We’ve all heard those horror stories from friends and acquaintances who found themselves paying much more than they bargained for when building their custom home. Maybe you’re so worried about your budget getting derailed that you’re afraid to leave the station. With more than two decades of custom home building experience in Western Washington, we’ve seen just about everything. While our industry doesn’t have the best reputation for sticking to a planned budget, Estes Builders does. In fact, we have a stack of industry awards and testimonials from satisfied homeowners to verify that we are committed to building custom homes on time while keeping homeowner budgets on track. In this post, we’ll share a few of our favorite tips for making sure your custom home budget doesn’t go off the rails.
Talk About CostsYou should absolutely interview prospective custom home builders and take a look at their building and design processes before making a decision. After all, building your dream home is an investment. Finding a builder who understands your vision and respects your budget is essential to a positive custom home building experience. Many custom home builders operate based on allowances, sometimes referred to as a “cost plus contract.” This may seem like an attractive option for your budget because the initial cost is typically lower. However, because you are agreeing to cover increases in costs after the contract is signed, your budget can quickly be derailed by fluctuations in materials, labor costs, and more. If you’re serious about sticking to your budget, have your builder price out your selections and guarantee that you won’t pay more than your final quoted price.
Ask the ExpertAfter selecting a builder you trust to build your custom home, you’ll want to meet to develop your ideas and get a realistic idea of costs. Your budget may be affected by logistics such as:
- Supply and demand of materials
- Updates to building codes
- Your location
- Building design
- Land costs (grading, clearing, drainage, utilities, etc.)