August 26, 2016

The simple answer is that costs vary based on each individual home design. Construction costs for a custom home can range from $150 to over $400 per square foot, but cost per square foot is not the best way to evaluate the price of a custom home. It is best to evaluate the primary cost centers for construction, exterior materials and interior finishes to understand how they impact the design of a home. Building a custom home is a personal and highly individualized endeavor. Before you begin, make a list of the most important aspects of the home you want to design and determine how they will affect the cost of construction.

Start with the Foundation
The foundation is one of the single most important factors in determining the cost of a home. For price estimates, the perimeter style and shape of a custom home have a huge impact on cost. A wide single story home with a courtyard and extended covered porches is much less efficient to build than a two story home on a simple rectangular foundation. The difference is the linear feet of the foundation versus the square feet of the interior space. More linear feet on the foundation equals a higher cost of construction.

Think About How the Home Lives
The number and size of rooms in a home determines square feet and affects costs, but a custom home is not about bedroom and bathroom counts. How many people are going to live in the home or having frequent visitors will help you arrive at the number of bedrooms. A game room and media room downstairs may be much more important to you than a formal dining room, or vice versa. There may be a hobby you need room for, or you work at home and need more space for your office. These are all preferences a quality custom home builder will help you prioritize, and identifying the rooms and spaces you want in your custom home will allow your builder to design the most efficient plan for your needs.

Think About How the Home Looks
A custom home typically costs more because of higher quality materials and specialized construction. Most of these differences in cost are easy to see. Stone or stucco exteriors can cost more, and tile roofs are expensive. Larger windows and double entry doors also cost more. A spiral staircase is more expensive to build than a standard staircase. Exotic granite, high-end wood floors, wall texturing techniques, arches, crown molding, ceiling treatments, faux paint, chandeliers, turrets – it’s a never ending list of choices that are all associated with higher costs. That makes it very important to have an idea of the style and materials that matter to you. It will help you keep your project on budget.

Live Within Your Budget
The cost of building a custom home is really up to each individual buyer. Your imagination can run wild, but there is a practical side to the home you want to build. That means determining a budget for your custom home, and sticking to that budget. Understanding the cost centers for home construction will help you make decisions that keep you comfortable with the price and allow you to build the home you want.