10 Tips to Staying on Budget
Building a house in the Bay Area can be a tough and costly process. If there is terrible planning or execution, the process can shake you up financially in ways you never expected. To keep your sanity and avoid enormous financial issues, set up a budget and stick to it.
Here is how:
LEARN ABOUT THE PROCESS
Pre- and post-construction play a large role in the final cost. From soil testing and building permits to inspections and internet hookups, everything has a price. Learn about every detail so you can set a more realistic budget.
READ THE CONTRACT THOROUGHLY
Certain unprofessional companies use hidden costs to drain their clients’ pockets. So try to resist the charm of builders and carefully read the contract. Even consult a lawyer if you have to. When reading, focus on what’s included in the cost, the payment process, and warranties.
FIND THE RIGHT BUILDER
In the end, everything comes down to finding the right team for the job. The builders and architects you choose should have the experience, legit licensing, insurance, transparency, and a ton of satisfied clients. Look for professionalism and problem-solving instead of empty promises.
FIND THE RIGHT LOCATION
When choosing a lot, you might fall in love with a certain location. However, don’t forget that not everything is what it seems. Many sites have issues with the soil and belong to zones with strict regulations. This will undoubtedly increase the cost. So consult experts to learn as much as you can about the site and always choose a lot that needs less preparation.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY!
The best way to stay on budget is to stand firmly on your feet. If you notice things aren’t going according to plan, communicate this with the contractors instead of keeping it to yourself.
Some homeowners are shy or lack the confidence to express their opinions. This can be harmful because building a home is all about proper communication and planning. Do extensive research and approach the contractors who you communicate best with. It’s your house, after all!
KEEP BUDGETING DURING THE PROJECT
A construction process is more unpredictable than a soap opera. You may encounter complications right from the start. This means that you might have to spend some portion of your budget on fixing these issues. Be prepared to sacrifice certain ideas in order to stay on budget. But make sure you sacrifice aesthetics and design instead of quality and functionality!
MAKE A LIST OF PRIORITIES
Most new homeowners have tons of ideas for decorating and designing. Sometimes they can get carried away with imagination, forgetting the practical aspects of building. To avoid this, make a list of priorities and hang it on the wall. Look at the list every time you go too far. For example, if you get obsessed with hardwood floors, remind yourself that you can achieve the same effect with LVT for half the price. All those little choices for the higher-end materials add up and could bring you way over your budget.
BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR NEEDS
Usually, when people build a home for the first time, they want to include every idea they ever had. So yes, you can use Pinterest for inspiration but try to be realistic about your needs. Do you really need to have natural stone floors and countertops? You might, but you can always install them later on.
Building a house from the ground up is expensive. A dollar saved is a dollar earned. So stay on budget by putting some ideas aside.
LOOK FOR WAYS TO CUT COST
Use social media to your advantage. Connect with relevant sites to get email notifications when there are discounts and offers. Also, don’t be afraid of making bulk orders and incorporating used materials. With a bit of repainting and new handles you can upcycle almost anything, and give it a fresh and look.
BE WARY OF FALSE ECONOMY
When we try to cut costs, we can easily slip into the zone of “I don’t need this” or “I can do it myself”. This kind of reasoning might help you stay on budget now, but it will cost you a lot more in the future. We should never compromise quality and functionality.
However, try to avoid undertaking complicated DIY projects or anything structural (unless you are an experienced builder or architect). The backyard is a great place to test out your building skills, try to make a fence or do some landscaping. Small DIY projects
can cut costs without damaging the house’s quality.