The Hidden Costs of Building a Custom Home

June 6, 2017

So you’ve decided that you’d like to design and build your next home… great! You’ve scoured the internet for ideas, collected your favorite designs for inspiration, and maybe you’ve even purchased land. You’ve probably even sketched out a budget. A firm budget. A to-the-penny-and-not-one-penny-more budget (we like the way you think). So how can you be sure your custom home won’t become one of the horror stories of homes that go over budget and over schedule? The truth is that most budget overruns are completely avoidable. Here are three common budget busters when building a custom home and how you can avoid them.

Hidden Land Costs

The cost of the land is about more than the price you pay to purchase it. It’s also about how much it will cost to prepare the land for the specific home that you want to build. This can include clearing trees, grading, permits and other expenses. Many view lots that are available in the Pacific Northwest require homes to be constructed on a slope which means additional engineering considerations will need to be made. In some cases, there may be additional permits required for the protection and preservation of wildlife. The good news is that by working with an experienced home builder you can get an estimate of land costs before you build so there are no surprises later. If you don’t own land yet, you can even meet with a builder on-site to get an idea of land costs before you purchase property. Talk to your builder about a complimentary Site Analysis before you sign on the bottom line to keep your budget in check.

Hidden Design Costs

There are three ways that architects typically charge to draw up custom home plans, such as a percentage of construction costs (typically $8-$15k per $100k of construction costs). Other cost structures are an hourly or flat fee. Although these fees are communicated upfront, there can be hidden costs once your plans are drawn up. If you hire a third-party architect (one that is not employed by your builder) then the architect may not have accurate information about current material costs, labor costs, or the land costs mentioned above. Choose a builder with an on-staff architect that works directly with the construction team so you have clear, realistic expectations about what it will cost to deliver the home you’d like to build.

Hidden Construction Costs

Making changes when your home is already under construction can bring lots of hidden costs that can quickly break the budget. That’s because once a home is under construction there’s a domino effect: every change creates a chain reaction that impacts labor, materials, and schedules. Not only does this create lots of added expense, but delays the completion of your home as well. Fortunately, this is completely avoidable by working with your builder’s design team to make all of the design decisions upfront before you break ground. Choose a builder with a proven process for delivering custom homes on time and on budget. At Estes Builders, our Fixed Price Guarantee and award-winning process means that you can feel confident that your home will be delivered on time and on budget. In fact, we’ve earned more than 130 positive testimonials from happy customers. Ready to get a jump on your new home? Contact us for a free Project Analysis. ]]>