If there is one issue that can utterly destroy a new custom-built home project, it is a budget that is not well thought out and planned. A budget that is haphazardly put together can sap the energy out of the project very quickly and leave you with an unfished build that becomes a nightmare. We want to make sure that does not happen to you.
Make the Plan – this should go without saying, but you would be surprised how many people go into a new home build without a truly solid plan in place. You must clearly understand what will take place throughout this build before you ever take your first bid for the project.
The Non-negotiables – you are going to need to establish your priorities for the build. There may be problems that arise that could create increased costs, so what can you live without now and what must be included in this build? For instance, perhaps you do without that finished basement for now to save money because of rising supply chain costs. Prioritize… know where you have some give and where none exists.
Choosing the Right Crew – you want the right people in place that will make your dream come true, not make their vision come true. If you are unable to run the project yourself, this starts with hiring a residential construction project manager that becomes your representative on the project. He or she can also help with you have builders that try to confuse you with industry language. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, on this project must have your vision.
Be Realistic – you cannot always go by national averages when it comes to cost, so you need to be realistic about the cost of supplies. For instance, lumber prices are all over the place and the costs in Arkansas are going to be far different than the costs in Texas, which is exploding with new builds right now. Do the research and have a cost plan in place before taking bids (again, this is something a project manager can take care of for you.)
Stick to the Plan – that plan is only good if you stick to it. If you start saying, “Well, we might as well…,” you are going to be in big trouble. For instance, the contractor comes in and tells you that he just got a great deal on upgraded cabinets and it will “only” cost you $5,000 extra for an upgrade that would usually cost you $10,000, don’t take the bait.