Building a dream home that stays within your budget isn’t impossible, especially if you focus on elements that add monetary value to your home. While there are endless upgrades and options available for customizing your space, smart consumers will spend the majority of their budget on kitchens and baths, increasing the height of ceilings and windows, and installing high quality insulation and weather-proof windows to reduce energy costs. Here’s a breakdown on maximizing your budget and your design goals when building a new home.
Kitchen and Baths: From upgrading to gourmet appliances to designing custom cabinets, investing in a high-quality kitchen instantly increases your home’s value. Even better? The initial upfront cost is easily recouped at resale. Customizations like installing high-end lighting, adding additional storage or counter space, or simply choosing coordinating name-brand appliances all allow you to enjoy your kitchen while guaranteeing you a positive return on investment should you choose to sell.
Bathrooms are also a great investment, and since features like showers and tubs are difficult and expensive to replace, it’s a good idea to allocate money upfront when it comes to finding the perfect rain shower or deep-soaking tub. These features will also make your home stand out in a competitive housing market, especially if you build with a universal floorplan or in a planned community.
Ceilings and Windows: Vaulted ceilings help a home feel more spacious, and larger windows are an interesting design element that also provide energy-efficient natural light. It’s nearly impossible to change the height of your ceilings after your home is completed, and increasing window size is incredibly expensive— so work with your architect or contractor during the design phase to ensure these value-adding features are added to your preliminary plans. Need to stay within a tight budget? Increase ceiling measurements or window sizes on the main floor of the home, but stick with the standard sizes in the basement or in upstairs rooms where the increased height is less necessary and oversized windows pack less of a visual impact.
Protecting your home: High quality insulation can initially increase your building expenses, but reduces the long-term cost of heating and cooling your home. Additionally, good insulation can help protect your home from weather damage and structural deterioration over time. Since retrofitting a home with high-quality insulation is difficult work, plan ahead and consider installing insulation beyond the minimum-grade required by building codes. Your contactor can help you decide what types of insulation to use in various parts of your home, in addition to recommending energy-efficient windows that block out harsh light and help maintain a consistent indoor temperature.
Avoid unnecessary upgrades or special features: Stay within your budget and avoid luxury add-ons that do not significantly increase the value of your home. Indoor movie theaters, specialty pantries, and extra laundry rooms may look great on social media or in design magazines, but aren’t worth sacrificing your budget—especially since they can often be added later at minimal expense. Identify the most cost-efficient priorities for your dream home, and plan your budget accordingly. You’ll be surprised how far your money can go towards creating a beautiful home.
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