How We Help - Budget

There are two ways to approach the budget for your building project – working estimate or comprehensive quote. Both have advantages. Both have disadvantages.

Working from an estimate

We generate an estimate by assigning rough amounts to a number of categories specific to your project. Then, on a monthly basis, we reconcile actual costs against the estimate and provide you with an update.

The disadvantage of this approach is you assume the risk/cost of any unforeseen work. An estimate is simply not as accurate as a comprehensive quote.

The advantages of this approach are:


  • You only pay for actual costs incurred.
  • This service is included in our project management fee.
  • Your project can start before all the drawings, details and specifications are complete.

Working from an estimate is a good idea if you want the freedom to make changes in your design and budget as the project progresses.

Working from a comprehensive quote

A quote is a firm price for a very specific scope of work. Depending on the size of your project, it can take several weeks to source all the information. We request quotes from our suppliers and trades and build a detailed budget.

Comprehensive quotes suit a person comfortable making multiple decisions and commitments far in advance. The advantage of this approach is certainty: you know the total cost before construction starts. We assume the risk/cost of any unforeseen work.

The disadvantages of this approach are:


  • It requires a significant upfront time investment, from you as well as LWE.
  • We need detailed architectural drawings, plus all of your material and finishing choices to build the quote.
  • Your project will not start until we finish and you approve the quote.

Comprehensive quotes are not included in our project management fee. We will bill you on an hourly basis if you ask us to provide this service.


Keep in mind

Estimate or quote, the more you tell us about your ideas and expectations, the more accurate we can be. In particular, your finishing choices – exterior cladding, windows, doors, interior floors, trim, counters, cabinetry and bathroom fixtures – will make a real difference in total project cost. Examples, concept sketches, and inspiration photos are a big help in the budget stage of the building process.  



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