For anyone looking into building their own home, you quickly learn that everything has a price tag and those things can add up very quickly. It is important to know what to spend your money on, and where you can save while navigating the many choices you have.
First, start with a plan
Understand your budget, and shop around for the right contractor. This means checking references and asking if the contractor finished on time and on budget. See examples of the work done and make sure it matches your style.
In your plan, consider what your “must haves” are and what are “nice to haves”. This will help you craft your budget. Shop around and see what’s available and where items of equal quality and appearance are less expensive.
Consider what you actually need. Remember that you are paying for square footage, as well as plumbing, electrical and construction. Be smart about the layout to maximize the space and save money not just on building costs but on future utilities and furniture needs.
Second, get the right financing
If you walk into a new home build community, you may be offered financing options and even given a contract. Know that you can (and should) have a Realtor that is working on your behalf to make sure the contract is up-to-snuff. Likewise with the lender. Many times you will be offered a discount to work with a suggested lender, but that may not be the best choice for you. Shop around for the right lender to match your needs in the most cost effective way.
Third, know what to do yourself and what to leave to professionals
You can certainly save money by doing things yourself, especially if you have the skills, but otherwise, leave it to the professionals. In some cases, a licensed professional is required to do the work, so let them. However, if you want to paint some trim or plant flowers, say so and ask if it will help.
This also applies to getting your own materials. There are times the contractor will be able to use discounts only available to professionals, and other times you may find a perfectly unique item you want to use. Keep open communication with your contractor to discover when this is a good idea or not. They may just know something about that fancy shower head (and why it was on clearance) that you don’t.
Fourth, look for deals ahead of time for things you know you will need.
You may save money on upgraded units, especially those in plumbing, heating and cooling, if they are installed before walls are sealed in. This reduces the labor time needed and therefore can reduce your expense. Talk to your contractor about these options.
Some materials can take several weeks to get in, so when possible, go ahead and order what you know you will be using in order to keep the project on task.
Finally, have fun!
Be sure you keep your eye on the big picture- your dream home is being built! Don’t sweat the small stuff. When changes arise, consider the long term pro’s and con’s of the situation and remember this is all a new adventure and you are learning!
Sunshine Plumbing, Heating & Air is here to support homeowners with their plumbing and HVAC needs, whether new installation, maintenance, repairs or just friendly advice. If we can help you by providing a quote or making a service call, we would love to bring some sunshine into your life.