Custom Home-Building: Tips For Staying On Budget

Far too many people say “You WILL go over budget on a custom home build” as if it’s a well-known fact.

Well, it’s not a fact. 

We’ve seen a whole slew of custom home-building projects finish well within budget. And yours can, too! Below, we’ve listed six helpful steps you can take to avoid going over-budget (and get the biggest bang for your buck) on your new house. 


How to protect your budget during a custom home build

1. Be realistic.

The first step is determining where you’ll actually be allocating your money. 

Here are just a handful of the costs you’ll want to consider… 

  • Plot price
  • House blueprints
  • Construction expenses (materials, labor, building permits, etc.)
  • HVAC, plumbing, and electrical
  • Landscaping and cleanup
  • Any possible overruns and contingencies
  • And even moving costs

Spend some time researching the average price point for each component. Add them up and tack on a little bit of wiggle room to account for any oversights or splurges.

Once you have a good estimate, make sure you’ll actually be able to get adequate funding for the project – from personal savings, loans, or even “green home” government incentives.


2. Differentiate between needs and wants.

If there’s any hope of staying under budget, you’re going to have to establish which design elements are non-negotiable and which would simply be “nice” to have. 

Seriously…write a list. 

Equipped with this list, you can make more informed decisions on materials, finishes, and other design elements down the line. Plus, your builder can hold onto a copy of the list as well – that way, they’ll know exactly what your expectations are. 


3. Choose a builder who's got your back.

We aren’t going to sit here and tell you not to overstress about your budget. That would be unhelpful and unrealistic. 

In fact, we actually recommend obsessing over your budget – at least a little bit. 

That being said, if you’ve hired the right custom home builder, you won’t HAVE to overstress because they will scrutinize your project finances FOR you. 

When you’re deciding on a custom home builder, don’t only request previous work examples and references. 

Also ask how they intend to prioritize your unique vision and design preferences WHILE staying within your budget. Ask how they will keep you informed about budgetary concerns throughout the entire planning and building process.


4. Regularly monitor and adjust your budget.

Custom home builders who are doing it right have a fool-proof expense-tracking system.

At any given moment in the building process, you should be able to check how close you’ve come to your budget limit and view a breakdown of project expenses.

As you regularly track how your money is being used, you’ll likely find that you need to pivot from time to time. If an unexpected cost arises, you may need to adjust your budget and/or move around some funds you’ve allocated to another part of the project. 


5. Communication. Communication. Communication.

For a successful custom home build project, you must have clear, consistent communication. 

You’ll want to make sure you and your building team are on the same page at all times. Be open and honest with your builder about your expectations, design priorities, and finish preferences. 

Then, when any unexpected expenses and delays pop up – and I’m willing to bet they will – touch base with your building project manager. It’s important that you address these issues promptly to keep your project on schedule and avoid spending money on something you don’t necessarily want or need.


6. Explore cost-effective design alternatives

You’re designing your dream home – now’s the chance to go all out, right? 


But…if you’re working with a tight budget, some materials and finishes will simply be more cost effective than others. 

Say, for example, you’re picturing beautiful Black Walnut hardwood floors. To save money and make some room for other design priorities, you might want to consider something a little less expensive (like oak or maple). Vinyl plank flooring is also a GREAT alternative that will cut costs and require less maintenance.


Reeves Custom Homes | Hampstead, NC Custom Home Builder

Rest assured, when you recruit Reeves Custom Homes to build your home, you can expect clear communication and transparency through the entire process – from initial budgeting to the final walk through. 

Ready to start planning your dream home? Contact us today or browse our portfolio.


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