6 Ways to Trim Your Custom Home Budget

Cutting Costs While Keeping Your Vision

Custom Home Builder in Port Angeles | Estes Builders

September 25, 2023

Working with a custom builder is the opportunity to build the home of your dreams—to get nearly every inch of the design, every product decision, ever style choice precisely to your liking. That freedom does come at a cost, however, and wish lists and budgets can balloon quickly.

Here are a few tips to help save money when building a custom home.


1. Manage your wish list:

This is perhaps the easiest and hardest way to trim your costs. It can be a challenge to part with your vision. But most buyers can’t have every single thing, so smart decisions will be needed. We recommend dividing your wish list into three sections­—those things that are non-negotiable (perhaps a dedicated home office or third garage bay for a woodshop), those nice-to-have things that you want but could live without (perhaps a top-of-the-line refrigerator or lighted vanity mirror), and those things that you would only include if money were no object (perhaps an in-ground pool or a dedicated home theater). From there, it becomes easier to decide what can be cut and what must stay.


2. Consider easy swaps:

As part of your wish-list trimming, work with your builder to determine what elements can stay but in a less-expensive way. This could be appliances that aren’t European but still look sleek and deliver high performance, a lookalike countertop or flooring material, shifting the size or shape of windows, accomplishing your steel framing objectives with wood framing alternatives, and much more. Opportunities abound to get the features you want without breaking the bank.

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3. Leverage your custom opportunity:

Small choices in the size and layout of your home can add up to big savings. And a design/build firm like Estes Builders can help maximize the functionality of a smaller footprint, if needed, while making the most of views and other property amenities. This might mean rejiggering the floor plan or a ceiling height to bring in more light and volume, creating flex spaces for multiple uses, or arranging rooms in a way that is more efficient for space and views. We’ll also design with your budget in mind and help you make decisions to help avoid overspending.

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4. Work with a builder that respects your budget:

It’s easy for costs to skyrocket as you add items to your wish list, as property problems arise, as material costs climb, and other factors. Choose a builder that is up front about cost and how future or unexpected expenses are managed. For example, Estes Builders offers a Guaranteed Fixed Price that provides assurance against material price changes and other obstacles during the months when your home is being built.


5. Consult with a builder before buying property:

If you haven’t already bought your lot, consider hiring your builder first. Estes Builders, for instance, can help navigate questions like feasibility of the lot, setback requirements, geotech needs, and other potential challenges that will add to the cost of your home. They also can help determine how the vision you have for your house can be executed on the property in the most economical way possible.


6. Don’t wait.

It may be tempting to hold off on your build until the market changes. And while it is important to buy only when you can afford to do so, waiting for rates to go down or other factors to change may not be worth it. Traditionally, pricing trends go up over time, and you may be able to refinance higher mortgage rates later. In many cases, you may be more likely to regret waiting than making small adjustments to trim a bit of your budget now.

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Contact us today for a free Custom Home Investment Study and let us help you discover the possibilities for your own dream home.