A few weeks ago, I met with Paul from Harmony Construction Management to get the lowdown on estimating construction costs. To my surprise, he told me he could make a couple of trips to the site and prepare an estimate in less than two weeks - free of charge. The budget he created was downright eerie: it only differed from my prior estimate ($100 per square foot) by $3,000. His projected schedule was pretty close to my expectations as well.
Paul was a recommended to me and Jane by Melissa. As usual, her advice was good. Paul has built a lot of restaurants, including the Great Dane in Fitchburg, and he's been very straightforward in educating us about the build-out process. Unlike most general contractors (so I've heard), he shares his itemized expenses with clients and pays himself a fixed percentage of the final cost. That means a few things:
-He can't exploit his clients' ignorance to pad his bottom line.
-Change orders don't allow him to grossly violate his estimates.
-His clients have a healthy amount of control over the final cost.
Jane and I were very impressed with Paul and we're looking forward to working with him as our project progresses.