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.