Defining your custom home budget is usually pretty simple, but respecting that budget and sticking to it through the building process is a whole different story. Work with your home builders to develop a realistic budget goal. Since the industry is ambiguous in the variable of cost, it’s important to map out a preliminary number with the help of your team before you begin the build. That way, any potential problems are planned for and everyone is on the same page.


The Price Per Square Foot Problem

Price per square foot is one of the most misleading parts of the home building industry. When potential clients rely on this number, they can march in the wrong direction cost wise, leading them to major sticker shock when the preliminary design is completed. This issue often arises when working with architects. While they are obviously a very important ingredient for your custom build, very few are equipped to give an accurate costing analysis. They’ll give an estimate based on square footage analysis and create a working drawing based on it. Yet, when the builder runs all the numbers thoroughly, it ends up way over the agreed upon budget.

Respecting the Budget

The most cost efficient and quickest way to design your custom home while respecting your budget is to use an existing floor plan as a template to start with. Of course, you can still customize the plan to suit your individual desires, but using an existing plan will save time and frustration. Custom builders have a cost history on each floor plan in their repertoire, which makes preliminary estimating much more accurate.

Value engineering is an economical form of building that identifies and removes excessive costs by thinking in terms of overall design. Or, in a nutshell, improving the functionality of your home while lowering costs. Basically, your builder will offer suggestions and alternatives to lower the costs of your project in order to respect and stick to your budget. This can be difficult, but a quality custom builder like Sandy Spring can often “rob Peter to pay Paul” in certain cost categories as a way of value engineering—or, help you get what you want and stay on track by moving budgeted amounts from one category to another.

To learn more about budgeting for your custom home, feel free to reach out! Or, if you’re ready to work with a professional team of home builders to create an accurate custom home budget, give Sandy Spring Builders a call. We’ll work with you every step of the way, from conception to construction, and beyond. Contact us now!