Unexpected Costs of Building A Custom Home

Building a new custom home is an exciting milestone in anyone’s life, which is why it’s important that you feel fully prepared when embarking upon this journey. One of the biggest aspects to building a custom home is the cost. Of course, most people are aware that this project is going to cost a large amount of money, but it’s totally worth it in the end! 

No matter who you speak to, they will probably tell you to over budget and leave room for extra costs that may arise. There are always those extra things that tend to pop up, and sometimes they end up costing more than you originally anticipated. Instead of having to choose the cheaper alternative or having to put certain areas of your home on hold, go into your home building experience fully prepared. In this blog post, we will be discussing some unexpected costs that tend to arise during the building process

Starting off, keep in mind that the process may differ slightly depending on the specific home that you’re working on. Not everything is going to go through the exact same process, but that’s also part of the fun of creating and designing your own custom home. For example, you might find that building a custom home in Fredericksburg is a little different than in Llano or Kingsland. A great thing to do is to speak with the builders and lay everything out so you can get a better idea of exactly what is going on and when it will be taking place. 

Before You Start Building

Permit Fees

Depending on where you plan on building your new home you may need to purchase a building permit, a sewer/septic permit, an electrical permit, or an occupancy permit. There also may be other permits that you’ll need depending on where you plan on building. Almost all of these permits require payment and can end up equalling hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Not only will you want to set aside the budget for these permits but also the time. It’s always best to give yourself more time than you think you’ll need since you’re depending on others. 

Lot Prep Fees

If you’re building on a set piece of land that needs to be prepped to be built on you’ll have to factor these costs into your budget as well. The work that it takes for land to be prepped to be built on can be both costly in time and money. Also, depending on where you live it may take longer due to weather delays. While site prep for a relatively flat plot of land can cost between $3-$5 per square foot for a home, a steep wooded lot that may require more preparing such as tree removal and leveling can cost around $15 per square foot or more. 

Utility Costs 

If your home doesn’t have access to electricity, you’re going to have to pay for the electrical company to connect to your home. If you have a gas line that is near your property, you’ll need to pay for that hook up to the natural gas as well. You’ll need to be connected to the local sewer system too. All of these connections and hookups are aspects of the building process that you’ll need to pay for and can vary depending on where you are and what needs to be connected specifically. 

All of these costs are just come of the basic costs that you’ll need to prepare to build a new home. This does not include the actual cost of the materials or labor that may be needed to actually build the home. 

The Actual Homebuilding Process 

Before you make your construction contract, make sure that you’re making it as detailed as possible. While it may be impossible to specify every single material and detail that will go into your home before you actually start the building process, being as detailed as possible beforehand will give you a better idea of the entire process. This is especially relevant for those who are customizing every aspect of their home. 

Your builder should take all of your personal choices into consideration when building the allowance into your contract. They should also give you a full estimate of the price range that you can be expected to pay. This will be based off all of the information that you’ve provided them. You’ll also want to put your lifestyle considerations into plan. For example, if you’re someone who loves to cook and spend a lot of your time in the kitchen, your contractor should discuss that you should allocate more of your budget towards that room versus the laundry room. They’ll be able to help guide you towards the areas of your home that you’ll want to put more detail in versus the ones that you can compromise with. Some common allowances that may be in your building contract are: 

  • Cabinets
  • Countertops
  • Flooring (Hardwood, Carpet, and Tile) 
  • Plumbing Fixtures (Bathtubs, Facets, and Sinks)
  • Kitchen Appliances 

If you are given these allowances in your contract, you’ll want to make sure that you’re being reasonable with your pricing. In fact, considering the pricing options of all your choices beforehand is a great way to find out your options and if you can maintain your allowance with these. 

Even if you are finding that these allowances are reasonable, you’ll still want to be careful during the construction process. It’s easy to get carried away and fall in love with the perfect countertops or kitchen appliances that are just a bit more expensive than you originally planned for. However, while the difference may seem small, those differences quickly add up, and you can end up with an incredibly larger cost that you started out with. You’ll also most likely have to pay this money-out-of-pocket, unless the things that you add increased the appraised value of your finished home,ince the lender that’s providing your end loan is going to base the amount they are willing to lend on what your home is appraised for.  

At the end of the day, building your new custom home should be an enjoyable and fun experience. Working with the right builders can also make a world of a difference. At Sterling Creek Builders, we’re here to give you the home of your dreams while making the process as stress-free as possible. From offering you detailed estimates and timelines to selecting  the highest quality of subcontractors, our team strives to achieve incredible relationships with our clients while also meeting your goals. With years of experience, you can trust us to get the job done. Connect with us today to learn more! 

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