How To Plan Your Project Budget


Everybody has that number in their head; The number that they want to build their dream home for. But a dream home is unlike any other product – the cost is uncertain. Everybody uses the cost per square foot differently and as a result, it can only be relied upon as an estimate. The only way to get price certainty is by breaking down the project into cost areas. We call this our design to budget approach.

The project budget is a pretty simple equation:

Total project budget = Site development costs + Home construction costs


Property Assessment and Purchase

As you may note in our recent post about land , your site heavily impacts the ideal design and can pose a number of unexpected cost factors. These can include site preparation, well/septic/power to the site, property improvements and road access.

Assess your property before you build and determine the amount of work that will have to be done to make it viable. One last cost that can often be forgotten about is property improvements such as landscaping, stonework, etc. This is why we stress site-specific design as it helps you establish a baseline for the site development costs. This baseline will let you know how much you have to spend on the construction of your new home.  

Home Construction

Once you’ve taken out site development costs from your total project budget it’s time to begin designing your dream home. Our home package is a fixed price as a line item, in your budget, but it is the most important one as it drives all the other costs that follow.

Depending on what your dream home is, you often make a trade-off between your wishes, your needs and your budget. Some design styles are more expensive for the same square footage but give the look that certain customers want. It is also important to factor in local labor rates, as some areas vary greatly.  

Home Construction Cost Factors Include

  • Type of home design
  • Size of the home
  • Quality and complexity of the home
  • Services/ foundation, and construction labor.
The last key cost area is interior finishing and this is where customers can frequently blow their budget. Eventual re-sale should also often be taken into consideration when planning the project budget. Getting the right balance between your land value and the home construction cost is important to maximize the value of resale later. It generally doesn’t make sense to put a $100,000 home on a $1,000,000 lot or vice versa.  

Planning Your Budget For Success

In conclusion there are several factors that are incorporated into the entire overall cost of your project. By budgeting site development and home construction costs you stay in control and can end at that number that you had in mind right at the beginning.


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