picture of commercial construction project

Expert Tips on Managing Commercial Construction Costs

Thanks to the vibrant Sioux Falls economy, a growing population and a strong retail environment, VBC continues to stay busy when it comes to commercial construction across the region. I’m Chad Van Buskirk, President of Construction at Van Buskirk Companies. Business owners often ask my advice when it comes to their construction project. Lately, the biggest question I get involves managing commercial construction costs. While supply chain issues and the rising price of materials do pose a challenge, there are some variables we always suggest business owners be aware of to help with their budget:

Work with transparent contractors and ask questions about the estimates

There are so many different variables and specialists needed during construction projects, no matter the size. Our job is to manage the construction process on your behalf. VBC differs from some contractors in our willingness for complete transparency. We show our clients every bid from subcontractors and provide detailed estimates so that you can see our costs and know we’re being fair.

Be cautious of overly simplified estimates. A promise to hit budget doesn’t always mean you’re getting the best price for the design you’re wanting. We recommend asking detailed questions and have the contractor break down all the line item costs for you. This will help you know exactly what you’re getting with each dollar spent. A transparent contractor who has done their due diligence will be willing to share the bid breakdown with you rather than just charging to what your budget is. You can expect that of Van Buskirk Companies as we strive to be a true project partner on your side of the table.  

Find a thorough contractor willing to shop the market on your behalf

It can be easy for contractors to work with the same subcontractors on every project, but it’s not always the best option when it comes to keeping costs down for the client. Like everything else, a subcontractor’s bid comes down to supply and demand. Depending on the day, they may bid lower or higher based upon how much is already on their plate. If the job will require overtime from them the bid may be higher. If it fits into their scheduling, they may be able to offer a better price. VBC always works on your behalf to get bids from two to three different subcontractors we trust. This is how our process allows us to provide quality as efficiently as possible. 

Invest in highly valued areas and save in others

Part of our proven Design-Build process is getting to understand your business and how the new space can provide optimal experience for owners, staff and customers of the business. This not only affects the design but also the budget priorities. We work with clients to discover their most needed expenses and then move into lower priority “nice to have if budget allows” items.

Finishes are another area of budget flexibility. Unlike structural requirements, finishes can be swapped out for more affordable options. However, just because you can doesn’t always mean you should. A cheap plumbing fixture now might cost you more in the future. We’ll help you understand material differences and areas where you can select cheaper options without sacrificing overall quality. Many times, a contractor is also able to secure discounted prices, but like I mentioned in the first tip, you’ll want a transparent contractor that will pass those savings on to you. Another way you can keep the price of finishes down is by asking what they have in stock and selecting one of those options.

Our experience and expertise allow us to manage hundreds of material and cost variables so you get “the best bang for your buck.” We’ll be happy to discuss your project and how together we can manage commercial construction costs as efficiently as possible. We’re here to answer all your questions with a detailed explanation of our innovative Design-Build process. 

Chad Van Buskirk

 Chad Van BuskirkOwner
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Chad Van Buskirk


(605) 361-8211



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