7 Ways to Control Costs During the Design Phase

Building a custom home in Cincinnati is a unique opportunity to create a space to call your own—in every sense of the word. You get to control each aspect of the project, from the size and layout of the building down to the type of cabinetry, flooring and other features incorporated into each room.

At the same time, this project is likely to be one of the largest investments you make in your life. To ensure you are maximizing that investment, it’s important to have a realistic expectation about the budget and then implement measures to control costs and prevent scope creep.

What is Cost Control in Construction?

In the construction world, cost control refers to the process by which you and your custom home builder collaborate to manage expenses and keep your project on budget. When you are creating something as important and personal as a home, it can be easy to add extras here and splurge there until the scope of work starts spiraling beyond what you originally intended. Other factors can also contribute to the price of your new home build in Cincinnati being higher than you expected or desired.

In order to properly manage labor, material and overhead expenses and avoid unwanted overages, you have to be intentional about developing and implementing a construction cost control plan with the help of your custom home builder. The best time to start this process is during the planning and design phase of your project.

How do You Control Costs for Home Building?

Building a beautiful new home without costs rising exponentially is completely within your grasp. Here are a few steps you can take during the design phase of your custom project in Cincinnati to not only control costs but also foster a more rewarding, stress-free process:

1. Set a Preliminary Budget

The first step to controlling costs is to know how much you can and want to spend in the first place. Don’t just pull a number out of the air. Do a bit of research about the average cost of purchasing land and building a new home in southern Ohio. Review projects that are similar in size and scope to what you envision. Look over your finances and then set a preliminary budget, or at least ballpark range, based on realistic figures.

2. List Your Priorities

Before you get too far into the design phase, write down your project priorities. What aspects of your new home are most important for your family’s comfort, well-being and long-term quality of life? What are items you’d like to include but aren’t essential? What would you want to include in an ideal situation? Start at the top and work your way down in order of priority. That way, if you have to make cuts or compromises during the design phase, you can do so easily by referring to your list.

3. Make Budget-Conscious Selections

During the design process, you will be faced with a myriad of decisions about what fixtures, finishes and features to include. Keep in mind that most major home components—such as cabinetry, flooring, tile work, lighting and appliances—are available at different price points according to their quality and grade. If you’re trying to stick to a budget, select economy grade or midrange finishes, such as stock cabinets and resilient flooring. If finances aren’t as big of a concern, you can splurge on that grand walk-in shower with spa-like features, hand-crafted tile backsplash, or real hardwood floor.

4. Choose Alternative Materials

Another way to implement cost control in construction is to collaborate with your home builder to explore alternatives when certain materials or products are outside your ideal price range. That doesn’t mean going with cheap or low-quality options. But an experienced builder will be in tune with the market and accustomed to working with a range of materials and products. When there are fluctuations in the market, and certain items increase in cost, they can suggest substitutes that enable you to still meet your project priorities and stay in budget.

5. Choose Standard Shapes

Complexity also has an impact on the cost of a new custom home. When making design decisions, avoid unusual shapes that are difficult to construct, and often more expensive. For example, try to stick to a rectangular or square-shaped floor plan for each of the rooms in your home. Other things to avoid include complicated roof-lines, extravagant ceilings, odd-shaped windows and other complex architectural and design features.

6. Build Up

Depending on the size and condition of the land you acquire for your new home build, you should prioritize building up rather than out. The most cost-effective homes tend to be those that are compact. By adding an extra story or two to your house in Cincinnati—as opposed to designing a wide, sprawling structure—you gain the same square footage while utilizing fewer materials for the ceilings, roof and foundation.

7. Be Confident About Decisions

Finally, utilize the design phase to explore your options and make clear, confident decisions. Before heading into construction, your Cincinnati home builder will provide you with a detailed budget and timeline for the next phase of the project. They also will complete pre-construction tasks like permitting the new home build, ordering materials, and scheduling work crews and trade partners. If you request significant changes to your home plans once construction is underway, your contractor will likely have to modify the schedule and order new materials—all of which adds expenses to the overall project price.

Constructing a New Custom Home in Cincinnati

Although you may be willing to invest significantly to build a home in Cincinnati that you’ll cherish for years to come, you still want to be mindful of your expenses and avoid creating unnecessary financial burdens. At Chris Gorman Homes, we understand budgeting is an important part of home planning. Our team will work closely with you to select or design a floor plan that is the right fit for your family’s lifestyle needs and your anticipated budget.

Ready to build your dream home? contact our team today!

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