This client was looking at a potential waterfront lot to purchase but had no idea what the house they wanted to build would cost them.
They needed good information to analyze the cost of the lot, plus construction cost, to get the total project cost and determine the amount they could offer on the lot, as well as what they could commit to the project.
We didn't have plans from an architect yet, so we sat with the client and had them describe the house they wanted to build, the overall size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, interior and exterior finish requirements and overall style and appearance. We took that information and developed a detailed conceptual budget estimate with roughly 30 pages of cost data and descriptions of the scope included, so they could feel confident in its accuracy and use it to make important financial decisions regarding the lot purchase.
We then referred them to an architect and provided that detailed budget to the architect to use as a baseline for designing the house, so there was no chance in over designing and causing the project to go over budget.
Once the design was complete, we finalized our construction estimate, which fell within 5% of our original conceptual budget, mainly due to upgraded interior finishes selected by the client. With our base contract, we provided a detailed construction schedule, with over 40 activities all linked together, showing an overall construction timeline of 7 months.
Our clients did not believe we could build their home in 7 months, because all of their friends told them it would take well over a year to build their house, because that's what it took them to build their own homes.
Just prior to signing our guaranteed maximum price contract to proceed with construction, our client said, "You know what, I was reviewing your website and watching the time-lapse videos you've posted of new homes you've built... and I noticed that regardless of weather, rain or shine or snow, every day trucks would pull in and workers would enter your houses to work... So, I do believe you can get our house built in the 7 months you're telling us."
We signed our contract that day, and 7 months later they moved into their Manasqua riverfront home, complete with a new dock that was added to our scope during the project.