Richard Gomez was on a mission to build a contemporary 2,250-square-foot home in Long Beach’s East Village Arts District for less than $280,000, which is less than $80 per square foot, including the land. That is half to one-third the norm.
As you can imagine, Richard’s budget required cutting costs at every possible juncture (though he did include what he considered necessary high-end elements such as granite counters and bamboo floors).
When it came to the interior doors, he saved money by eliminating most of them, as well as the casings, molding and hardware they would have required. After all, the floor plan is open and loft-like, with no door to the bedroom or the walk-in closet.
However, there are sliding doors across the openings to the bathrooms (thank goodness for that) and various hall closets; for those, Gomez used barn-door brackets to hang inexpensive wooden doors.
And here’s where he encountered a situation that could have led to a needlessly bloated budget: Richard knew he wanted pulls that were massive and industrial-looking but balked at paying $125 each for them at a big-box store. He needed four, and he kept saying to himself: I am not paying $500 for door pulls!
Finally, Richard hit upon a solution when he spied some $20 grab bars that are normally used in bathrooms.
Voila! An elegant solution at a rock-bottom price. And that’s how Richard built an avant-garde, architect-designed home for less than the price of a boring tract house.
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