“When people have a preconceived idea of cost per square foot ahead of time, it rarely translates to the actual home that they want,” offers Alan Looney, president of Castle Homes. Instead, Alan suggests that you start with a budget and work backwards. A good team of architect, builder and designer can take a budget and design to it. You may end up with smaller square footage to achieve the quality materials that you want, but a good floor plan can compensate for slightly smaller space.
In order to truly manage your project, Alan recommends making all of your material selections before you begin building. “It’s the only way that you really know what your house will cost,” cautions Alan. If you have builders bidding on a project and they’re working from general descriptions like ‘wood floors’, there can be a huge swing in price based on the kind of flooring you choose. The same size home can cost either $300,000 or $900,000 depending on the specific products you choose.
Alan cautions, “You can also get too hung up on putting too much into a home, like too much crown and trim, which increases your price, and when you get your furniture into the space, it’s too busy.” A good builder can save you from making this mistake and other similar mistakes of “too-much” by consistently helping you to envision the space once your furnishings have completed the picture.