OMG—The Cost of Building a Home Can Get Crazy!

OMG—The Cost of Building a Home Can Get Crazy!

OMG—The Cost of Building a Home Can Get Crazy!

photography by Lisa Russman

Building a new house is your opportunity to design and create a home that looks and functions in ways that meet your needs. Buying an existing home often means additional work and sometimes requires compromises to get the design, layout, and features you want. Without thought to sightlines and openness, you could miss out on the small, treasured moments your family values.

These added expenses are why so many turn to new construction to achieve their dream home. Calculating the costs of building new vs. buying existing construction can be a little confusing, though. To create a house that is perfect for you and your family, while also fitting your budget, requires an understanding of all the factors that can influence home building prices.

It is easy to assume that buying land and building a house costs roughly the same as or even less than buying existing construction, but this not always the case. Building costs vary widely and, if left unchecked, can increase the cost of your new home well beyond your budget or the price of comparable houses in your area. To accurately determine the price of building a home, you must consider these five major things that can affect the expense of new home construction.

1. Your Building Site.
The price of land varies significantly, even within the same community. The cost of building your home depends on the condition of your lot. If you need to improve the soil conditions, deal with conflicting utilities, or discover buried storage tanks, your construction costs can increase, sometimes significantly. When buying land, always investigate issues related to wildlife and historical protections as well as flooding zones.

2. The Materials You Choose.
House construction cost calculators can give you rough estimates for building costs, but these often do not take into consideration whether the materials you select are available nearby. Choosing readily-available materials can mean a substantial reduction in the overall building cost, and these touches can also help your home feel as if it is part of the local environment when well-integrated into the design. Buying in bulk for fixtures, tile, and other materials not only unifies your design across your home, but you save more when you buy in larger quantities.

3. The Cost of Labor.
The location of your new home influences labor costs. As the cost of living rises in an area, so will the price you pay for skilled labor to build a home. Talk with your architect about local labor pricing, including recent fluctuations or projected increases. An architect can help you design a home that fits your growing family while maximizing the use of space to create a home that feels larger but doesn’t cost a fortune.

4. Your Timeline.
An extremely ambitious building schedule increases costs, as does one that experiences significant delays. Building a realistic and well-researched project schedule for your home’s construction will help you stay on budget and avoid overtime or increased indirect costs. Working with a professional architect and reliable contractor helps you stay on schedule and budget.

5. The Right Architect and Contractor.
Selecting an architect who understands your family’s needs is crucial, but the right firm will also ensure proper adherence to the construction schedule. They will be knowledgeable about local materials and have strong relationships with reputable contractors in your area. The right architect will oversee every aspect of your new home’s design to fulfill your vision of the perfect place to live. When buying land and building a house, costs can skyrocket quickly without constant oversight, which is why a professional architect and licensed contractor are vital.

These and other factors impact your decision in the debate between building new vs. buying existing construction. Understanding all the elements that affect the calculation of new house construction costs can not only save you money but also help you create the home of your dreams.

How to Design a Master-Suite Addition That Increases Your Home's Value

How to Design a Master-Suite Addition That Increases Your Home’s Value

Long gone are the days where a slightly larger bedroom stood as the master in a home. Now, buyers and homeowners expect to find a spectacular retreat: a place where they can shut the door and get away from everything else. While many people go on vacation to find that type of peace, you can create an oasis in your own home through a master-suite addition. A master bedroom is more than just a place to sleep; it’s an extension of your living space that needs to be functional and practical while still relaxing. But before you begin designing your master-suite addition, consider these points, which will increase your home’s value:

1. Budget wisely
The cost of the average master-suite addition can range between $50,000 and $125,000, depending on finishes, build size, and overall cost of construction in your area. With such a wide range of cost, it’s easy to see why some homeowners might shy away from such a build. Most homeowners will only recoup 50% of their investment in a new master suite when they sell, but if you budget smart, you could end up with a lot more.

By setting a budget for your master-suite addition, you can dictate the size of your project, determine material options, and decide if certain DIY projects are feasible. A budget is just a starting number, so don’t let it overwhelm you if it extends above what you can comfortably afford. There are many products that look like higher-end finishes but are half the cost. So, if you want a luxury look but can’t afford the high-end prices that come with it, you’ll have options that are significantly cheaper. This will help you save significantly on your budget, and will add significantly more to your home’s value.

2. Design a practical floor plan
Every master-suite addition needs a solid floor plan with a well-thought-out design. Floor plans are an integral part of your build because you need to be sure that everything you want to be included will fit and that the rooms will be functional for everyday life. A master-suite floor plan should easily accommodate a queen- or king-sized bed, nightstands, a dresser, ample closet space, and a full bathroom.

Put some thought into the areas you walk through the most in your bedroom. Do you want to be walking back and forth from one side of the room to the other to get from your closet to the bathroom? To keep everything organized and cohesive, consider placing the closet close to the bathroom or have your walk-in closet be attached to your master bathroom.

3. Make the bathroom an oasis
Creating a relaxing and soothing spa-like bathroom will be a solid investment. While you don’t have to pick the most expensive finishes or materials, choose ones that offer clean lines and a timeless look. Glass-enclosed showers and freestanding tubs make great first impressions and also offer more usable space. Another must-have are dual sinks—people want at least two sinks in a master bathroom. Not only does it keep the peace, it gives the bathroom a more luxurious feel. Bathrooms are rooms that sell homes because they are such an integral part of daily life. If you plan on living in your home for several years before selling, a master-bedroom addition will also add to your happiness while living there, especially since the bathroom oasis will be for just you and your partner.

Any addition to your home will involve serious planning. Pick up a few home-design magazines to gather inspiration on what you’d like to see in your new master-bedroom suite and search Pinterest for ideas. Then consult experts to help you design your dream master suite. Sweebe Architecture can provide you with a free consultation that will help to put your mind at ease and provide ideas you likely haven’t even considered when considering your master-suite addition.

3 Things to Consider When Remodeling a Ranch House

3 Things to Consider When Remodeling a Ranch House

Sometimes a ranch home starts to lack the luster and functionality it had when it was first built. Maybe you love your neighborhood, but the house you purchased feels dated and tired. This is often the case with older ranch homes that have choppy floor plans that don’t suit today’s modern lifestyles, which can also make them harder to sell. Often times, a remodel is all that is needed to make a tired ranch home feel inviting and functional again. Here are three things to consider when remodeling a ranch house:

1. Strive for an open floor plan

An open-concept floor plan is the phrase used to describe a home’s layout where the kitchen, eating space, and living area are all open to each other with clear lines of sight from one space to the next. Today’s families spend a great deal of time in these three main areas of a home. Having an open floor plan allows the family to interact more intimately with each other or with guests, while utilizing each space individually. You can maintain open conversation and eye contact rather than shouting through walls. This is especially beneficial when entertaining. An open-concept ranch remodel also makes a space feel larger by removing walls that can make it feel choppy and closed in.

2. Stay true to characteristics of a ranch house

Remodeling a ranch house doesn’t have to be overwhelming—you can still stay true to the original characteristics of the ranch house. Take your time with choosing upgrades and finishes that will suit your lifestyle, yet offer timeless value. It is easy to see something online and immediately think it will work with your ranch remodel ideas, but that is not always the case. Your ranch house likely boasts some features that other homes don’t have such as no stairs, wider doorways, and seamless thresholds, which are important for those with mobility issues. These features will help make spaces flow smoothly from one room to the next in your remodel. Another idea is to take advantage of the lower roof line of a ranch and add skylights to bring in more natural light. Do some research, and gather ideas from other ranch house remodels that grab your attention.

3. Consult an architect

When remodeling a ranch house, it is important to maximize the use of space. Sometimes the lot the home was built on has room for additional square footage provided the proper permitting can be obtained. However, it is common that a remodel must occur within an existing footprint. In both cases, it is a good idea to consult an architect to determine the best layout for your needs. They can stay true to your desired style while optimizing functionality. Removing walls when working an open-concept ranch remodel can sometimes present issues with lost storage or space to hang art and pictures. An architect can help find solutions while updating the interior. Many times adding a front porch and changing the elevation of a ranch home adds usable square footage and interesting curb appeal to change the entire feel of a ranch house, but there may be a need for added bedrooms or bathrooms. Let an architect relieve the stress and guide you in making these decisions for your ranch remodel.

There are countless other ideas and considerations when taking on any remodeling project. These are just a few. You don’t have to try remodeling a ranch house totally alone. Allow experts to help. It will save you stress and time in the long run. Prime Draft Studio can provide you with a free consultation that will help to put your mind at ease and provide ideas you likely haven’t even considered when thinking about your remodel.

3 Ways to Create a Fun and Practical Attic Remodel

Is your family growing a little too fast for your space? Do you have an attic that can be converted into usable living space? It may be time to complete an attic remodel that can boost the square footage of your home and create additional living space for your family. Many homeowners have discovered attic renovations as a way to expand square footage and create unique spaces for their family without expanding their home footprint. Renovating an attic gives homeowners the opportunity to get creative and design a one-of-a-kind space. You can truly make this space anything you want it to be, whether it’s a playroom for the kids, an office for you, or a guest room for the grandparents when they’re in town. So if you’re quickly running out of space due to a growing family, here are three ways to create a fun and practical attic remodel:
Read More

5 Things You MUST Include in Your Master-Suite Addition

A master-suite addition is a great way to free up space in your home. A master-suite addition gives you more privacy and your kids and guests more freedom. After an experienced architect firm has helped you get complicated zoning issues out of the way, you should think about what you want to include in your master-suite addition. To makes things easy for you, we’ve come up with five things you MUST have:
Read More

The Best Architectural Remodeling Projects for Any Home

If you’ve decided to take the plunge into an architectural remodeling project for your home, you’ve come to the right place. Perhaps you had hopes of moving into a bigger, updated house and found it too costly. Or maybe you just want to spruce up your home to make it more comfortable. Either way, an architectural remodeling project offers many possibilities for the whole family. It can also offers many worthwhile benefits such as more living space, curb appeal, comfort and energy efficiency.
Read More

How Kitchen Additions Can Increase The Value Of A Home

We know that kitchen additions can be a big undertaking. They’re hard work, they can be expensive, and they take time—not to mention giving up the use of your kitchen for at least a few weeks! But whether you’re planning a kitchen renovation for your own pleasure or to increase your home’s value, it will pay off. Kitchen additions can and will increase the value of a home for a number of reasons. Here’s why remodeling one of the most important rooms in your home can increase the value—and how to do it well:
Read More

Why You Need a Residential Architect When Remodeling Your Home

The choice to build a new home or take on a renovation is a major decision. And one of the more daunting tasks is to then find a professional who can bring your vision to life. A residential architect will be able to create a floor plan that encompasses all of your needs and wants. As a homeowner, you probably know all the things about your home that you dislike and wish to change. However, do you know all the options available to you when it comes to remodeling a space to make it into your dream home?
Read More

5 Things to Expect When It Comes to Kitchen Additions

Kitchen additions can really bring new life to your home. Not only will it make your daily life easier but it will also add to the value of your home. But in order to get the most out of your kitchen addition, it’s important to know what to expect—both the positives and the challenges. The more prepared you are, the less overwhelmed you’ll be throughout every step of the addition process.
Read More

How to Utilize Craftsman-Style Floor Plans in Your Remodel

Architecture has grown and changed throughout the years, transcending time and trends. Something that is old can become new again.Such is the case with Craftsman-style homes, which were first built in the early nineteenth century. Many of these homes have seen beautiful revivals and restorations, and modern Craftsman-style floor plans have been re-created with newer builds and utilized in modern renovations. If your home is in need of a tune-up and you’re thinking about going with the Craftsman look, you can find inspiration in magazines, neighborhoods in your area, on Pinterest or through other online research. Here are several ways you can incorporate the Craftsman style into the floor plans of your remodel.
Read More