Ryan and I have been writing a lot of huge checks lately, so I thought it was worth talking about budget on a new construction home.
Obviously, our experience won’t be the same for everyone, but I thought some of you may be curious about how we plan to pay for the house and how the budget will be split up.
(Mostly because this is something Ryan and I are hugely interested in, and love perusing forums and blogs that are really transparent about home building costs.)
So, the bottom line is that right now, our goal is to spend $125,000 building this house from start to finish.
Here’s the break-down of where we see that budget going:
Ryan and I decided to share actual dollar amounts, because we think it just makes the most sense. I think that people are curious about what things really cost.
A few notes:
- Some of these prices should be very close from the estimates we received – lumberyard, windows/doors, foundation, kitchen and geothermal.
- Others are simply educated estimates based on what we’ve paid in the past. Things like insulation, electrical and plumbing are material costs we’ve dealt with in past renovations, so we made a best guess.
- Some things are split in strange ways. For example, the cost for the kitchen will include cabinetry and a few finish details (we plan to reuse the appliances in the barn and have hand-me-down granite countertops). But some of the plumbing and electrical and walls and building materials budgets will also go toward the kitchen cost. We just broke it out the way we thought would be simplest to keep track of.
- We’ve already accounted for the kickbacks we’re expecting for geothermal. So, we expect the initial cost to be higher and then be offset by rebates to get to the cost above.
We’ll try to share the budget breakdown throughout the coming months/year in order to stay transparent about where we’re at. I can’t promise how often this will happen or what it will look like, but we’re trying to keep track of everything and will do our best.
Here’s how our budget looks so far, based on our current expenditures.
A few other caveats:
- While we have hired out a few large jobs (foundation, geothermal), much will be done by us and our wonderful friends and family members. Which means that labor costs are minimal.
- We are paying for these costs using the proceeds of the sale of our last home, so price is a pretty large factor in our decisions. We obviously can’t afford to go crazy. We won’t be doing many major custom upgrades right away and are hoping to DIY as much as possible to keep costs down. For us, that means we’ll be keeping a close eye on things like lighting, millwork and kitchen/bathroom finishes. That doesn’t mean they will be crappy or “cheap,” but we won’t be going over the top or custom in these areas because we know they can be improved and DIYed over time.
- Although we want to save where we can, we are also being cautious to invest in (what we think is) the important stuff. These are things that are integral to our quality of life in the home and are long-term purchases (like heating/cooling, energy savings, structural integrity, windows). These type of purchases are something where we likely spend more than the “builder basic” in an effort to save costs and be happy with the purchases over time.
- The costs of the property itself, the barn, well, septic, and running electrical are not included in the costs outlined since they were finished last year. (We are still paying on the property, but the others were paid in cash and we consider them costs as part of finishing the barn.)
Honestly, $125,000 seems like a LOT of money to us. But when we’re looking at building our home on our dream area, it’s very affordable. And we know what new homes are being built for right now, so we’re comfortable with this cost.
Any questions about the budget?
(I’ll try to answer everything in the comments.)
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