The Resources Page is designed to help our clients locate building resources and information specifically with regards to the Bay Area and to construction in general.

Budgeting for a project is a complicated process. One’s budget should include provisions for the following, depending on the size and complexity of the project itself:

  1. Planning costs – An architect or contractor will charge between 5% and 10% of the total building costs for a workable design
  2. Permit costs: permitting costs vary from city to city, but one should allow another 5% for the permitting process
  3. The construction costs may vary from contractor to contractor, but obviously, this is your main expense position. This should be limited however, to between 70% and 80% of one’s total budget, to ensure that there is no overrun.
  4. Clearing up and restoration may be more expensive than one thinks allow a provision for restoring the landscaping or other surfaces up to 1% of project costs.
  5. A contingency fee should always be allowed for in a budget. For a new build, this might run at say 10%, for an addition, or alteration to existing, as much as 25% should be allowed for. This is for two reasons: the first, is that there are always unknowns in construction. These unknowns are far fewer in a new build of course, but they can occur. The second reason is that as the project progresses, clients often change their minds and upgrade certain items or decide to repair and work on other parts of the building. Again, this is more common in additions or expansions of existing structures.

To recap: say you have a budget of $100,000 for a small addition. The contractor’s bid for all his work, including all mechanical and electrical should not exceed $75,000 to $80,000 if there is a design and permitting process involved. These guidelines are given without guarantee. We cannot be held liable for variations in the percentage figures.