7 Tips to Build a Custom Home on a Budget


November 28,2014 in Pre-Project

Building a dream home has become a part of the American dream. The thought of having a custom built house that is designed for the family can create a sense of euphoria for those with the means to build such a home. At first glance, a custom home project seems out of reach for most people. But with some effort in terms of planning and research, the custom home project can be affordable and enjoyable to almost everyone. 

The ideas suggested in the subsequent paragraphs are not only simple and practical but are very effective in keeping your construction costs within budget. 

Devise a Detailed Budget

Land, permits, utilities and professional services are necessary expenses that must be paid before the house plans are drawn. A savvy home planner will start at the very beginning of the process and develop a comprehensive budget that includes every possible expenditure. A general “price per square foot” estimate will provide a ballpark estimate for the cost of the house. Research is required to find the actual costs associated with building in a particular location. 

Make a Must-Have List

Those who will live in the house must determine what amenities must be included. For example; a bathroom for every bedroom is a luxury for some and a basic need for others. So, it always works if you make two lists; One for the items/ features that you need to have in your house and A second list about things that can be left out and are not desirable. 

Select a Custom Home Builder

Reputable home builders have requisite experience of working with people who get their homes custom designed and construct them based on their specific needs. However, you need to be well prepared to leverage that experience and their knowledge by doing the following; Ask questions that can be helpful in making decisions related to various cost reduction aspects Speak to former customers of the builder to determine if he or she is the best match for your project. 

Anticipate Material Costs

Timing is very important for building a custom house project. Any delay in starting the project may result in higher costs than estimated cost. Consider if the area is prone to natural calamities. For example; if the site is susceptible to a tornado or a wildfire; an earthquake or high tides, it may delay the project or can drive the cost of materials up. Talk to your builder as most of them have access to material suppliers that can offer significant discounts on ordering bulk materials. 

Define Personal Role - Use Your Experience 

One way to save thousands of dollars is to act as the “general contractor.” For people with enough time, this is an excellent method for being on the project site and maintaining control over the project. Other homeowners will take control over the interior decorator’s role because of professional experience in the field. However, people who assist in designing their house must be objective about their personal abilities to prevent mistakes that must be corrected by a professional. 

Shop For Bargains

Building, decorating and furnishing a home can break the budget if the owners are not aware of the various ways to save big bucks. The following practices save you not just money but can also become a great way to travel, meet people and enjoy the project. Taking time to find the right fixtures and furnishings, Checking for discounts online on products and equipment, Contacting wholesalers for particularly costly items Significant savings can be realized when deadlines are not cast in concrete. 

Avoid Last Minute Changes 

Once the project starts, it is best to avoid changes that are not absolutely necessary. Modest changes cause significant rework for the builder and subcontractors on the project. Lost days will result in more costs at the end of the project. This is one reason why most of the experienced builders ask the homeowners a series of questions early in the project to reduce the number of modifications that happen during the building process. 

Prior to starting a custom home project, one must conduct significant research about the local housing market. In some cases, building a custom home can be less expensive than the homes for sale in the local market. Material costs, labor rates, utility access and permits add up quickly. It would be wise and practical to evaluate the location with respect to all of these costs prior to making a decision to build a custom 

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I liked the part that mentioned considering the costs of the different materials. That would probably be important in the grand scheme because that way you know what you are likely to spend. Luckily, it seems like there are services out there that can help with customization to a home, which is probably a good thing for those who may need help. http://www.bercelbuildersinc.com

May 22,2015


I really liked your tip about making sure you have a budget in place! If you know about how much you're going to spend on certain things, you can find ways to save money in certain areas. That will be especially helpful if you end up overspending in another area due to unexpected costs. I'm still hoping I'll be able to realize my dream of building my own home someday! http://www.abbeymasterbuilder.ca/Where-We-Build/lacombe.html

June 18,2015


@ebonykleinman @JamesLisbon I built my first time two years ago and went over 100k on our budget. Never would want to do that again! Happy Friday to both of you!

June 19,2015