How to Build a Custom Home on a Budget

Posted :
March 3, 2023
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Arbor Builders
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How to Build a Custom Home on a Budget

We all want the homes of our dreams, but most of us face a painful reality: our budgets. Custom-built homes typically cost more than turn-key homes, and the more customized they are, the higher their price. Costs can grow so high that we may rethink our goals and buy a turn-key home that gets us as close as possible to what we want, holding onto the hope that we can make revisions when we have the funds. We can’t expect to have it all, right?   

The good news is that there are ways to build a custom home without exceeding your budget. It just takes some creativity and planning. Here are some practical ways to minimize the costs of your custom build to make your dreams a reality. 

Rethink the Location

The area of town is a chief factor that affects your budget. Land near quality schools, proximity to shopping, neighborhood safety, and other factors fetch higher prices in the real estate market because the demand for those traits is high.  

By making a few sacrifices to your wish list, you can find a lower-priced parcel that works fine for you and your family’s most essential needs while giving you financial room to create your ideal home.   

Another unfortunate reality with home construction is that some builders higher fees based on the zip code because they think they can get away with it. Their strategy often works, too. You can combat this by shopping for competitive bids.

Choose Land That is Easy to Build On

Not all land is created equal. If your ideal property sits on a hill, prepping the ground and creating a solid foundation can significantly increase construction costs. Prioritizing land that is easy to build on, such as flat land or terrain that requires minimal preparation, saves significant time and money. You benefit even further when prioritizing locations already piped for water, gas, and sewage.  

Another way to save money is to choose land without a home. If a house is on it, you pay for both the land and the home. And if you plan to remove the home to make room for your custom design, you pay out even more.

Consider Land Offered Through a Builder

Design/build companies often secure land for their builds, and they know what traits lead to efficient construction. They often prioritize land that is easy to build on so that they keep their production quantities up. Even if they choose more unique plots of land, they do the legwork to ensure the ground is safe for building. They don’t like surprises. You stand to benefit from their homework.  

Many builders also offer financing for the land and the home. That bulk price may put your dream home within reach.   

Simplify the Design

Homes with square or rectangular footprints are more affordable to build. By designing with this in mind, you can increase your home’s quality and add in other customizations more affordably.

Build Higher, Not Wider

Changing from a single-story to a double-story home is a more affordable way to meet your ideal square footage. With more of the home under one roof, the house requires less roof material and foundation. You can also add electrical, plumbing, and sewage easier and cheaper.

Rethink Your Roof Design

The roof is one of the most expensive elements of a home, but there are ways to minimize the cost. Though a quality roof will give you more for your dollar, you can reduce costs by limiting the number of angles in your home design. You can also prioritize roof styles that require fewer materials and are easier to build. For instance, a semi-flat roof is cheaper than a gambrel or mansard roof.

Start Small and Then Go Big

Having a custom home at a low price doesn’t mean you have to own a tiny house. However, if you minimize the build at the outset, you can still achieve many traits you are looking for before you move in while giving you time to save money for the next phase.

Do Some of the Work Yourself

Your builder doesn’t have to do all of the work. You can have a designated list of requirements for your builder and then do the rest yourself. Some examples of DYI work include painting the home and designing and installing the landscaping.

Get Creative

There isn’t one way to design a room, and this fact invites opportunities! You may find that you don’t need high-end materials to maintain a quality look or that an open floor plan brings cost savings you hadn’t previously considered. By keeping an open mind and hunting for workarounds, you just might discover better solutions.

Use Your Sources

A contractor and architect may have sources they trust, but they still need to fit your budget. If you have other contacts, this is an excellent time to use them.

Hire an Experienced Design Build Company

Contractors with in-depth experience in design builds have a strong background in designing homes quickly and efficiently. They are also terrific sources for design ideas to help you maintain your budget.

Many highly experienced builders offer semi-custom and fully custom homes in addition to turn-key homes, which can help you achieve the look and functionality you want. These builders often have a ready list of design options and materials they trust. They also have experience ordering and stocking these items for faster access and more efficient building. And with floorplans already in place, many home designs can be reworked affordably to accommodate the custom traits you want most while bringing you closer to the price of a turn-key home.

For example, we at Arbor Builders offer turn-key, semi-custom, and fully custom homes to ensure you own a quality home that fits your needs at the lowest overall cost. Our history in the business has helped us gather quality materials and reliable sources to ensure a more affordable and timely build. We have in-depth experience in designing intelligent floorplans and homes that fit the latest home styles for high resale value. We still allow for fully custom designs, but many buyers appreciate and often use our sources and design expertise.

Hiring a local builder is also an intelligent choice. The company will have experience gaining local permits and may know important information for ensuring an easy and less costly build, such as topography and weather considerations.

Shop Around

As we said before, collecting multiple bids ensures you get the best price possible. One design company may also be easier to work with than another, leading to a faster and cheaper building process simply because you understand each other so well. It’s good to have a builder who speaks your language and works with you, not against you; otherwise, it could haunt you financially.

Arbor is Here for Your Next Custom Build

Arbor has extensive experience building residential homes. Our work includes turn-key designs, semi-custom homes, and fully custom designs. We even offer land to make the home-building process easier. In addition, we offer a wide range of floorplans that work as effective starting points for your custom build. We have a ready list of trusted materials that make designing your custom home even easier.    

If you prefer to design with other materials, that’s fine, too. Our long history in the construction business ensures that you have a more affordable build that doesn’t sacrifice quality.

To tour our designs or speak to us about your build, click here (need link). 


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