Volume 7: How can I design my dream home on a budget?

We believe building should be fun! You get to make your dream home a reality; what’s more fun than that? But, if every single element you look at is blowing your budget, the fun quickly evaporates. Not to worry, you can still design the home of your dreams without breaking the bank! Here are some tips to help you keep the price in line, while still getting your beautiful new home designed just the way you always dreamed.

Design Tip #1: Location, location, location

We’ve all heard this before, but it rings true here; beautiful scenery is priceless. Build your home in a location that you find beautiful and half the work of building your dream home will be done. You won’t have to worry about covering up a bad view, you’ll be able to enjoy scenery that provides moments of quiet and a nice view for coffee in the morning. Choose a location that is still close enough to all the places you frequently go for easy commute.

Design Tip #2: Use it or lose it

When designing your home, splurge in the areas you use most. Add the high ceilings you love in the kitchen and family room, but leave the secondary bedroom & bathroom ceiling heights lower. Splurge on upgraded flooring in your common spaces, but not in the utility room. A pretty kitchen backsplash that will be seen from the kitchen, family room, and casual dining area will be have a higher impact than upgraded flooring in the kids bathroom.

Design Tip #3: Choose the right builder

Find a builder that will creatively problem solve with you to meet your budget needs. As luck would have it… this is the topic of our next seminar. February 16, 2019 at 2:00 at our Pinehurst model home and design center, 32400 Highway 249. You’re invited!

Design Tip #4: Modify an existing plan

Modifying an existing floor plan rather than starting with a blank sheet of paper takes less time and cost. If your builder has in-house design, they may allow you to modify an already developed floor plan. Find a plan that meets the majority of your needs and then modify it to meet the rest. Choose simple shapes (e.g. squares or rectangles) since more complex ones (e.g. curves) cost more.

Design Tip #5: Think about curb appeal

Using mostly brick with stone accents will help you stay in budget. If you want a stone look, consider using a brick that is similar to your stone. When your home is viewed from the street it will give the appearance that it is all stone. Additional accents like cedar shutters will also add to the appeal of your home without adding a lot of cost.

Design Tip #6: Be Energy efficient

Look for energy efficient systems that will save you money over time. These may cost more up-front, so you’ll want to compare costs and calculate how long it takes for them to “pay for themselves”. The professionals you work with on each element will be able to show you how their products save you money. HVAC and insulation are high impact elements that are difficult to change after your home is built so you’ll want to make sure they work together efficiently.

Design Tip #7: Go standard

My favorite “design hack” for helping clients stay on budget and still get the interior design elements that they really want, is helping them determine what to do with their builder, and what they can change or finish later.

While you can postpone frills like fancy door knobs, expensive cabinet hardware, fantastic light fixtures, and high dollar faucets & shower heads till a later date, it doesn’t pay to scrimp on features that cannot be easily changed. Flooring, cabinetry, and countertops are hard to change and make a big mess you have to live with while changing. So, weigh these decisions carefully and get what is important to you. For the easy to change items, just go with the builder’s standards and then change them out later. Splurge on the hard to change items that give you the “wow factor” you’re looking for in your new home.

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