Building a house is a big undertaking, and there’s no question that it’ll cost both time and money. However, building your own house is also a very exciting process —and totally worth it to have a completely custom home that’s perfect for you and your family’s needs.
In order to keep costs down—or at least have an accurate picture of the cost to build a house—make sure to plan ahead with as much detail as possible. Try, with a professional architect’s help, to plan out a budget and timeline for building your house; and make as many decisions as possible about the layout, materials, decorating, and more, before you start the construction process—not after. Get multiple estimates and talk to many people before you settle on any one detail. And finally, plan ahead as much as you can…but understand that you can’t plan for everything perfectly.
We know there’s a lot to think about when you’re just starting this process, and it can be overwhelming. So, before you start calculating your budget, here are three practical things to consider when planning out your cost to build a house:
- Don’t forget to think about quality
Make sure to consider not only the cost of labor and construction but also the materials used to build your home—and the quality of the materials you want to be used. This extends to almost every part of the process: from the basic structure to insulation, flooring, paint, appliances, windows, cabinets, and more. Remember that everything needed to build and furnish your home comes in a varied scale of quality and price, and you need to make many if not all of those decisions before you start the construction process.
- Plan out all of your mechanical systems
Between planning, labor, materials, and more, the mechanical systems your home will need—including plumbing and electricity—are in their own separate category of consideration when building a new house. These things are essential but tend to be invisible, and they can be easy to forget about in an initial plan or budget.
Make sure you know what layout you want and run it by professionals before you start—and getting multiple estimates from plumbing and electrical professionals while you’re still in the planning phase is always a good idea. Above all, just remember to consider the electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling, and other systems you may need in your original planning.
- Building your home won’t go exactly as you plan
Finally, make sure you always allow for additional costs—no matter how intricate and detailed your plan is. Always keep wiggle room in your budget above what you think you’ll need. You never know when you’ll be dealing with permits, late or unavailable materials and appliances, delays due to weather or labor, or really anything that could cost you above and beyond what you planned for.
Before you start the building process, talk to professionals with experience, and get multiple estimates on everything. And talk to family and friends who have been through the homebuilding process for some wisdom and perspective. But in any case, no matter how well-prepared you are, it’s almost guaranteed that something won’t go according to plan—and then you’ll need that extra room in your budget.