Sunday, November 16, 2014

I’m having a custom home designed, what should I worry about?


I’m having a custom home designed, what should I worry about?


One thing that I see a lot of when clients that I’m working with design custom homes with an architect is that the home ends up being so large and elaborate that it becomes out of your budget before they ever get to building the home.

Everyone likes the idea of having a large custom home to live in, especially if you have friends or family that are already living in one. What you need to think about is how much space do you actually need to live, function and enjoy your home time in?

I’m not saying that you have to build a home that is so small that the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living room are all within sight of each other, but do you really need two living rooms? Do you really require 6 or 7 bedrooms if you plan to only regularly use 3 or 4 of them? The amount of bedrooms will affect the amount of bathrooms in your home. People who have 7 bedrooms in their homes usually have 5 or 6 bathrooms. If you stuck to 4 or 5 bedrooms then you would need 3 or 4 bathrooms. This saves you money because bathrooms are extremely expensive per sqft to finish and you are able to shrink the rest of the house around it.

Things like that are simple decisions and what they can do is allow you to have a large home but also a home that you haven’t used up a lot of your budget on things that you might never use like bedrooms no one will ever stay in. The extra money you save can go into things like better insulation or a better roofing system. These things aren’t sexy but they will save you thousands of dollars in the future.

If you don’t want to put them into things that you really can’t see or use (insulation, heating) then take that money and install a higher end floor, trim, kitchen, bathroom fixture, fireplace, decks, and carpets. Those are things that you will get a lot more use out of and they will also show better to people who come to view the home.

Remember that whatever you tell the person you have hired to design the home they will put in the drawings. The problem comes when you get to the estimating stage and then you realize that you have designed a home that you can’t afford. This means that you need to go back to redraw the whole house or compromise on the finishing’s (which are the things that you use and see every day).

Try and keep the needs and wants when designing your custom home in balance, that way you won’t be disappointed when you get to the estimating stage.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

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