Archology

Big Home, Little Budget or Little Home, Big Budget?

Where should a client spend their money? Let’s face it, everyone has a budget. The architect for Bill Gates’ house once told a story of being told the house he was designing was too expensive, so what chance do most owners have? It all really depends on their budget and what they’re looking for in a house. Many people these days are building their own homes as many think it is cheaper than purchasing a house that’s already been built. Whilst this may be true in some instances, purchasing a home from builders can also be affordable. A lot of people do still prefer to purchase their houses from companies like Saussy Burbank as they find that their homes are done to such a high standard, they’re worth the additional funds to just be able to move straight into the house. Some people like that, whereas some do prefer to have more of a say in the building process. If that’s the case, there are smart ways and less smart ways to save money when building a house. I’m going to make the argument that the smartest way to save money is to do two things.

The first is to really decide what rooms are important to you. I find a really smart voice on the rethinking of the modern house plan is Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big House series. She argues that every project has a balance between detail, budget, and size. Most clients seem to want to build the biggest house they can afford, and usually have a pretty fixed budget which means the details are what gets lost. I’d suggest going a different route, lose rooms that have limited or no function, or consolidate functions and build a quality structure with attention to detail This is, of course, something to discuss with RANDY JEFFCOAT BUILDERS or whoever is taking care of the construction of your dream home. Here’s why, size alone doesn’t guarantee market value. I’ve seen many houses with a lot of size, but poor layout where the size is actually a hindrance to enjoyment. In addition, the more house there is, the more house there is to heat and maintain, meaning your larger house is also a more expensive house. A smaller house, if designed well, can be unique and gives future buyers the opportunity to imagine how they might add onto the house to bring their own stamp to it. Spending the money on better materials and finer craftsmanship in a compact volume designed well seems like a better long term investment than simply building the biggest box you can afford or legally place on the site. If you need additional funding to financially support you in your entering of the housing market, you may want to start reading up on information about payday loans.

The second smart way to save money is to put your money on the portions of the house that are the longest lasting or hardest to replace. In a rough order, I’d list it foundations; structure; windows and doors; interior finishes; counters and cabinets; hardware, appliances, and fixtures. A foundation is a relatively cheap piece of the pie to begin with, and if you’ve ever seen someone jack up a house to fix a settlement problem, you’ve seen how difficult a job fixing an undersized foundation is, and if you haven’t seen it done before, you better hope your foundation is suitable for your home, Foundation repair can become difficult if the damage to the property is extensive. The structure is wise to spend a little extra on because it supports everything else. You can lay the most beautiful floors down or marble tile on the wall, but if the structure is on the weak side, those finishes are going to be damaged by the natural motions of the house in response to use. Windows and doors can last anywhere from about 5 to 100 years depending on type, material, and quality of manufacture. Getting a high quality window or door is going to cost a good bit up front, but the energy savings and the length of service they can put in pay for the difference in no time. The rest of the list are things that generally get replaced every 5-20 years anyway, so if you have to skimp, why not skimp on items that will be the first things removed?

The two methods may seem a bit contradictory, and you can often save money by thinking more holistically about your house or making intelligent, high value decisions at any point, but just because you may be a bit of a value client, doesn’t mean you should settle for a simple vinyl covered box with glorious cabinets and granite countertops like so many McMansions when you could have a much loved local landmark house that is appropriately sized for your intended use and thoughtfully designed and built using quality materials.