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3 Ways to Cut Construction Costs

Taking a second and third look at its final bid for a senior housing project, Round Rock-based Oakbrook Builders looked for ways to cut costs. What it discovered was 25 ways the project could save money without sacrificing quality. The result: $1.2M less than the original bid. Oakbrook president Darrell Smith gave us three ways to cut building costs.

1. Design/Build


Darrell (right, with Kim Smith and Tyler Humes) says having a contractor on board early in the design process helps owners understand which items could negatively impact the budget. That allows them to make decisions early—during the design process—and help ID potential budget-busters.

2. Go Local  


When choosing exterior stone, native products will cost less and add great local charm to a building, Darrell tells us. Simply trading out flagstone for local products saved one developer up to $50k on a project, he says. Additionally, any time structural steel can be replaced with wood, it saves the project money. For another project, Darrell’s team suggested that using wood for a majority of the one-story framing. Much of the structural design was originally steel and choosing wood saved as much as $50k on the project.

3. Refine The Finishes


Switching out high-end finishes for more economical but equal quality versions will still produce the same environmental feeling and save money. For one senior housing project, Darrell says the team was able to trim the project cost by $200k without sacrificing the look or quality. One way to do it is by using the high-end finishes in high visibility areas to give owners the most out of their investment.