The Do’s and Dont’s of Building Your Dream Home

The Do’s and Don’ts of Building Your Dream Home

Many people have the dream of constructing their own home from scratch. While building your own home is often more expensive up front, you may save money in time from not having to do repairs or renovations on items in a home that you simply bought. When taking on a major construction project such as a home build, however, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into account ranging from cost, time, and general do’s and don’ts.

How Much Does Constructing a Home Cost?

In 2022, the average price to construct a home was just shy of $300,000 which included the building, but no interior additions such as appliances or furniture. This price also varies based on location. For example, on the West Coast it may cost you around $131 per square foot to build a home, whereas it may cost you $155 per square foot in the Northeast. This means that to build a 2,000 square foot home, a person on the West Coast could expect to pay around $262,000 whereas someone in the Northeast should expect to pay around $310,000. 

Generally speaking, a home construction project can be broken down on a cost basis into a number of categories which include:

  • The excavation
  • Developing the foundation
  • Roofing the home
  • Labor costs
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Plumbing and sewer connections
  • General land development
  • Flooring
  • Painting
  • Electric wiring

Specialized home builds may have more that go into them, but the above are some of the most common categories for spend when building a home. 

How Long Will It Take to Build a Home?

In a perfect world, building a home can take as little as three to six months if all zoning and sites classifications have been met. However, for more complex builds or when certain approvals are required, it can take as long as two years until you are able to complete the build and move into your home. Consult with a contractor regarding how long the construction project will take so that you have an accurate timeline for expectations. 

5 Do’s of Home Building

As you begin the process of your home building project and are considering services such as professional engineering services or plumbing services for your project, there are a number of important things that all homebuilders should add to their to-do list:

  1. Do set priority tasks for your build

All homebuilders need to go into their project with priorities for the build. This will help from a budgeting perspective by allowing you to see where the majority of your funds will end up. To that point, some people may set a kitchen project as being the most important part of their build whereas others may care more about the exterior walls. 

  1. Do set a budget and stick to it

All home building projects need to have a budget so that the owner of the new home is not drowning in debt by the end of the project. Create a realistic budget based on what you can afford, and then stick closely to that budget moving forward. To that end, focus on segmenting your budget based on different parts of the home. For example, set a maximum spend limit for the exterior of your home. Then, set limits for the interior spaces of your home such as the kitchen, bedrooms, and more. Finally, set limits for what you are willing to spend on furtniture and appliances in your home. 

  1. Do think about how your home will be used

As you start to think about how you want the interior of your home to be laid out, consider how you will actually use your home. If you are constantly up and moving in the home, an open floor plan may be nice. However, some people may prefer a floorplan that feels more closed off so that rooms are separated more. 

5 Don’ts of Home Building

While all of the above to-dos are extremely important, there are also certain things a new homebuilder should avoid going into their project: 

  1. Don’t settle for the least expensive contractor

While choosing the contractor who charges the least for a project can be tempting, it’s not something you want to settle on for a project such as home building. While you may pay a lower cost now, there may be certain repair tasks that pop up in the near future stemming from a poor construction process. If there is anything you should invest more money into for a home build, it’s an accredited contractor. 

  1. Don’t neglect to get quotes for installations first

You can’t build a budget for your home building project if you have no idea what things are going to cost. Reach out to different contractors for appliance costs, service costs, labor costs, and everything in between so that you can have a better understanding of what your total building cost will be. 

  1. Don’t get in over your head

When starting a home building process, everybody wants the latest and greatest technology and tools to be used in the construction of their home. Keep in mind, however, that these items do not come free. The more complicated your home build is, the pricier the total cost will be. Keep your budget at the top of mind so that you don’t accidentally exceed your maximum spend as you start to get excited with the project. 

The bottom line

Building a home is a great way to create a place that you will love to live in for years to come. Whether you hope to build a home for the purpose of raising a family or simply to create a roof over your head that you can take pride in, homebuilding is an excellent project. With that said, consider the overall time and cost commitment before beginning your project to determine if homebuilding is something you actually wish to pursue. 

Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals 


Latest Issue

BDC 319 : Aug 2024