Everything You Need to Know When Designing a Home from Scratch

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Apr 13, 2023

Purchasing a home is an impressive feat by any standards, regardless of a person’s age. With that in mind, however, there are different options to consider when looking at different homes. Many potential homeowners come to find that they don’t resonate with a specific style of home, and only seem to enjoy certain parts. In this situation, it may be worth taking the time to design your own home however you see fit so that you know you will love every single room.

How Expensive is it to Build a Home?

While the average price for purchasing a new home is well over $400,000 in the United States as of recent data, many people are unaware of how expensive it is to actually build a home from scratch. Generally, the cost to build a single-family home is just shy of $300,000, but the price can range up to $500,000 on average for those who have specific desires.

Keep in mind that the above price range simply serves as an average for the United States. In certain states around the country, this price can quickly go into the millions of dollars if there are unique requests or large amounts of land purchased in hot real estate areas. Consult with real estate professionals in your specific area if you are unsure what price range you are looking at.

Should You Build a Home or Purchase a Prebuilt Home?

There are a number of different factors to consider when debating between purchasing a home or building a home from scratch. Naturally, some of the primary benefits to building a home yourself include:

  • The ability to completely customize your home from scratch, including where the home is located
  • Fewer competition as not as many people are looking to purchase land
  • Building a new home means that there may be less maintenance required in the near future
  • Your home will likely be energy efficient since it’s new which can save you money
  • The cost to build a home can be comparable to simply purchasing a new home depending on where you are located

All of the above benefits can make choosing to build a home enticing, but there are a number of drawbacks that should be considered first. As you start to build your home, you will be relying on a general contractor and multiple teams of workers. This means that there could be unexpected problems and delays, not to mention unforeseen sources of stress.

On top of all of the above, the upfront cost of building may be higher than purchasing a home as land loans tend to be harder to acquire and come with stricter terms. Additionally, building your own home naturally requires far more effort than simply purchasing a tract home. Evaluate all of the above before taking the dive into building your first home.

5 Most Costly Categories When Building a Home

Whether you’re considering building the perfect ranch, bungalow, cabin or beach home, it’s helpful to know where the majority of expenses will come from. The following five categories are where most homeowners can expect to spend money when building:

Creating the underlying foundation

Creating the foundation of a home often ends up being one of the greatest expenses for the entire project. The primary reason for this is that a crew needs to break ground on your property, which requires heavy equipment, and they also need to set a foundation strong enough to support everything you wish to have in your home.

Designing the kitchen

The kitchen ends up being one of the most expensive items in a home build due to the sheer number of appliances that need to be installed, along with the plumbing that runs through the walls. While building the surrounding walls of the kitchen will cost the same as other walls, your appliance installation costs may come as a shock.

Installing the plumbing and HVAC system

As alluded to, the plumbing and heating or cooling systems in your home will be quite expensive to install. This requires intricate work and snaking pipes, ducts, and more through the established walls of your home, not to mention the electrical component.

Framing the home

While it may not seem as if it would be expensive, framing your home is one of the most expensive jobs. It isn’t quite the act of framing a home that results in this high cost, rather it is the material itself. You need to purchase enough lumber to frame the entire home and good wood does not come cheap. Those looking to install metal framing as well will also need to expect to pay an added cost.

Roofing the home

Similar to framing the home, installing the roof onto a home is another one of the most common large expenses seen. As with framing, this is partially due to the fact that lumber is required and is naturally very expensive. On top of this, setting the roof on a home is an intricate and complicated process, more so than other framing jobs, which is why it comes with a higher price tag. On top of the simple framing, the material used to finish the roof comes at an added cost which, taking into account the scarcity of the product used, is not cheap either.

Design the home of your dreams

While undertaking a home building and design project may not be the right choice for everybody due to financial or personal reasons, it can be an excellent choice for many. Be sure to set a budget before you begin the entire process so that you know exactly how much you can afford. To do this, outline what you consider to be the most necessary tasks for the project so that you know what your “must have” items are. From there, you can allocate funds as needed to get the most important parts of your home design completed quickly.

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