Trying to Square the Circle

Here's where things stand with our project - (feel free to skip to the bottom of this post).

A couple of days ago, my wife and I sat down with John and Phil of Prospect Builders and compared the estimates they'd worked up for our proposed upcoming projects with our fixed budget. 

What I haven't mentioned prior on this blog is that the project, up until now, has consisted of three separate structures - behind our next-door rental we'd be building a new studio (the primary focus of this blog) and do a retrofit of my existing studio into an ADU, or additional dwelling unit, for short-term rental purposes. And, there would be an additional new construction of a mother-in-law unit (a slightly different designation than an ADU - some other time I'll explain) behind another of our rental properties. 

The hope was that by my d.i.y.ing most of the work on the studio, as well as using as much reclaimed materials as possible for that portion of the overall project, there would be enough money in the budget to tackle all three at the scope ideally desired.

Seems our fixed budget isn't sufficient to do all we're hoping to do.

It was time to put the thinking cap on and crank it up to "eleven", if only to drown out the Rolling Stones' rather unhelpful, continuous loop of "You Can't Always Get What You Want". 

One option is to reduce the size of the new studio by 1/3. Coming out of our meeting on Friday, that was the solution that made the most sense: Make the studio build a "phase 1/phase 2" deal, kicking phase 2 down the road until such time as we can afford a further expansion.

Another "possible possibility" is to keep the scope as-is, while continuing to search under stones for other sources of funding to make up the shortfall. On Friday, after the meeting, I did just that; I contacted a few mortgage companies to explore cash-out refinance options. One looks somewhat promising, but the amount the property would need to appraise for makes it a bit of a risk.

Saturday, however, I awoke with the thought that the main impetus for the project was a larger studio, not to have two more rental units to manage. Why go through all the trouble if I'm only doubling my working space (initially)? Other than the additional income?

It's Monday morning as I write this, and between Saturday morning and today, I've played with at least three or four other combinations, with their associated pros and cons lists. To attempt to recreate my thought process here would be as exhausting for you to read as it would for me to write. I'll spare us both and give you the bottom line:

Dunno. Squarely on the fence at this point in time. And we should really decide asap, as the longer it takes to get the project underway, the costlier it will be, since mid-winter is typically a cheaper time of year for both materials and labor.

To be continued...

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