A Des Moines Custom Home Builder Blog

How to Stay on Budget When Planning to Build Your Dream Home

Posted by Don Brill on Apr 5, 2019, 2:34:00 PM

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Building the home of your dreams is a fun and exciting process, but going off budget can quickly turn it into a nightmare. As you’re planning to build your dream home, it’s helpful to develop a few guidelines to keep you on track with your project. In the end, you’ll have a home you love without the stress of unwanted expenses. 

 

Make It Clear Up Front

Before you even step into a meeting with a potential builder, set the budget for your new home. Ambiguity, gray areas, and indefinite ranges can quickly get out of hand and put you way outside of your intended price range. Understanding and solidifying your budget before the process begins will make all other decisions much easier. Moving forward, if you’re not sure whether a feature is worth the added expense, start by simply asking, “Is it in the budget?”

 

Prioritize Design Features

Once you’ve determined your total budget, it’s time to prioritize the various elements that will go into your home. Compile three lists of features: needs, wants, and bonus features. As budget issues arise, these lists will help you decide what line items are more important than others. For example, if the hardwood flooring you want throughout the home costs more than anticipated, you might accommodate the cost by eliminating the pizza oven on your bonus feature list.

 

Include a Contingency Budget

Padding your budget is one of the most effective ways to stay on target. In most situations, there are expenses that simply couldn't have been predicted but are completely necessary for the completion of your project. This is where contingency comes in. It's the "wiggle room" in your plan that helps you account for the unexpected without going over budget. It’s recommended to begin with 15–20% of your budget reserved for contingency. However, as construction progresses, this percentage can gradually be reduced if unexpected costs don’t arise, potentially allowing you to add some of your wants or bonus features to the plan.

 

Make the Most of Your Savings

If you happen to come in under budget on a line item, you don’t automatically have to allocate those funds for something else. Even if the entire project is completed without a hitch, life always has a way of throwing extra expenses our way. So, if you don’t have to dip into your contingency budget, consider adding it to your savings.

 

Don’t Rationalize Overspending

When you are working with costs on the scale of a new custom home, it becomes easy to rationalize a little overspending here and there. When it comes down to it, though, your diligence can make or break the budget. A couple hundred dollars here and there can quickly escalate to thousands over budget. Be clear about how much you’re spending on each feature and why, and consistently weigh the costs against the value that each expenditure will add to your home and your life.

 

If you’re ready to live in the house you’ve always wanted, contact the professionals at Homes by Brill. Our team is dedicated to building a home that suits your lifestyle and fits your budget. Schedule a consultation with us and start planning your dream home today! 

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Topics: Design, Home Construction Process, Interior Features