5 Hidden Expenses of Home Building

When it comes to building the home of your dreams, there are tons of online resources which can help you choose your home design plan. More often than not, when calculating your costs for any given building plan, people assume that the calculated price is a complete price list for building your own custom home.

Estimated costs are exactly what they claim to be: estimates. The true cost of building a home can often come as a surprise because it is wrongly assumed that the estimate that online calculators give you a complete estimate, when they actually give you a baseline estimate instead.

To be sure that you are choosing to build a home on your newly purchased land or lot that is still within your budget, there are a few important expenses which need to be factored in to your overall costs before you decide to commit to any one plan or design.

Additional costs can crop up in all sorts of aspects of building a home, and a lot of those costs depend on different factors which can affect the overall costs. Here are five easily missed expenses that come with building a home that can help you calculate costs more accurately.

One: Where You Build (Site Costs)

The place in which you choose to build your home can be a major factor in how much you will pay for your home in the long run. If you chose a sunny spot on top of a hill, for example, your costs will run higher than a builder whose home is on a lot with a paved street.

Public utility access can also affect costs significantly. Running electricity, a sewer line, or other utilities can be costly if your home is not on an existing grid too. There are also permit fees associated with building homes that will have to be paid to the municipal government to open lines to your new build.

Unfortunately, these kinds of fees and expenses can only be calculated with an estimation.

Two: Materials, Both Inside and Out

Every home needs a roof, lighting, kitchen cabinets, and similar home items, and the cost of these necessities can vary greatly depending on which ones you choose for your home. Flooring is a must have, but whether you choose to go with tile and Pergo or exotic hardwood floors can change your estimate by $10,000 or more.

The costs of your design plans can rise significantly should you choose to use expensive details like crown molding, custom lighting designs, and high-end hardware for kitchens and bathrooms. Figuring out your probable costs (or at least accounting for your particular tastes) for these types of expenses will give you a much clearer bottom line estimate.

Three: Your Driveway

Unless you are trading in your car for a bicycle or finding alternate routes to your front door, you are going to need a driveway at your new home. Driveways are surprisingly easy to forget about when designing your home, and they can quickly become very expensive depending on their length and the location of your home.

The same expenses need to be considered for other similar areas like patios, yards, and other landscaping spaces.

Four: Laying the Groundwork

Your home’s foundation will likely be designed to be built on a slab. Prior to this decision, your builder will need to order a soil tests and surveys of the land before they can sign off on your plans. The ways in which your land slopes, the soil type, and where the site is situated are all considerations that a builder will need to have before they can give you an accurate estimate, and that cannot be done without a visit.

Most builders will have a basic, average sum for the building plans, but these costs can add up quickly if should any alternations need to take place to ready the land for building, and may not include excavation fees.

Five: A Change of Heart

As your home begins to come together, you may see some things that seemed better on paper than in reality. Once you sign off on the building contract, mid-construction changes can be costly beyond the changes you are considering.

Not only will there be additional material costs, but you will also likely accrue costs for redrafting of plans, the cost of changing the contract (which may or may not have also penalty costs associated with it), and added labor costs.

The easiest way to avoid the sudden shock of having to pay for modifications is to assume that these types of things may arise, and personally pad your building estimate with some extra funds should the need arise.

In the end, you want your custom-built home to be perfect, and planning ahead for the unexpected will help you build a better budget that more accurately reflects the final costs of your home.

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