Budgeting Tips for Building a Custom Home

Published February 2, 2024

Building a custom home is a significant investment, both financially and emotionally. Proper budgeting is crucial to ensuring that the project goes smoothly and that you end up with the home of your dreams without breaking the bank. Below are some tips to consider when budgeting for your custom home.

Set a Clear Budget Upfront

Before anything else, determine how much you’re willing to spend on your custom-built home. Take into consideration your savings, the loan amount you qualify for, and how much of a monthly payment you can comfortably afford.

Prioritize Your Wants and Needs

List out all the features and amenities you’d like in your new home. Next, prioritize them into “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves”. This will help you decide where to allocate funds and where to cut back if necessary.

Factor in the Land Cost

Remember that the cost of the land is a significant part of your custom home budget, especially if you haven’t already purchased a plot.

Consider Site Preparation Costs

The cost to prepare a site to build a new home can vary widely. Factors like clearing trees, blasting rock, or leveling uneven terrain can add significantly to your budget.

Plan for Overages

Construction projects often run over the initial budget. Set aside an additional 10-20% of your budget for unforeseen expenses.

Keep Design Changes to a Minimum

Changes made after the construction of your new home begins are one of the primary reasons budgets get blown. While some changes are inevitable, try to finalize your plans before breaking ground.

Consider Energy Efficiency

Investing in energy-efficient materials and systems might be more expensive upfront but can save you money in the long run.

Account for Professional Fees

Unless your custom home builder provides these services, you might need to pay an architect, interior designer, or engineer. Factor these costs into your budget.

Stay Involved in the Process

Regularly check-in with your custom home builder to ensure everything stays on track and within the budget.

Account for Utility Connections

If your land doesn’t already have access to utilities like water, electricity, and sewage, you’ll need to budget for the cost to connect.

Plan for Landscaping

The cost of landscaping can add up quickly, especially if you want extensive gardens, patios, or other outdoor features.

Choose Materials Wisely

While it’s tempting to opt for the highest end materials for your dream home, there are often less expensive options that are still durable and attractive. For instance, consider laminate countertops instead of granite or engineered hardwood instead of solid wood.

Understand Loan Costs

If you’re taking out a construction loan, make sure you understand the interest rates, terms, and any additional fees.

Remember the Finishing Touches

Things like window treatments, light fixtures, and appliances can add up, so make sure they’re accounted for in your budget.

Regularly Review the Budget

Continuously review and update your budget throughout the custom build construction process to keep track of expenses and ensure you stay on target.

Working with an experienced team of reputable professionals who can provide guidance and insight throughout the process is the best way to get the most value for your money. At LaFollette Custom Homes, our team will work with you to bring your vision of your new home to life without compromising quality. Contact us today to learn more about our signature virtual reality walkthrough experience to bring your dream home to life.



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