Home is where the heart is, and there is nothing more exciting than building your own house. It’s estimated that close to one million new homes will be built in the next year, which is a lot of customizing—and all that personalization can cost you.
But, do not be deterred! Building a house from top to bottom can save you money in the future. Still, if you’ve ever thought about building your own home, you’ve probably thought about the cost that comes along with such a large project. So let’s see just how well you could come out on the other end if you build your own home.
Why planning is just as important
Estimating the cost of construction starts and ends with good planning. Without strong plans, the execution can get lost, and that’s when things get sticky. Having a good strategy for timelines, materials, and professionals that need to come in is paramount to the overall completion of your project.
Plans allow for contractors to see what time constraints they are working under, where the budget sits, and the expectations of the homeowner. Having drawings of what you’d like to see at the end of the project is a good idea, but don’t let that be your only guide. One set of plans won’t equate to an accurate estimate that can then be derived for the build.
Cost per square foot
There are varying ways to estimate the cost per square foot for your construction project. The cost per square foot is the total construction cost, including contractor fees, of heated and air-conditioned areas of the home. Construction costs are also dependent on the material that you plan on using to build the house—so remember that more expensive materials will max out your budget much faster than slightly less expensive materials. The average home builder spends between $150 and $300 per square foot, with $150 on the cheaper side and $300 on the very high side.
If you have a strong budget in place, you should be able to calculate how much you can afford to spend per square foot without stretching the budget too far.
Finding the right contractor
As with any project, hiring a professional is an important step. When it comes to construction, no one knows the process like the people who do it every day. Professionals such as general contractors, architects, and structural engineers are all outstanding resources when it comes to planning a new addition to your home. However, the design and complexity of your addition can better determine which type of professional you will need to complete your project.
Not only will the right contractor help you in the process, but they will also aid in building your house from the ground up. All plumbing, electrical, air conditioning/heating, or HVAC will be brand new, so you won’t find any hidden surprises behind the walls of a pre-existing home. Truly one of the benefits of a new build is the newness of everything, meaning fewer problems down the road if things are done right.
Having a budget is an important part of new construction. Without including the building plan, the budget is exponentially significant because that’s truly your starting point. Without a budget, you can’t even begin to make decisions on aspects of your new home. It’s okay to have a strict budget, but allow for a little wiggle room somewhere just in case unexpected costs arise—which they usually do.
This doesn’t mean you have to increase your budget far beyond what you can realistically afford. But it will provide a cushion for any last-minute additions or problems that may come up during the build.