Monday, July 25, 2016

Cutting Costs in a Custom Build

This is the current state of our dining room table. Oh, the fun of building a house!

Our cost-to-build estimate for our new house went over budget of what the new house appraised for--by quite a bit. So, we are finding ourselves having to cut or change things in order to find more cost savings.

We knew with our budget we certainly wouldn't be building our "dream home" but we are still hoping to include a lot of nice custom features. As we analyze the cost-to-build numbers with our builder, we are making changes and cuts to save some cash so that we can invest in the few things that we absolutely don't want to compromise on  (which is mostly me putting up a big fight on things like windows, ceiling height, and the fireplace). Building a house can cause a lot of arguments with your spouse, so choose your battles wisely!

Below is a list of some of the things we are doing to save on costs:

1. Lower grade flooring in some rooms. Carpet for all bedrooms and upstairs loft, linoleum in the laundry room. Save nicer hardwoods for great room, dining room, kitchen and entry hall.

2. DIY open shelving instead of upper cabinets in the kitchen.

3. Stock/inexpensive bath vanities in the children's and guest baths

4. Inexpensive tile in bathrooms (and for Kitchen backsplash)

5. Minimizing the complexity of the roofline

6. Minimizing corners of the exterior of the house

7. Simple interior moldings and woodwork, no crown molding

8. Composite interior doors instead of solid wood. Save solid wood for front door and French doors.

9. Wood decking floor for the screened-in porch instead of tongue-and-grove flooring

10. No cabinets in laundry room (we will build our own in later)

11. DIY shelves in pantry

12. Reuse of our current refrigerator, washer and dryer

13. Doing all of the landscaping work ourselves

14. Painting all the interior walls one color to start, no complicated paint designs

15. Finding light fixtures that are on clearance or repurposed from Craigslist or Ebay

16. Finding cheap salvaged brick to use for foundation, fireplace and chimney

For those of you with experience in house-building, can you add anything else to this list? 

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