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How Much Will it Cost?

An architect's reality checklist helps you to project the true costs of a new home or remodel before it gets to the drawing board

Experienced architects and contractors know that comparing the costs of projects can be dangerous. Projects that appear similar at first often prove to be quite different due to unique site conditions, special design requirements, and owner preferences. To help get a better handle on costs before the plans are drawn up, architect John McLean developed a checklist that includes 27 categories that impact costs. Each category includes five levels, from simplest to most complex. To project the cost of either a new house or a remodel, highlight the choices that most closely match your site conditions or design preferences for each item. Then tally each to get your total. A Web-based multiplier lets you customize the costs for different parts of the country.

From Fine Homebuilding171(Houses) , pp. 88-93 May 1, 2005