3 Steps to Stay on Budget when Redesigning

John M. Sofio of Built Inc. has designed and built properties such as 1-OAK, Pink Taco, The Beverly, Shore Bar, Hooray Henry’s and Bootsy Bellows.  He has worked to streamline his process, creating the Design/Build Method. 

While there are three main steps which make up the process, the key to success in a design method is “strict adherence for the design solutions to meet the budget.” Therefore, the first thing Mr. Sofio does is ask his client a simple question: “What are you trying to get out of this project and what is your budget?”  From there, the three steps fall into place. 

Step 1 is creating the schematic design budget.  What is your budget, your scope and cost per square foot? This budget needs to be based on an ROI study. Once this study is complete then you can discuss the scope of the design (i.e. moving the bar from here to there, creating a second story, etc.) You’re your budget and scope is clarified, factors that affect typical per square foot costs are location, labor costs and scope.

The Beverly Designed by Built Inc. in West Hollywood
The Beverly Designed by Built Inc. in West Hollywood

Step 2 is coming up with the design development budget. This includes breakdown of the overall project budget into line item categories and designing the project elements based on those allotted line item costs.

Step 3 is the construction budget.  Construction costs consist of soft costs (architectural/structural), hard costs (demo/framing/electrical, etc.), and furniture, fixtures and equipment (lighting, seating, etc.). During this phase you need to make sure that you adjust the line items from step two as needed keeping the overall budget without changing the bottom line.  

It’s important to realize that it’s the responsibility of the designer and/or builder to adhere to the budget strictly.


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