Construction project management guide

For the future first time, homeowners navigating different options and solutions of the construction world may seem very overwhelming. Combining your wishes and needs while staying within a reasonable budget is no easy task. It takes years of construction and design experience to make these things work together. That’s why we have gathered some of the essential points to help you get started. 

Cost drivers

 One of the most significant challenges is to narrow down solutions that will fit your budget. We like to say that there are 4 pillars which will affect the end cost the most. 


 The design and planning of your house can make or break your project. A great design seeks to incorporate every centimetre of the house and make the best use of it. Some of the most practical house design uses rectangular and regular shapes. This design choice has proven to be the most effective price-wise. Off course, standard shapes can quickly make the house look dull, that is why it is crucial to find the right balance. We suggest consulting and architect or designer who has a similar house project in their portfolios. And remember every extra centimetre will result in additional cost, that’s why it is crucial to find the best equilibrium.


 Size comes hand in hand with design. More and more people tend to choose smaller houses and incorporate more practical design choices as it proves to be more cost-effective and also sustainable. When opting for a home with a square area over 70 m2, it is worth considering going for two stories rather than one. A bigger ground floor will automatically increase foundation size, which will drive up the costs of the whole house. 


 When considering materials, there are two points of views you have to keep in mind: immediate price and long-term cost. When shopping for the right materials, ask for the life cycle and quality. It is worth spending a bit more if it saves you from redoing the whole thing in a couple of years. This is true when shopping for premium materials as well. Try to find the right balance point between cost, long-term cost and aesthetics, and you will find the best materials. It is also essential to consult your constructor as some materials may come with hidden installation costs which will drive up the total price. 

Construction method

 In the last 100 years, we have seen a massive influx of different construction methods. While we won’t discuss each in detail, we will mention some of the points you have to consider when choosing the right approach.

Ask for a material list and see for yourself what the constructor is using. More and more countries incorporate environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions in their building regulations. That’s why you have to look in the future when building your house now. We advocate for usage of timber materials in the construction process as this has proven to be one of the most sustainable construction methods.

Another thing to look out for is labour costs. Timber frame construction allows doing the house elements in a controlled factory environment which improves speed and quality. Work on-site may often be messy and very error-prone. When choosing a timber frame construction, there are the panel method and modular method to choose from. The former way provides factory produced timber frame panels which are then shipped to the site and assembled on the premade foundation. After assembly the internal finishing jobs, service jobs, etc. are done on-site. The latter provides almost finished houses straight out of the factory. All that needs to be done is delivery, positioning and connection to external services. Off course, it will cost more straight up, because almost the entire process is done through one vendor in the factory. But it is essential to compare the total costs of the whole project, as a well-executed modular project can actually reduce the price.

Things to look out for

 There are two sides to sticking to a budget. The first one, the evaluation process we already covered. The second one is a bit trickier but can help out in a big way. Unfortunately, the construction world is renowned for its underwater rocks and hidden costs. For a first-time house buyer, these are complicated waters to navigate. Luckily few secure methods can help you.

Only compare the total price.

 A lot of vendors use partial quotes to bring down the costs and seem more affordable. A lot of people fall for this unknowingly. What we suggest is incorporating any offer in the big picture. Ask yourself, if I make this order what else will I need to do and what does this help me to exclude. A good Excel sheet with all the prices may prove to be your best friend in this process. List down all the works that need to be done and list vendors who will do them. That’s how you will get different options and be able to find the best offer.

Ask for hidden costs.

This can be a bit tricky as there are vendors who tend to hide some costs. Sometimes a straightforward question will do the trick, and you will get to the full price. Try to gather information from different vendors and compare them. You will soon see the difference and be able to compare different vendors and their offers.

Ask for help from a professional

 Don’t be afraid to ask some construction professional to help you out. This can be a hired project manager, architect or engineer or someone you know. It can even be a vendor you trust and who is willing to help you out a bit. In our experience, we have helped a lot of our clients with construction questions that extend our offer. This is how we can assure that other vendor solutions will work fine together with ours.

Building a house is a long and exciting journey, and it will be one of the most significant personal projects most people will take on in their life. Therefore, it is vital to consider all cost-driving factors when looking for the right vendors. As well, it is essential to find someone you can trust, because it will make the whole process that much easier.

Contact one of our project managers, and they will help you to get started on your project.

About TIVO

TIVO is a prefabricated timber frame and modular house manufacturer located in Latvia. Now, with 25 years of experience in the construction field, our company provides structural engineering, architecture, manufacturing and construction services in Norway, Sweden, Iceland, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Denmark and Latvia. If you consider building your next project with prefabricated modular technology, don’t hesitate to call us or contact us via email, or by clicking on this site, to find out what we can offer to make your business or private project come to life!

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