Cost-Effective Tips for Your Custom Home Project

Designing and constructing a high-quality, custom home can be expensive and take time. Custom-build projects involve complex stages and require efficient project management and professional expertise from top architects, contractors, and more. Managing the project’s budget is one of the most challenging aspects of building a cost-effective custom house. Countless items and their price tags, plus any surprise costs, contribute to the total value of the final product. That is why it is essential to begin the planning for your custom home project, already understanding what factors can influence overall costs and what you can do to avoid costly decisions or mistakes.

Which Factors Influence Custom-Home Building Costs the Most?

Many factors determine the costs of a custom home, and pinpointing every contributing detail for a project’s final price tag can be incredibly challenging, especially without a finished design. However, after taking a few steps back to look at the whole picture, we can see that there are generally five factors that play significant roles in establishing the foundation of a custom home project’s overall costs:

  • Home Design – size, shape, style (or type)
  • Home Finishes – exterior, interior, quality of materials
  • Luxury Amenities and Features – customizations, outdoor attributes, technology
  • Mechanical Features – electrical, HVAC, plumbing
  • Property Location – region, exact location, terrain

What Can Make a Custom Home More Expensive?

1. Getting Lost in the Details

Custom homes offer options for personalization that you cannot get anywhere else. However, custom-build projects are about more than finishes and fixtures. It would be best to have a solid plan of action going into the design and construction processes to stay on schedule and within your budget. Remember, larger homes are naturally more expensive to build because of the significant volume of materials they need and the larger construction crew needed to complete the project.

2. Unexpected Costs

Even with the most thorough plan and detailed budget, there’s no way to know which surprise costs might come up when building a house. Supply chain issues, damage to the construction site, and utility hook-up complications can all be incredibly costly. But not all surprise costs are exclusive to construction.

Not all builders agree to pay the property’s closing costs and utility fees, similar to what someone may pay when purchasing a resale home. Ultimately, those costs may become your responsibility. You will also have to prepare for the price of establishing the landscaping for your property and purchasing new appliances, blinds, furniture, etc.

3. High-Cost Finishes and Fixtures Upgrades

Every feature you upgrade will increase the total amount you spend building your home. The extent of an upgrade from the standard materials and fixtures will determine how much you will pay. From drywall, flooring, and light fixtures to cabinets, countertops, and appliances, strategically approaching these design choices pays off. Focus on the elements that are most significant to the integrity of your design first. You can always upgrade additional details at a later date.

What Can Help Reduce Costs?

 1. Set a Realistic Budget

The first and most vital step in the custom-home building process is to set a realistic budget and commit to it! Consider your property’s resale opportunities even if design and construction costs are not an issue. Ways to keep your budget in check include:

  • Avoid building the most expensive house in your neighborhood.
  • Outline the design’s essentials and stick to it to avoid splurging on unnecessary items.
  • Estimate the project’s total cost, calculate how much 20% of that cost is, and add that amount to your budget as a cushion for potential unexpected costs.

2. Smart Site Selection

Ask yourself what your home’s purpose is. Considering the purpose and function of your future property ultimately helps you determine which plot of land is the best place to build.

  • Are you building a multi-generational home where you are less concerned with its resale potential and more so with specific customizations?
  • Are you planning for a residential build where you want to prioritize luxury amenities and resale value?

It is a general rule of thumb to spend only 20-25% (and no more than 33%) of the home’s value on purchasing the land. So, keep an eye out for a plot of land that fits your home’s purpose while keeping as much of your budget available for the structure’s customizations as possible. Ways to save money during the site selection include:

  • Purchasing Developed Land with Pre-Existing Utility Hookups
  • Adding Space by Building Upward, Not Outward – building an additional story is cheaper than purchasing a larger lot or expanding the overall footprint of the home

Build the Home of Your Dreams with the Right Architect

At Mitchell Wall Architecture & Design, our sole purpose is to design and build the homes that our clients could only ever dream of. There is no project that is beyond the realm of possibility. We help bring your custom home to life with expert design, management, interior design services, and more.

To learn more about our services, please call us at (314) 576-5888 or complete our online contact form at

Related Posts

Exploring Innovative Designs in Modern Home Architecture

In the realm of contemporary architecture, innovation is not just a trend but a necessity driven by evolving lifestyles, env ...

Exploring the Advantages of Net Zero Homes

As environmental consciousness continues to rise, more people are turning towards sustainable solutions. Net zero energy hom ...

Exploring Architectural Design: Crafting Spaces With Purpose

A vital aspect of creating functional, aesthetic, and sustainable structures is architectural design. It blends creativity w ...

Sustainable Architecture: Principles for Facing the Future

Sustainable architecture prioritizes three core aspects: people (social), profit (economic), and planet (environmental), and ...

Eco-Friendly Futures: Embracing Sustainable Architecture

As we progress in a rapidly changing world, the need for sustainable solutions has never been more pressing. In architecture ...

Interior Decorating: Minimalist vs. Maximalist Designs

When it comes to interior decorating, there’s a captivating spectrum that stretches from minimalist simplicity to maximali ...