How Much Does It Cost to Build a Custom Home?

So, how much does it cost to build a custom home? This is one of the biggest questions clients have when thinking about building a new home and it is an important one. However, when building a custom home there are many variables that contribute to what it is going to cost because it is, well… custom!

To help answer this important question, let’s take a deeper look into what some of those variables are and ultimately how you can design and build a home that is in line with your budget.

A Note on Square Foot Pricing
Some home builders hope to help their prospective clients answer the question of cost by providing them with a cost per square foot. However, the truth is that these numbers are often misleading. If you are planning to build a custom home, something to keep in mind is that it is a custom home. Because of that, a cost per square foot can only tell you part of the story. It is not necessarily able to account for features or details you may be looking for in your new home, or challenges that might come with your particular property or design, which could in turn lead to unrealistic expectations about how much building your new home will cost.

It’s All in the Details
It may surprise you to learn that 80% of homes designed are never built. Why? They came in way over budget.

The reason for this is simple: architects design homes that meet their clients’ design preferences rather than their budget. While budgets are generally discussed with architects at the briefing stage, they don’t always have a thorough knowledge of current building costs and as a result, they generally underestimate the cost to build a new home.

However, there are many variables that can significantly impact the cost of building a new home. These variables include things like:

*Location – Are you building in an urban or rural area? If rural, how far will trades and vendors need to travel to complete the work required? If urban, are there additional requirements or restrictions to be mindful of?

*Site Requirements – What type of utilities will be required for your new home? Are there specific challenges to building on your property? Will additional structural components be required, such as retaining walls? Is your lot suitable for a walk-out basement or will additional excavation be required to accommodate one?

*Size – What overall size of the home are you hoping to build? How big of a kitchen and bathrooms are you looking for? What is your preferred ceiling height?

*Design – What architectural features are needed to achieve your vision for your new home? Will steel beams, specialty windows, or flat roofing be required to create the home you are envisioning? Are you looking to build a bungalow or a 2-story home?

*Finishing – What level of finishing are you expecting for your new home? Are you looking for custom millwork built-ins throughout? Are you planning on incorporating specific wall or ceiling treatments?

And the list goes on. All these factors can have a big impact on how much a custom home will cost. For this reason, it is important to be aware of the cost implications for different design decisions throughout the planning process.

A Better Way
Thankfully, there is a better way of navigating through the complexities of costs. The key is in knowing your budget and involving a builder right from the beginning.

Before you engage a builder, you need to know what your budget is – what you can afford and what you would like to spend. These two numbers are not always the same, so it is important to decide from the start what your limit is for the design and construction of your new home.

Once you have decided on a budget, you will be able to engage a builder to design a plan for your new home that aligns with your vision and your budget. By discussing your budget openly with your builder at the very beginning of your project, you will be able to determine if your vision for your new home is achievable. Only a residential home builder has the experience to foresee the potential cost implications of specific architectural features or a difficult site.

If what you are looking for is not within your budget, your builder will help you to cap the overall size of your home or establish the parameters for the architectural design. This will help you to design a home that is right for you and your budget. Throughout the design process, your builder will also be able to make recommendations on where to cut back or save, based on your priorities.

Getting your design and specifications right from the beginning will in turn save you thousands of dollars in potential redesign fees and months of wasted time.

So, how much does it cost to build a new home? By now you can probably guess our answer: it depends. There are many, many things to keep in mind when determining what a custom home will cost. But involving an experienced custom home builder early on in the design process will help you to ensure that your new home design aligns with both your vision and your budget.

Want to learn more about building a custom home? Braemyn Homes is Calgary’s preferred custom home builder. Our clients can expect the highest standard of excellence delivered with exceptional craftsmanship and superb customer care. Call us at (403) 606-2923 or fill out our contact form to see how we can help you make your dream home happen.

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