Building a dream for your new home: budget matters
Do you know how much you would have to budget to turn your “Dream House” Pinterest boards into the real thing? The shelf price for that kitchen faucet, countertop or range hood is really just one factor in your new home build budget.
Since creating a realistic budget for any new home build involves little-known factors, it’s important to have a transparent budget discussion with your build partner in the early stages. Here are a few FAQs that are often points of deliberation during a budget review.
What has the greatest impact on budget?
Often, but not exclusively, the bigger the square footage, the larger the price tag. However, you can pack a lot into a small space which would increase your cost per square foot. Another budget consideration, is roofline and footprint; The simpler the rooflines and foundation outline, the less costs are associated with the construction of them. Don’t underestimate the impact of location on budget. Whether you’re building in a rural or urban area, in a subdivision or on an island, access to materials and the site, along with environmental considerations will play heavily into your budget considerations.
Where does my budget go?
People are always surprised at how much labour is involved, and the cost of it. Typically a new home requires just as much labour as it does materials. Ask what is included in your labour estimates—you may find that it includes more (or less) than you thought. Often if materials are particularly rare or high-end, it will take more labour to ensure proper installation. Sometimes, on site supervision costs include planning and managing the job site, which will keep your budget and timeline on track.
Are there rooms that eat up more budget than others?
Bathrooms and kitchens tend to use up a larger percentage of the budget per room and are discretionary by nature. Although plumbing and electrical is more or less standard (unless steam showers, tiled showers, multiple pot lights, etc. are added), the cabinetry, fixtures and finishes can end up ballooning a modest budget. Keep your selections disciplined to stay within budget. Additional custom spaces like media rooms, screened porches, home automation, large deck areas, and extensive landscaping will affect both labour and material costs of your build.
How can I get the best bang for my new build buck?
Always circle back to your goals and vision for your dream new build. You may have to make some compromises, max out your budget on your “must-haves”, or come up with alternatives to make the budget go further. That’s where an experienced design-build professional will be huge benefit—their knowledge of budget-saving design, labour or material alternatives will help you end up with the home you’re envisioning.
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