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The First Stop on Your New Home Journey

August 24, 2019

We have had homebuyers come in with a set of plans drawn up by an architect. To their surprise, these plans usually ended up costing more than 25% of the initial budget, not including the architect’s fees. Did you know we can sit down with you and create a house plan that is designed around your wants and needs AND within your budget?

When building a custom home, pre-budgeting is essential. Many homebuyers base their price per square foot expectations on what they see on the Internet or production builders (Learn about the different types of builders in our Homebuilders at a Glance blog post) who build homes in mass quantity. However, a one-of-a-kind custom home is priced according to the included features and types of finishes.

You may have heard the expression, “Not all square footage is created equal” throughout the home building industry. It’s true! Most production builders are creating houses from value-engineered stock floor plans. To keep the cost down, these houses tend to eliminate features and finishes that would not increase the appraised value. For example, additional square footage adds value but an interior wall clad in brick won’t.

Production builders generally use the same materials and finishes to gain through volume pricing from distributors and manufacturers. Repetition helps keep the price per square foot down. Since the plans are similar, the builder can also save with subcontractors as crews can put the homes together quickly.

Building a custom home is entirely different. Each home is unique and created to meet a particular family’s needs. The homeowners choose their features and get exactly what they dreamed of. In doing so, the price per square foot may be higher than a production builder.

Perhaps a home buyer finds a layout they love with a production builder, but the kitchen is too small. An architect is hired to design a plan with a much bigger kitchen. The larger room calls for additional cabinets and granite countertops on top of flooring and other materials.

On the other hand, let’s say the homebuyers decide a more spacious master bedroom is needed. This square footage wouldn’t include cabinets, granite, plumbing, etc. so the builder’s cost would be completely different. This is where “all square footage is not created equal” comes into play.

With a custom home, it is best to meet with the builder or builder’s representative to create a plan. A homebuilder can make suggestions to help save money on products and materials. Usually, they know how to get the best pricing available and suggest options that are easier on the budget.

Taking all of this into account makes starting with a builder a great starting point. Read more in our Working Together Towards Your Dream blog post.

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This post was written by Acadian Homes