Before You Begin:
Building your home can be one of the most rewarding adventures in life! Selecting the right Designer and Builder is imperative to avoid unforeseen problems and successfully build your dream. What comes first?...the Builder or the Designer? It is common to be excited about incorporating grande ideas into a plan for your dream dwelling, but without consulting a knowledgeable Builder who understands budgets, you may find your dream plan to be impractical and a waste of time and money.
A good Designer/Builder can assist with your budget process and keep you on track. Discussing your budget is the first step in the process. I always tell my clients that one can choose TWO of three things: 1)Square Footage, 2)Price Savings, 3)your Selections. Decide which TWO are most important to you. Square Footage is the first factor that drives up costs quickly. Your Selections (like Granite, Tile, & Wood Floors) is the second factor that increases costs. (It's like a car that your spouse finds for $30K. You like it, but you want leather seats, but you want a sun roof, but you want audio video for the kids. The $30K car is now $60K. Your house is the same way! It's all about your Selections.)
Frequently people ask what I charge per square foot. There are so many variables involved that depend on your Selections...do you prefer basic or granite counters, tile walk-in shower, wood floors, etc.? The price can vary from $100 per sq.ft. to $175 per sq.ft. & higher. Builders (for the most part) are very competitive in pricing among themselves. We bid jobs in the millions and are within 3% of each other. A good builder just can't be more expensive than the other builders and stay in business. That's why when I see a customer that tells me they are bidding the job out to five builders and they show me an incomplete plan and no specifications, I politely explain the dangerous road they are about to go down. Without good plans and detailed specifications, you're destined to get bids comparing "oranges to apples." That's where the conflict begins and your disdain for the builder. A client expects a wonderful home aligned to the bid, but the low bidder later gives the client the news that he didn't include something or didn't figure doing it "that way". The change orders begin flying and the client becomes very upset. So be sure to detail everything you want in your home. Make sure it's in the ballpark budget and carefully select your builder, not the lowest bid.
Things to consider...