How to Control Project Costs During the Design Phase

The design phase is the main focus of every remodeling project for homeowners, because it’s the most fun part! You’re pinning, hearting, and saving all of the ideas you find online. You’re researching materials, patterns, trends, and all the design buzzwords. It’s exhilarating – the options are endless!

Whole Home Remodel Sliding Barn Door into Mudroom with Walk-Up Bar and Stone Accent Wall _ Compelling Homes

We’re going to stop you right there. The best part of our jobs is bringing your idea boards to life, but we would be remiss if we also didn’t try to keep you within your predetermined budget! We want you to have fun and create a space that will work for you, your family, and your lifestyle. We also want you to enjoy the investment you’re making into your home without unforeseen or unplanned costs.


We do this because we care. We know that a huge consideration in making the decision to remodel is project costs. Compelling Homes takes working within your budget extremely seriously - no matter how beautiful your Pinterest board may be. Without this tough love conversation, we could easily design a space that completely ignores the budget. To create a space using any product, at any price, to create any outcome is a significant disservice to you or any of our clients.



What Is Cost Control?

The cost control definition that we typically use with our clients is simple – you tell us about your dream project, and we properly set expectations around what it will cost to accomplish exactly that or guide you in a direction that will keep your project within your budget goals.


Cost control in construction doesn’t have to be complicated. It starts with being open and honest when we’re designing. One particular best practice is this question: Does the space benefit by having a particular feature or material? With tools like our online construction management software, we’re able to easily track the price of every piece of your project. From the largest pieces like moving a wall and electrical wiring to the tiniest of details like swapping out clear glass front cabinets to frosted glass, we can easily manage all change orders and home remodeling project costs in one place.

Let’s run through a quick review of the phases of design build remodeling and where we can implement cost control methods throughout to stay within your budget.



Remodeling Design and Construction Phases Overview

Our full 5-step process for design and construction is laid out here. For brevity’s sake, setting a budget and sticking to it is relevant at every step throughout remodeling your home!


With the help of our online construction software, we are able to generate an anticipated cost report during the initial planning phase. From there, we finalize your budget together after recreating your design with 3D modeling. With this firm budget in mind, we are able to proceed with construction.



Cost Control Methods to Stay on Budget

Before setting a budget, it is important to know what factors can impact the cost of your remodeling project. Here are a few of the most common factors that we see regularly:

  • Selecting overly high-end materials and finishes
  • Moving walls that contain plumbing or HVAC
  • Adding space to your home (either up or out)
  • Purchasing premium appliances
  • Not identifying “where are we stopping”

If you’re looking to keep costs low or reduce the potential budget needed to accomplish your project goals, these are the first design decisions we will discuss. Once you’re comfortable with the budget established, there are many checks we implement to ensure that we stay within your budget.



5 Cost Control Methods We Use at Compelling Homes

  1. Set Reasonable Budget - Learn all about our design process. We will be your guard rails for staying on budget once your limits are established.
  2. Online Construction Software - We are able to accurately estimate and price your remodeling project. Our estimates are not rough guesses, they are tracked to the exact dollar.
  3. Trusted Subcontractors - One of the benefits of choosing Compelling Homes is that we put together your dream team of subcontractors. We’ve been remodeling homes in the Des Moines area for decades, and we know who the best subcontractors are for each detail of your project. We’re able to avoid missteps and to maximize effort and efficiency this way.
  4. Avoid Change Orders - Once your remodeling project is in construction and officially underway, it’s best to avoid change orders if you want to reduce any extra expenditures on your remodeling project. 
  5. Regular Check Ins - If you have questions along the way, let us know! We’re the experts and we’re here to make sure that all of your questions are answered. Communication is key!


Are you ready to discuss if we’re a good fit? Contact us and let us know!




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