her friends.

Budget - 0,  Reasonable thoughts - probably still 1, if you take into consideration that I am enabling my child.

One of the few raspberry bushes that survived the excavation! 

3) We hear: "Did you want a "rough in"  for a bathroom put in the basement, before we pour the basement floor?"

Gah. Teenage Emma will need to use a bathroom, at some point.

In the meantime, Andrew wishes to put his workout stuff in the basement and was advocating for an "open air" toilet for ease of use.        

No.  Just no.

But alas: Budget - still 0, Reasonable thoughts - 1 1/2, if we avoid the open air toilet.

I hope we do.


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