If you’ve ever gone the route of a custom-built home you know how expensive it can be once you’re done adding all of your must-haves into the design. We see this over and over again at our custom home design firm PlanViewDesign. But there are compromises you can make that won’t feel like you’re giving up anything important. Following are some areas of your new home where you can make some tweaks and come out saving money.
- Windows – Coastal North Carolina enjoys a mild year-round climate and therefore, it is not necessary to use high end brand name windows. All vinyl windows will save you a lot of money and you won’t lose any energy out them. Sticking with all vinyl windows can save you half the cost of brand name windows, which is usually a $15,000 - $20,000 savings.
- Reduce the Footprint – When building a home, you will pay more for square footage of home on ground level (horizontal) than on top of the first floor. Building vertically means placing an extra bedroom and/or FROG (finished room over garage) upstairs, can save you half the cost of a horizontal square foot. When you build a second story on top of the first floor, you will see your cost drop to 50% per square foot. This will significantly lower your aggregate cost per square foot to build your dream home.
- Your Kitchen – The single most expensive room in the house is the kitchen. It can make or a break a deal. This is where custom made cabinets, extensive plumbing/electrical work, upgraded countertops, stainless appliances and expensive flooring can be found. The average kitchen cost in Brunswick County ranges from $35,000 - $50,000. In high end custom homes it is not uncommon that the kitchens can cost close to or above $100,000. So, think twice about that $15,000 Viking 6 Burner Professional Tuscany Series stove. Perhaps that $600 5.0 cubic foot Frigidaire 4 Burner stove will suffice quite nicely.
- Rooms with Little Use – While sunrooms and formal dining rooms can add to the aesthetics of a home, they don’t always get the use to justify the price. Why spend considerable money on rooms you seldom use?
- Exterior Materials – About a decade ago we saw the transition from real stacked stone to manufactured (concrete) stone products. While this significantly reduced the cost of using stone in the façade of a home, faux stacked stone or brick are still more expensive than the ever popular Hardie board. What is popular today is building a Hardie Board home (shakes and or horizontal boards) with brick or stacked stone accents. Yes, Hardie in the long-term needs painting but it softens the price to build your home now and gives you the opportunity to change the color of your home later. It’s worth considering the new attractive vinyl products hitting the market as well.
Staying within the budget is everyone’s goal when they start out to design or customize a new home. But the reality is it’s tough to do. If you’re willing to compromise along the way you stand a far greater chance of keeping the costs to a minimum and staying within your budget. Good luck to you with your new custom-built home from all of us at Carolina Plantations!