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Home Building Costs

Money doesn't grow on trees and it takes more than a few dollars to build a house. If it's your dream home, you'll want everything to be perfect. This could be more expensive than you first thought. However, before you start to worry, start doing some research.

While accurate blueprints can help you get a more specific estimate from a builder, you may want to hold off on drawing up the final plans for a little while. To help your home plans fit your budget better, take the time to learn how much particular projects will cost. Altering the more expensive plans will help your home be built within budget. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are creating the plans for your home.

How Big is Your Home
Nothing in life is perfect. Which is why you sometimes have to change things to make them better. When it comes to building a home, it's much easier to work with even numbers than odd and that means you may have to change a few measurements. Round the size of your home up or down to increments of two feet. This will help you save money by not wasting as much material.

Another way the size of your home can affect your home building costs is by being too deep. A depth of up to 32 feet is usually the most economical. Houses that are deeper than 32 feet often need to have custom built roof trusses and that can quickly drive up the cost of any home.

Squares, Rectangles and Circles
Obviously, the simpler the shape of your home, the simpler it will be to build and therefore the less it will cost. This is why many homes tend to be rectangular or square in shape. Although adding more angles and corners to your home can give it a very unique look, it can also drive the cost up with the extra labor and materials needed to build your distinctive home.

If you just can't stand the thought of a box home, then consider a dome-shaped home. These homes are able to keep costs down by making efficient use of materials

Getting Ready to Build
Building a home on top of a rocky hill top may give you a beautiful view from every window but it will also increase the cost of the build significantly. Not surprisingly, building on flat land that is easily accessible by car will cost a lot less than building on that rocky hill top. While all construction sites need to be prepared, having to bring in loads of dirt, clear trees, blast through rocks or do a significant amount of grading is more prepartion than you want. To prevent things from getting too expensive, look to build on land that needs as little preparation as possible.

More Than You Planned For
It is an accepted fact that every home build goes over budget. No matter how well you plan ahead, unexpected problems will always arise during the build. Plus, it's not unheard of for home-builders to change their minds about a particular feature or room at some point mid-construction. So when you establish your build budget, expect the unexpected and set aside an additional 10% of your budget specifically to deal with these surprise costs.

Make Contact
One of the best ways to establish a homebuilding budget is to talk with professionals. Call around to local contractors and find out how much they would charge to build a house similar to yours. Be sure to mention the size, quality and features your looking for in your home. Don't forget, though, that their price will include not only the build, but also labor. If you're willing to do some of the work yourself, you may be able to pay a bit less than this quote.

Don't forget to ask the builders if you can see a list of prices for the materials they will be using. This can be especially helpful when it comes to making your budget.

Another great way to figure out your budget is to look at several new homes in the area where you plan to build. By deducting the cost of the land from the price of the home, you can get a general idea of how expensive it would be to build a particular home. Be sure to look at homes that are similar in style, size and features to what you plan to build.

Inflation
If you expect that it will be a few years before you actually start building your home, then remember to account for inflation when you create your budget. Market inflation will increase the cost of building your home by 3% to 6% each year. If you are making your plans and budget according to other homes that have recently been built, then try to compare prices with homes that have been constructed within the last six months.

Some Things to Remember
Keep in mind that some features will cost more than others. Although they can add a very distinctive quality to a home, custom made items will significantly increase the cost of your build. Other items that can drive up your building costs include:

  • The number, size and quality of your windows
  • Putting in vaulted ceilings
  • Having a high pitched roof

If you really want to watch your budget, then keep an eye on your spending in the bathroom and kitchen. Often, these are the most expensive rooms to build.

If you want to maximize your space without spending more, then consider building up instead of out. Compared to a one-story home, a two-story house is actually cheaper to build even though it may have the same overall square footage of the one-story. This is due to the fact that a two-story home requires less land, a smaller foundation and roof plus the plumbing and ventilation are much more compact in the walls.

A Final Word
Before you finalize your blueprints, make sure you have estimates on just what the build will cost. Consider all your avenues and decide what will be best for your taste and your wallet. It may turn out that you can save money where you thought you'd be losing money.

Hammer Looking to hire some help? Visit our contractor directory forum for some recommendations on professionals in your area.