Value Engineering

"Value Engineering" is the technical term for "holy ----, we are way over budget!" It's not unusual for construction costs to exceed an owner's budget. So the 'value engineering' process begins, where the design team, contractors and owner review the plans and try to wring dollars out of the design-- and where the owner has to make hard choices about what goes and what stays. As I participate in these meetings, my feelings are all over the map: energized and fascinated, impatient, all the way to thoughts that I would prefer a root canal.

The economic downturn may actually the Logan Square Kitchen; as the price of steel, gas, and other commodities fall, our material costs should drop as well. And as the building trades slow down, more qualified construction companies are now available and interested.

I hope we are under construction next month/December, but I've said 'next month' for the past nine months. I've learned to be cautiously optimistic, and not to move before it's right. The good news is that in spite of the banking crisis, our funding has not been affected, and our project remains on track.