I hate it for my clients when their architect or builder gives them an “allowance” for some category of items in their new home or remodeling project. Invariably, it is not even close to what will eventually be spent and I think it does a huge disservice to the client. I realize that the builder cannot possibly take the time to figure out every item that will be specified then price them all out…especially if he or she is bidding the job. ( I am not sure what the architects excuse is on this subject….but most do not seem to have a real grasp on today’s costs for interior appointments) And certainly, if several builders are bidding the job, they need to be on an even playing field with items that can so drastically change from one sub to another or from one manufacturer to another.
But,who wants to find out just about the time you are getting into the fun part of the build that you have enough “allowance” for a reclaimed, slightly chipped porcelain sink from Goodwill? Or cabinetry better suited for a Motel 6? Folks, it happens. All too often it seems to me. Just a little bit of planning ahead of time can alleviate this problem. If clients will begin a relationship early on with a Kitchen and Bath or Interior Designer, they can really hone in on a reasonable budget for most interior decisions. These professionals are in the trenches and will have a realistic idea of what sort of budget needs to be allocated based on discussions with the client and reading the plans. It does not have to be line itemed out right away, but a couple of intensive meetings on the “wish list” will go along way to helping the client get a real idea of what their project will cost. The builder will be thrilled that the client is meeting with someone to solidify the decisions and create a budget that meets the needs of the client and is well thought out. It pays to do your homework in advance!