In order to keep the cost of your project in line, we first identify your target budget...even before you become a client. We design for that budget from the beginning and assist you in making materials choices consistent with your budget.
Estimating the cost of a custom home before it is designed is a matter of identifying certain design elements and materials and assigning them cost factors. The price of any new home is the sum of the cost of materials and labor. Labor costs fluctuate, depending on the time of year and availability of work. Costs also vary depending on the skill and level of services of the subcontractor.
At Scorziell Development, Inc., we have been helping build dream homes for over thirteen years. We have learned many things along the way; one of the most important is learning how to design for a budget. Having ongoing experience in the construction aspect of the business we are aware of the realities of constructing the plans we draw and plan them from the beginning to fit your budget as well as your lifestyle needs. This is not an easy task, since there is not a human on earth who doesn't want more than his or her budget will allow, no matter what that budget is! Our job is to oversee the costs as design progresses and keep you informed about the effects your evolving design will have on the bottom line.
The very nature of custom design is such that there is no way to target costs exactly until you have a design. The traditional way to deal with this issue is to simply figure a price per square foot.
Number of Square Feet X Estimated Price per Square Foot = the total cost of your new home
Say you want to build a 2000 square foot home and you've heard a price per square foot figure that sounds reasonable. You simply take 2000 and multiply it times that number and presto! You have a cost for your new home!
Budget Horror Stories
As the horror stories attest, this is a very inaccurate and dangerous way to go about predicting costs and doing so has caused untold problems and heartache. Every year we have a few couples come in with a full set of plans designed by some architect or designer that they have put out to bid. The bids have come back high and we are usually the third or fourth company to look at the plans and give them our opinion of the bids. (Usually they think the builders with the high bids are trying to take them for a ride). In nearly every case the builders' bids have been in line; it's that the home was designed without a system for targeting costs. In a situation we encountered, a couple came in with a very fancy home design. They spent 2 years and thousands of dollars developing this design. After their bids came in they were $200,000 OVER budget. All the builders’ bids were reasonable and they ended up selling their lot and buying an existing home.
Accurate Cost Estimates
It's in the best interest of everyone involved to have clear expectations and accurate cost estimates from the beginning of the project. Our Cost Estimate Worksheet more accurately estimates costs before the design work is even begun, then targets costs through the design process.
Square footage is only one element that affects cost, which is why cost per square foot numbers are so inaccurate. We have identified several other criteria that can increase the cost of the home which have nothing to do with size. For example, a 2000 square foot home will cost less if it's built on a flat piece of land than on a steep slope because of the extra excavation and foundation work.
Before you become a client of ours, we complete a Cost Estimate Worksheet with you and use the resulting numbers as the basis for your project, if you decide to work with us. In this exercise we ask many questions about your wants and needs in a new home; questions that you'll have an answer for even at this early stage. We run new calculations based on your answers and give you an adjusted cost estimate. If your adjusted costs are over your budget, we discuss your options; prioritizing the extras, eliminating the least important ones until we get the cost of your new home to fit your budget.
At this point you have the information to decide if building a custom home makes sense for you and if a Scorziell Development, Inc. is your best option.
We continue to use our Cost Estimate Worksheet formulas at critical stages in the design process to make sure we are staying within the budget. If you make changes in the initial design program, we give you a new cost estimate before we continue. This way, when all is said and done, there are no surprises.
When you get into designing your new home and ideas start to flow, it's easy to decide that, as long as you're building, you "mize-well" add this or mize-well enlarge or upgrade that. The mize-wells can add up fast and can increase the cost of your home significantly. We're just about convinced that mize-wells are human nature and suggest you stash a little extra money away for them. During design we give our customers "mize-well alerts" if the evolving design begins to creep up in price so they can make their decisions based on more accurate budget information. Beware of the mize-wells if you're working on a tight budget.