A contractor can have parts of a project redesigned with less costly materials in order to keep a project within budget. Value engineering involves reducing the scope of the project, delaying certain aspects of the project, or eliminating wish list items like skylights or elaborate landscaping.

In some situations, it may be advantageous to consider renovating an existing building as opposed to building a new structure. A cost comparison may reveal that a renovation is significantly less expensive than a new building. Alternatively, depending on the condition of the existing building, the renovation may be significantly more expensive (e.g., renovating a much older building requires bringing it up to code).