How to Stay on Budget When Working with Custom Home Builders

The time has finally come. You’ve found your dream home! What an exciting moment. Can you picture it now?

Reading in your custom librarynook. Enjoying large family meals in your dining room surrounded by the beautiful molding you’ve always wanted. Sipping coffee in your open concept kitchen. Parking your car in the garage and still having room for storage. Ah, that’s the life!

And, it’s almost upon you. But, first you have more decisions to make as you work with your custom home builder to design the home of your dreams.

How to Stay on Budget When Working with Custom Home Builders

So, with all these big daydreams, how can you possibly stay on budget?  To be honest, it’s not always easy. You may be faced with unexpected costs or delays as the process moves along, but fret not. We’re here to help keep you on track. Here are some of our top suggestions to keep your budget in check along the way.

Don’t Get Too Carried Away
Of course it’s fun to daydream, but in reality, we don’t need everything we might be able to conjure up in our daydreams.

To ensure your house is built to fit your lifestyle we recommend you make a list of must-haves and want-to-haves to help address what’s most important. You must have that half-bath on the first floor. You want to have two ovens in the kitchen. You must have traditional and USB outlets in the kitchen. You want to have a built-in bar in the basement.

Everyone’s list is different. If it’s you and your spouse designing the house, make your own separate lists and then come together and determine what is really important to both of you before starting that conversation with your custom home builder. If children are involved, you might even want to ask the kids. They might have ideas you didn’t even think of, but love.

Rein It In
Keep the big picture in mind. Stick to your must-haves. Try to sprinkle in some want-to-haves. Then, rein it in.

Buying the home of your dreams that you get to design with your lifestyle in mind is such a luxurious treat. Enjoy the moment, but don’t get so carried away that you become house poor. Instead, you want to live in a home you can fully enjoy, appreciate, and afford, and in the end, you will have the perfect house for you and your family.

Develop Good Rapport
Over the next few month, or longer, you’ll be communicating with your custom home builder a lot. This person is experienced and will guide you in your decisions, so chose wisely. Now that you’ve made your decision, trust in your contractor. Take his advice and be open and communicative about your ideas.

Communication is vital to achieving a home you’ll love, so treat your custom home builder with respect. Tell him exactly what you want, speak up in a timely manner, be prepared to deal with a few curve balls, and know that this person wants you to love your new home as much as you do.

Prepare For The Unexpected
Expect the unexpected as things will come up. Timelines may be altered and your budget may need some adjustments. So, when you are thinking about your budget, plan for the unexpected. A good rule of thumb is to expect to go over budget by about 10% as you can’t plan everything, and know that we’ll do everything we can to help you stay on target.

Carefully Review Your Contract
There are many reasons this is a good idea, but just one is to ensure your allowances are reasonable.

Often, custom home builders will provide an allowance when you are choosing items like cabinetry, countertops, flooring, lighting, plumbing fixtures, and the like. If the bid looks too low, talk about it in advance.

At Madison Homebuilders we want you to have a home you’ll love to live in and proud to show off, so we provide durable, timeless, beautiful options for you to choose from. However, if you have your heart set on something else, let us know and we’ll make adjustments and help you achieve your dreams.

Consider Alternative Options
Corian countertops may have topped your must-have list, but you forgot you also wanted radiant heating under your wood floors, which ups your budget. Don’t automatically splurge. Instead, consider the alternative.

Maybe radiant heating trumps Corian, but you also really love a combination of granite and butcher block, which may create even more ease when actually utilizing the kitchen. Explore your options because you might be missing out on something that will give you even more functionality once you live in your new home.

Avoid Change Orders
Once you’ve made your decisions and voiced them to your custom home builder, consider them permanent. Even if the builder isn’t installing your master bathroom for three months, the plumbing fixtures might already be ordered. When this happens, if you really want to change your mind, you might incur a change order fee and it could also affect your overall completion timeline.

Building a home is such a wonderfully rewarding experience, one you will look back on and appreciate, especially once it’s complete and you can finally move in! But, in the meantime, follow the above advice to stay on budget and make the process even more enjoyable.