For Homeowner

How to Reduce Your Cost of Building a Home in California

Oct 02, 2019
Design Everest
Building a New Home

Home buyers often find themselves debating if buying or building a new home is the route to go. Each option has its pros and cons. Buying an existing home allows the ability to move in right away, but can force homebuyers to compromise on floor plans and design layouts. Building a house from the ground up on the other hand, allows home buyers to construct the floor plan home buyers have been wanting but comes with the need to wait out the construction process.

Do you currently have a home floor plan or plot of land that is inspiring you to build? Although building a home on your own land sounds like a costly prospect, there are plenty of homes that can be built across a wide range of budgets. If you have been dreaming of designing a new home, there are several steps you can take to reduce the cost of building and still construct the home of your dreams.

Case for Building your New Home

In the current California housing market, the National Association of Realtors claims the average time an existing home is on the market is 30 days. This not only makes the home buying process extremely competitive, but difficult for buyers to find an existing home that fits their needs and budget. When building a new home, the competition factor is essentially removed.

Customizing a new home is a huge advantage for homeowners. First you will get to personalize every detail of your home-from layout, flooring and cabinets, lighting, paint color and décor! Even purchasing a tract home in a newly developed neighborhood will allow for customization options and finishes. This is a great alternative for someone that lacks the plot of land for complete customization, and also helps to reduce labor costs.

Perhaps the greatest pro to building your own home is that all new homes are built to meet the current building codes. This means less big-ticket maintenance issues that often come with purchasing older homes. Newer homes usually offer home buyers more energy-efficient options and up-to-date technology that is covered by a limited warranty.

6 Steps to Reducing Building Costs

The process to building a new home can take on average seven months to construct a new build, if not longer. Home builders need to be prepared to cover the cost of not only construction, but possibly renting during this time frame until they can move in to their newly built home. It is important to be prepared for unexpected out-of-pocket costs during the building process. As such, home owners need to feel empowered by the financial decisions they make while constructing a new home. Below are 6 steps that can help to reduce the cost of building and make sure you remain on time and within budget

Choosing a contractor wisely: It should go without saying that it is imperative to obtain all licensed contractors, engineers and professionals for your home building process. Choosing the wrong contractor can cost you more money and potentially leave you with an unfinished or out-of-code job. Professional, experienced contractors will complete a home improvement project more safely, efficiently, and appropriately. Before looking, it is very important to be clear about what your home building needs are. You should seek out several bids and references from family and friends, as well as the current or former clients of potential contractors. Making sure to hire a certified contractor with an in-state license will better ensure the proper permits are filed and building codes are met.

Size of Footprint: When choosing the floor plan for your new home it is important to make sure that you do not build too big. Although you may have lots of things or dream of a specific mansion, remember that what works for you today may not in years down the road. A larger house simply means more expenses and maintenance. Homeowners should consider what their construction needs vs wants are and then work with their professional contractor or engineer to choose a floor plan that best fits their needs. An open floor plan can make even a smaller house feel large in useable space and square footage. An efficient floor plan will always be more cost-effective than one that has underutilized space. The end result of choosing an appropriate size and layout, enables builders to stay within the proposed time-frame and makes your project more simple and affordable.

Efficient Use of Building Materials: Choosing cost-effective materials is a great strategy to reducing costs. Building a house with “good bones” is more important than high-end finishes throughout a home. This will also help reduce maintenance costs in the long run. Although labor costs remain consistent regardless of materials, choosing alternative finishes or less expensive flooring will also help to reduce material fees. When choosing more cost-efficient building materials remember that you do not have to sacrifice design aesthetic or quality.

Low Maintenance Design: Another way to reduce construction costs is to reduce the complexity of a design. This can refer to a complicated floor plan, ceiling heights, or elaborate landscaping. Complicated designs require more time and ultimately more money. Labor costs can get expensive, so it is important to reduce the amount of time it takes to build. Designing simple will allow for a more efficient building process with less mistakes. Choose quality where it matters most like windows, roofing and siding. Better quality products will last longer and are easier to maintain.

Lower Energy Bills: Building an energy-efficient home can help with the long-term financial costs of being a homeowner. There are several ways to reduce energy costs once homeowners move into their newly built house. Properly installed insulation in floors, walls and attics will ensure consistent temperature with less energy usage. Energy-efficient windows help to keep heat out during the summer, and during the winter. A tightly sealed home for construction and ducts can improve comfort and air quality in home while lowering utility and maintenance costs. Installing energy-efficient heating and cooling systems can reduce humidity, run quieter and improve home comfort. While the upfront cost for better quality products may be higher, the homeowner will ultimately save money in cost and maintenance.

Spending Wisely: Once you have created a preliminary design, get an estimate from several contractors to make sure you are close to your budget. If you are, then keep going with the design process but prepare for unexpected costs. Sticking to a budget is crucial to the building process. If remaining on budget seems impossible, than it is important for homeowners to review their design expectations comparative to the financial reality. Considering an alternative design, choosing different finishes or putting funds on hold can ease the burden of building costs. Homeowners also need to monitor construction costs throughout the project to ensure builders are keeping on track for time and budget proposals.

Remember, efficient designs and functional layout plans that fit the neighborhood are the ones that save initial costs and result in higher ROIs for homeowners. If you’re looking to build a new home or need further advice on how to reduce the cost of your new build contact Design Everest at (877) 582-8089. Our specialized engineers here are available to help you with all of your construction needs.

Sources:
[1] https://www.energystar.gov/sites/default/files/tools/SPP%20Sales%20Flyer%20for%20Residential%20Home%20Builders.pdf
[2] https://loans.usnews.com/financial-mistakes-to-avoid-when-building-a-new-home
[3] https://www.moneycrashers.com/save-money-building-new-house/

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