Scope Creep

My wife and I decided to build 12’ by 18’ foot deck on the back of our house. She and I decided on a budget which limited us to the size of deck we wanted to build. I decided to build the deck personally to cut down on cost, so I purchased a Deck Building 1-2-3 Guide from our local Home Depot. The decision to build the deck personally saved us three thousand dollars by eliminating labor cost. Originally we agreed the deck material would be all pressure treated wood because it is less expensive than composite material. My wife learned of the savings and she thought we can now afford to use composite materials for the flooring and railings and add a lower level patio to compliment the deck since we are saving three thousand dollars. I agreed to her demands like a good husband should. The original design using pressured treated materials minus the patio, cost fifty seven hundred to build using a contractor. I used the Just in Time building method to build my deck and purchased the materials as I needed them. Nearly eight thousand dollars and 2 ½ months later I built a new deck and patio with an exploded budget. It was all worth it because my wife is happy.

To better manage this project I should have augmented my plan to include all of the changes and compared the new budget to the original budget. Because I believed we were saving money I assumed the upgrades could be absorbed by my three thousand dollar savings of eliminating labor cost.


Patrick Hopkins