Timeless Architecture Styles That Can Benefit New Construction Homes

Timeless Architecture Styles That Can Benefit New Construction Homes

Timeless Architecture Styles That Can Benefit New Construction Homes

photography by Lisa Russman

Architecture is an ancient craft that uniquely blends aesthetics with functionality, evolving constantly and persistently as time marches on. In the current day, architecture is more diverse than it has ever been and more accessible as well. With that in mind, homeowners looking to construct their own home are now able to draw on centuries of style, history, and craft to create entirely unprecedented beauty and comfort in their new construction homes. While not all styles can translate to the modern age, there are some that are especially relevant in how they can impact new builds—think about how effective a house must have been designed to meet the needs of toddlers centuries before electricity was invented! Here are a few that aspiring custom homeowners should keep in mind:

1. Classical
No matter who you are or where you’re from, Classical architecture has undoubtedly made an impact on your life. Some of the most famous ancient structures in the world, like the Parthenon, proudly feature the very stylings that their creators designed thousands of years ago. Meanwhile, much more recent structures, like the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., or the Lincoln Monument, draw on Classical features to create a breathtaking emotional effect.

Classical features aren’t only for the monuments of the world, however. Classical style can be woven into current design trends to bestow an aura of timelessness that can indeed make a statement in your new home under construction. Classical features can invoke an austere, beautiful feeling without making your home seem inappropriate for a barbeque or football party.

2. Craftsman
The Craftsman style of architecture has been popular lately, and for good reason! While the Craftsman style reached its peak around the turn of the twentieth century, the features it brought into the public eye have never left the lexicon of American design. In recent years, many architects and home designers have drawn on Craftsman ideas for their new builds, invoking the natural beauty and hand-made appearance that the Craftsman style so perfectly embodies. Craftsman-style features such as large, covered front porches, low-pitched roofs, dormers, built-ins, and large fireplaces, can bring an airy, rural appeal to homes that will soothe even the most rambunctious of families with simple, homey comforts.

3. Victorian
While true Victorian-style homes have fallen out of popularity—largely because of their impractical, ornate flourishes—some of the features of the Victorian schools of design still have their place in today’s home designs. Elegant hallways with plenty of negative space, which can be filled with photographs or decorations if desired, dormer windows with wide sills, and spacious-but-cozy rooms are all features of the Victorian style that can add beauty and functionality to nearly any new construction home. If you grew up in a Victorian home, you might find yourself nostalgic for the way the interior seemed to beckon you from room to room, as if some new comfort awaited in each space. You might also find yourself off-put by the gaudiness of exterior, impracticality of flourish, and rigidity of layout of older Victorian homes. The good news is that you can pick and choose beautiful features from many styles of homes so you can integrate sentimental interiors without worrying that your house looks like Dracula’s second home.

One of the most important ideas to keep in mind while working on a new build is that you are not bound to a single architectural style. Families seeking custom homes today are the lucky beneficiaries of hundreds of years of architectural advancement and hundreds of years of fantastic historical documentation. With a little bit of research and insight, you can make a house for your family that truly is unique and timeless.


Ways to Make Your Custom Home a Dream Home

Ways to Make Your Custom Home a Dream Home

Ways to Make Your Custom Home a Dream Home

photography by Lisa Russman

Making a house into a home that you’ll always treasure isn’t always easy, especially when you’re working with the vision of a previous owner you may have never met. While moving furniture and painting walls isn’t all that difficult, making revisions to the layout or redesigning the exterior of a pre-existing house can be more difficult than trying to get your family out the door on time for the last week of school. This fact is precisely why so many families seek out custom-built homes these days. There is more that goes into the process of how to build a house than just the basic needs, though. Here’s how to make your custom home a dream home:

Step one: Don’t limit yourself
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in building a home for you and your family is to underestimate just how much you can get when you design a home from the bottom up. Many people seek out custom home builders with assumptions from their previous home-buying experiences. You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that desirable features were associated with higher prices; such correlations are common when buying pre-owned homes where some features are rarer than others. When you’re starting from the baseline, though, you get to decide what’s right for you in your custom-built home. Need to give the kids some space of their own so you can get some shut-eye? Work with your custom home builders to design a rec room space. Have a passion for cooking? Plan to have a gas range installed from the get-go, saving a fortune on what would otherwise be costly installation and hookup fees.

Step two: Consider everyone’s needs and wants
One of the best factors of custom-built homes is that you are the one who is in control of the final design of your house, not someone who is unfamiliar with your family. Making a house into a dream home is all about choosing to include the features that mesh with the way your family lives every day. Small features like conveniently placed cabinets and spacious pantries (for the organized chef in your life) and larger features like high ceilings or a man cave are easy to include when building a floor plan for your home, and they’ll go a long way toward optimizing your daily happiness.

Our living space is a constant, quiet presence in our lives. Positive features go a long way in helping us feel comfortable, peaceful, and rested for the business of the day. When you design a custom house, you can choose to include those details that you’ve wished for since before you had kids. A dream house doesn’t have to be a pie-in-the-sky fantasy—you can make it real for you and your family.

Step Three: Spend your money where you spend your time
One of the best ways to improve your general quality of life is to spend your money where you spend most of your time. Traditionally, the advice that follows is to get a comfortable mattress, since we all spend quite a lot of time sleeping. In truth, there’s a place we spend even more time than our bed, though we all would probably like to spend more time catching Zs. For some, it may be the kitchen, and for others, it’s the home office or family room. Our house is not only where we sleep, but it’s the place where we live, learn, eat, drink, and celebrate. If you’re debating whether to invest in a few extras for your dream home, think about it like this: Your money will go the furthest when applied to those activities and objects you need the most. Your home is a long-lasting investment, so don’t be afraid to spend a little more to polish your design to perfection.


Ways You Can Ensure You’re Getting a Fair Quote When Researching the Cost to Build a House

Ways You Can Ensure You’re Getting a Fair Quote When Researching the Cost to Build a House

Ways You Can Ensure You’re Getting a Fair Quote When Researching the Cost to Build a HouseIf you’ve found your way here, chances are that you’re intrigued by the idea of building your own home. We are, too—it’s the heart of our passion! We’re no strangers to the complexities of homebuilding, but one step that shouldn’t be complex is researching the total cost of building a house. Unfortunately, not all businesses believe in our philosophy, so we want to share with you a few important ways to ensure that when you begin to research the cost to build a house, you’ll know you’re getting the best deal for your money. You’ve got better things to spend your money on than the too-high rates of an uncommunicative contractor. Here’s how to start your home budget with confidence in the workers you hire:

1. Ask around
Chances are that you know someone in the town or area that you’re planning on building your house. If you’ve got connections, call on them! The old adage says that it isn’t what you know, but rather who you know. In truth, though, those people that you know can help provide valuable information. Friends and family who have lived in the area for a while are likely to have a good idea of the reputable contractors in the area who run a good business—or at the very least, they will know someone else who does. This knowledge can be the perfect starting point for you and your new home.

2. Get multiple quotes
A second opinion can never hurt, but when it comes to hiring a construction team, it’s essential that you hear more than one offer before you decide. Even if you’re really impressed with the first contractor you meet, never sign a deal before you’ve checked out the competition. Sales tactics exist in every industry, and even the best construction companies still need to turn a profit. It’s perfectly professional and financially wise to research your options. Never limit yourself to just one quote when trying to determine the cost to build a house.

If you find yourself stumped, you can even use online house construction cost calculators, which will give you an idea of generalized prices. These can be a fantastic spot to start your research, and will often help you establish a ballpark average cost to build a house.

3. Peruse the contractor’s profile
Most contractors have a profile available on hand, but with a little more digging you can often find their extended profile of work. Taking the time to do just a little extra vetting can result in huge savings. Think about it like this: If you browse a contractor’s profile and find that their previous work doesn’t align with your designs or the type of quality you’re hoping for, you’ve just saved yourself a long-term headache. Finding a contractor with a solid profile can mean years of satisfaction and stress-free living. Almost nothing is more frustrating than having to do repairs on a new construction. You need to find someone who will do the job right the first time.

4. Take your time
“Cut once, measure twice” has long been the foundational advice for any long-term project. Building a house for your family is one of the greatest long-term projects you can undertake, so don’t feel bad if you need to measure three or four times. When it comes to getting quotes, most reliable contractors are going to be willing to spend some time planning with you and working out the details of your quote. Use that time wisely, and don’t be afraid to request clarification if something doesn’t make sense or isn’t adding up. Any worker worth their salt on a custom home project is going to understand why you’d want to take your time to determine the total cost to build a house.


No, Your New Home Construction Shouldn’t Break the Bank

No, Your New Home Construction Shouldn’t Break the Bank

No, Your New Home Construction Shouldn’t Break the Bank

photography by Lisa Russman

We know that building your own home can feel like a daunting task. For those who have never been through the process, new home construction can seem like a dark cave – deep, scary, and full of unknowns. What most people worry about is keeping the price of their new home construction project within their budget.

When you buy a pre-owned home, the price is pretty upfront. You give them this much money, and they give you a completed house. But, when planning to build a new home, costs have a way of expanding while your home is under construction if you are not paying attention. Knowing how to manage these potential budget busters can help keep your costs low and the entire project well within your budget.

Keeping Your Custom Home Budget In Check
Working with a residential architect who knows and understands your needs and must-haves will help you design a house that is affordable while still addressing the demands of your family. Your architect should know your budget and can help keep your newly built home well within your price range. Communicate openly with your architect about how much you plan to spend as well as your priorities for the overall design for your home.

Your architect can help you design an open footprint that can keep the size of your house low while also maximizing the use of space within its walls. For example, a kitchen doesn’t have to be gigantic to have everything you need, it just needs the right ergonomic design to place what you need where you need it. The right architect can help you achieve big dreams in small spaces.

Next to your architect, the other person you need to choose wisely and communicate with regularly is your contractor. First, select a contractor through a competitive bidding process and be sure whoever you choose understands and respects your budget. You don’t want to be arguing with your home builder the whole time your home is under construction over prices and budget, trust us!

A good contractor will work to keep you on your budget by helping you select materials that match your needs as well as managing all their subcontractors effectively to keep their costs down. Communicate clearly and precisely with your contractor at all times about what you want and how much can be spent. Clear expectations are essential to finishing your home at a price you can afford.

If you have the knowledge and skills (or have friends and family who do and are willing to help), talk with your custom home builder about doing some of the work on your newly built home yourself. You can even opt to eliminate some things from your contract with your builder altogether and do them yourself once you complete the house. Hanging cabinets, finishing floors or countertops, painting, and installing hardware on cabinets and doors are all things many homeowners feel capable of doing, and this can save you significantly on labor costs. Don’t go this route if you don’t have the skills, though, as mistakes could end up costing you later on.

The Bottom Line on Controlling Costs
In the long run, you want your home to last, serve your needs, and be affordable. And, it is possible to have all three of those. Frugal and cheap are not the same thing, and you can save money on your new home construction without being a penny-pinching Scrooge. Professional and reputable contractors can build the house you want that also allows you to live within your budget, so be sure you choose yours wisely.


Getting A Custom Home Built is Daunting. You Will Survive!

Getting A Custom Home Built is Daunting. You Will Survive!

Getting A Custom Home Built is Daunting. You Will Survive!

photography by Lisa Russman

Let’s face it, it takes a lot of organization, planning, and general stick-to-it-ness to build a custom home. From start to finish, building a custom home is like managing a three-ring circus, planning a giant event, and taking care of a litter of puppies all at the same time. Learning how to tame the chaos and stay on top of the details can help you not only survive the process but also finish the custom home of your dreams both on time and on budget.

You need four essentials when building a custom house. These include land, a plan for your home, money, and a reputable, licensed contractor to build it for you. Choosing the right custom home builder is perhaps the most critical decision you will make in this process, so choose this person wisely.

Get Ready
A significant part of the work of building your custom home actually happens before you even break ground. Researching how to build a house will be the first step, as the more familiar you are with the entire process, the more you’ll know where you’re re required to pay attention and ask questions.

Picking a site for your new home is an important step in the process. You and your family will need to consider your needs now as well as in the future to determine what you’re looking for in a neighborhood. Are good schools important? How about walkability? Or are you after solitude and space?

Do extensive research before selecting your residential architect. When choosing, consider your architect’s personality and approach to design. Do they seem to get you? Are they listening to your needs? Give your architect as much information as possible about your family’s must-haves, plans for the future, and visions for your dream home before the process begins.

Some people spend a year or more researching and planning for the build of their custom home. Select the right person to build your home, as they should guide and inform your research and design process, as well.

Get Organized
Custom homes allow you to select everything in your new home, from where to hang cabinets to how many windows you have. But, like a kid in a candy shop, it’s important not to get too carried away with customization that translates into added expenses and changes to your designs during the build.

When researching how to build a house, be sure to note all the different phases of the build and how each depends on others. This will help you understand when and if changes are possible during construction.

Tracking and monitoring all the aspects of your build is perhaps the most daunting part of the project. Get to know your phone apps well, set reminders on your calendar, and start to think of spreadsheets as your best friends. These tools can help you keep track of everything from inspection schedules to payments on materials, from permits and insurance to clean-up and utilities. The best way to tame the chaos is to keep it from ever starting.

It’s vital that you inspect your home regularly throughout the build process and are aware of all changes, expenses, and significant decisions along the way. Clear communication with your contractor will help avoid potential problems and unintended modifications.

Get Packing
While the process of building a custom home can be stressful, starting early, doing your research, having a definitive plan and budget, and staying on top of the details can help reduce that stress a lot. Working with trusted professionals helps tremendously, as does involving yourself in every step of the process.

Before you know it, you and your family will be moving into your newly built custom home. While there may be headaches, delays, and surprises, it will be worth it when you can turn your new house into a home.


Here is What We’re Seeing with Hot Trends in House Designs

Here is What We’re Seeing with Hot Trends in House Designs

Here is What We’re Seeing with Hot Trends in House Designs

photography by Lisa Russman

The home trends that most excite us these days are those that match our guiding principles behind custom house design. For us, space should be to bring families together, not separate them. And, you and your needs should define house designs and plans. Not all trends in house design are relevant for the typical family today, but we think these will appear in new and exciting ways in our clients’ homes in the coming few years.

Space for Work
Modern house designs must include spaces for work as, more than ever before, people are working as freelancers or telecommuting. There are actually two trends in one here that we love for families in need of workspace, one of which we’ll talk about below.

If your land and zoning allow for it, you might want to consider a backyard work shed. Detached workspaces are low-cost but efficient ways to create a dedicated room for concentrated work time. Garden sheds are getting an elevation in status as these multi-functional spaces can also serve as guest rooms or teen hangouts as your needs change. With a small footprint and efficient use of space, backyard getaways like these create purposeful space for those who need some separation to work productively.

Open Spaces with Flexible Uses
Our love for open, flexible-use areas stems from our understanding of how families use space to share and cohabitate. We love rooms that accommodate the chaos and discoveries of family life while also meeting the needs for entertaining, cooking, and working at home.

Powerful house designs use open spaces to create flow, allow for zones that meet different purposes and use visual details and organization of space to add interest and inspiration. We specialize in custom plans which reflect the way our clients work and live, and open spaces provide flexibility for the vibrant life that makes a house a home.

Having flexible space means you can work comfortably from home while also keeping an eye on the kids’ activities or monitoring the stove, and you can shift gears whenever you need. The added benefit of these flexible spaces is they can change and adapt with your family over time. Rather than having dedicated spaces for specific purposes, this design strategy means you can use your living space in whatever ways meet your family’s needs now and in the future.

Space for All Family Members
House designs should consider the needs of your entire family, which includes even the four-legged members. If your home contains a canine companion, then you will love this new design trend. Having a specific dog-washing space in your home is excellent for keeping the mud and grime your dog brings into your house at bay.

Incorporating a pet wash in your garage, mudroom, or other space is a simple detail that can control the chaos of cleaning your pet. These areas are also great for cleaning muddy boots or any of those messy jobs you don’t want to track through your house to the bathroom or laundry area.

Small Spaces
Just because you have a smaller budget does not mean you have to skimp on architectural design for your home. Smaller homes are becoming more families a more popular entry point into a housing market that is increasingly more expensive. The challenges we love about small spaces are the opportunities to get creative with solving problems for our clients. Not only must nearly all the areas be multi-use in smaller homes, but factors like energy efficiency, simplicity, and organization become even more crucial when we design your home.

Your home isn’t just a place to sleep and eat, it’s the epicenter of your life, and we’re always interested in ways to combine form and function to solve problems for modern families. What challenges can we help you solve?


You hired a residential architect?! Smart move!

You hired a residential architect?! Smart move!

You hired a residential architect?! Smart move!

photography by Lisa Russman

While all architects design spaces to meet human needs, residential architects specialize in designing homes that create harmony and safety for families. Working with the right professional can help you create spaces that meet your requirements while building a home that is beautiful and practical. If you want to make the most from your house’s architectural design, you need a residential architect, and here’s why.

What Does a Residential Architect Do, Exactly?
Unlike the design of workplaces and commercial facilities, residential architect design specializes in creating living spaces for use by families. Your residential architects’ mission should be to create functional and aesthetically pleasing spaces for families of all sizes. How you take advantage of your home’s spaces is unique and special, and the design should be, too.

Because the structure of homes is very different than that of commercial spaces, residential architects have to be knowledgeable in electrical and HVAC needs for residences. Plus, they should be experts in zoning regulations, building codes, and the use of materials in residential spaces, so you don’t have to be.

And while all that is the nuts and bolts of residential architecture, what residential architects really do is work with families just like yours to exchange ideas, then translate your needs and desires into a beautiful plan for your home. What turns a mediocre design into great residential architecture is when client and designer are partners in the process. Your architect should build your home only when he or she feels they can thoroughly understand your needs and create a design that will match those.

Just as you wouldn’t trust a delicate surgery to your local taxidermist, you should not trust the design of your most substantial financial investment to anyone but a skilled residential architect. You will live, work, play, and thrive in your home for years to come, so why would you trust its design and realization to anyone but a trained professional?

Architectural Building Design Can Improve Your Life
Designing a custom home provides you with the opportunity to build a house that can help you live happier and healthier. Another reason hiring a residential architect is a smart move is that we can ensure your home provides clean air for you and your kids and is constructed using healthy and safe materials. Don’t trust the health and safety of your family to anything else.

Great Residential Architecture Can Save You Money
Another benefit of working with a residential architect is we can help you prioritize your wishes for your new home into the best possible options for your budget. The right architect can also help you create an energy-efficient home that will continue to save you money for years to come.

By maximizing your fuel savings and lowering your carbon footprint, residential architects help you use fewer resources to live the lifestyle you desire. For example, your designs could take advantage of steel framing, making use of the most recycled material on the planet. Other green and recycled materials are available, and your home can be good for you as well as the planet.

Residential Design is Unique
What we love most about designing new homes for families is that it gives us a chance to create unique spaces that match the rhythm and pulse of each family unit. Homes are places to explore your possibilities, to live out your dreams, to discover the unknown together. The right space provides you with limitless experiences to connect with one another.

Passionate, qualified residential architects understand that homes are spaces for connection, love, and real living. Families should define the home, and we rejoice in the opportunity to make that happen.


Nailed It!—Here's Your New Home Construction Arsenal

Nailed It!—Here’s Your New Home Construction Arsenal

Nailed It!—Here's Your New Home Construction ArsenalBuilding a new home, whether on your own lot or as part of a new home development, comes with many challenges. By knowing what to expect, having a detailed plan, and following up on each piece, your construction project will run smoothly, and you will definitely have the home of your dreams.

Those who have built their own home would agree there are many dos and don’ts for tackling this type of project. Here are a few to consider to help you avoid builder’s remorse and have a successful home-building experience. Let’s start with the things to avoid when planning and executing new residential construction.

The Don’ts of New Home Construction
1. Don’t skimp on structural components. Your budget should allow for building the safest and most structurally-sound house you can afford. Materials that need to withstand loads, weather, and other forces should be of the highest quality. Skimping on some design elements can help you stay within budget, but details like windows, doors, siding, roofing, and cabinetry are costly to maintain and replace if they fall apart suddenly. Choose the best you can afford on these vital components.

2. Don’t neglect your lighting. Take advantage of natural lighting options, like windows and skylights, whenever possible. Plan for lighting early, and consider how light changes throughout the day will influence the functionality of your spaces. A well-lit home is safer, more inviting, and functions more effectively.

3. Don’t forget to plan for electrical and HVAC. Let’s face it, these hidden systems are easy to ignore, but they are also challenging and expensive to change once construction has begun. Consider all current and possible future uses of your space when designing the electrical plan, and be sure your HVAC system will keep your home at a comfortable temperature, safe from moisture, and ensure your air quality for many years to come.

4. Don’t let someone convince you to make changes that aren’t right for your family. You’re the expert on how you use space and what you need. Building a new home allows you to create the design and layout that will work best for you, so stand your ground when others try to convince of something you know is not right.

The DOs of New Home Construction
When considering building in a new home development or on your own land, here are some things you should know before breaking ground.

5. Do have some extra cash set aside. No matter how thoroughly you plan, unanticipated costs will probably occur. They can come from unavoidable increases in labor or materials, surprise complications, or a design element you find mid-project but want to incorporate. Setting aside some extra dollars, without adding them to your proposed budget, prepares you to be able to complete your project on time.

6. Always track every expense. Spreadsheets are your best friend while undertaking new home construction. Record everything that is purchased or invoiced throughout the entire project. To avoid surprises, share this with your contractor regularly, to be sure you are both on the same page regarding expenditures.

7. Be sure to ask questions ahead of time, and always know what you are signing. Because planning is crucial when building a new home, asking questions before you begin construction will avoid mistakes, confusion, and costly fixes. Contracts with builders, architects, and sub-contractors are essential for your protection, but you must understand the agreement before signing it.

8. Always hire professionals with the right knowledge. An expert architect and a trusted, licensed contractor will be your two most significant assets on any new residential construction project. These professionals have the experience and expertise to plan and execute your vision for your new home, and they will build that house on time and budget.


For a Timeless Look, Here Are Our New Home Design Basics

For a Timeless Look, Here Are Our New Home Design Basics

For a Timeless Look, Here Are Our New Home Design Basics

photography by Lisa Russman

New home plans that are in balance with their environment while also being functional and straightforward will stand the test of time. Creating new home designs that not only meet your needs today but also well into the future, as your family grows, allows your home to grow and evolve with you.

Classic architectural details and clean lines never go out of fashion. If you look at homes designed several decades ago, those that still feel fresh and timeless include simple features and design choices that emphasize functionality and balance.

Simplicity
Select new house plan designs that are simple and straightforward. The personalization of your new home comes from focusing on one or two main focal points in each room and on the exterior. Selecting neutral colors for your overall palette means your house won’t feel dated in just a few years, and you can create interest and personality with the addition of bold accents in a few, well-selected locations.

You can customize the look of your brand new home design with a single focal point for each space. Depending on the room, that point could be a piece of furniture, an architectural detail, meaningful artwork, or an outstanding view. These focal points become easy to update over time, leaving the timeless backdrop untouched.

Functionality
Clean, uncluttered spaces are also timeless in their usability. While function can change over time as your needs evolve, you want a home that can be lived in and used now and in the future without significant alteration. New home plans with open designs and spaces with multiple purposes can serve your family’s needs well into the coming decades, creating flexible areas of your home that evolve from homework space into a home office, from playroom into a teen hangout.

Functionality also means using materials that will stand up to years of use as new home designs should comfortably serve families for decades to come. Well-chosen materials ensure lasting beauty and usability.

Balance
Brand new home designs should strive for balance in all areas, including both within each space and also within the surrounding environment. The proportion of elements creates harmony, and a professional architect can help you achieve this. Use of natural light, indoor plants, and natural building materials create a balance between outdoor and indoor elements, making your home feel a part of the environment in which it sits. New house plan designs that incorporate windows, skylights, natural fabrics, hardwoods, stone, and other organic materials will still look and feel fashionable many years from now. You create functional, simple spaces when you opt for these design elements.

Balancing classic features along with trendier pieces also adds personal touches. The combination of vintage and modern elements allows for the recycling of used goods, the personalization of any space, and the creation of timeless rooms that reflect your passions and interests as they change.

Design choices that create a lower impact on the environment also reflect balance. Using less water, generating fewer waste products, and utilizing green technologies improve your home’s efficiency and increase its balance with nature.

Selecting the Right New Home Design
What matters most, though, is that whatever new home design you choose fits your lifestyle and makes you happy both today and twenty years from now. Have fun with the design process and make it your own. Using these guidelines, you and your architect can create a design for your home that will surely stand the test of time.


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.