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Designing for a budget home and sticking to it

Taking the decision to build or buy is the easy part. The real work begins after that. To stay within a budget a few simple steps :

1) DESIGN: Get a clear understanding of how you would like to live and function and the functionality of your house, including space for future extensions. Try and plan everything with your architect right at the beginning, leaving very little scope for changes during the build. Which would require that everyone who lives in the house gets on board?


2) BUDGET .. BUDGET..: However while working out plans with the architect always choose functionality in the beginning. When choosing where to budget your money, make sure to adopt a “functionality first” mindset. Spending more on a high-quality water heater, for example, might not seem all that exciting, but it’s an investment in the future of your home. Remember that aesthetics change, but the quality behind your walls will always matter. You can always repaint your living room or swap out your cabinet hardware,but a compromise on the plumbing systems can cause years of unwanted headaches and expense.

3) CATEGORISE: The easiest way to knock up a budget is the failure to plan. Though contractors will assist in producing estimates, a far lot can be gained by understanding the process of costing. Start by categorising the larger costs involved especially in land development, landscape and the interior costs involved. Create spreadsheets to help you track the cost and expenditure in mind. A good understanding of prevailing labour and material rates in the market, will help you to plan your house with the architect that can fit right within your pocket.

4) CONTINGENCY FUND: Never in the history of building has cost of building ever been built exactly as planned . Various factors can railroad the planned expense, an unexpected land development issue, an unstable market price, vagaries of weather etc. It would be prudent to set aside for any such unforeseen possibilities, providing a safety net at all points in your builing process.

5) AVOID STOP CREEP: A few hundred here or there might not seem like a big deal, but scope creep can completely blow your budget. Scope creep refers to small, incremental spending that drives up the overall cost of your build. It’s when you opt for nicer finishes without plugging the new cost into your budget or authorize your builder to spend a little more on paint than you’d planned. Once you have your budget set, stick to it.

6) CHOOSE TO SPLURGE : There’s nothing wrong with a few pricey features in your home. But making a conscious choice to splurge on select treatments or rooms in your home means budgeting for them ahead of time. When you allow yourself to upgrade the important stuff, balance or manage it with budget-friendly in other areas . What’s more, a few personal splurges makes you feel more satisfied when it’s time to move into your new home.

When planning to build a house , keep in mind the needs of the users now and in the future and most importantly communicate with your architect. Keeping your new build budget low doesn’t have to be a strain, but good planning will reduce some of the stress. If you feel like you’re veering off-budget, some restraint and a few adjustments can help get you back on track. Just remember that you’ll be living in your home for years to come, so the choices you make now will definitely impact how you feel later. Careful categorization and good communication with your architect means a home you will want to come back to every day.

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