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How to build a designer home on a budget

Building showing young couple plans of their new home before building

Building a custom home can feel like a dream come true… but those dreams can soon come crashing down when you see the bill. The best thing you can do when designing a luxury home is to stick to your budget. So how can you build the home of your dreams without breaking the bank? Here are our tips and tricks. 

Choose a builder early

Home building standing in front of construction site with arms crossed and yellow hard hat

If you’re building a designer home, you might think that hiring a designer or architect is the logical first place to start. While there are benefits to using an independent designer to plan your dream home, many people find themselves disappointed when their custom home is outside their budget. If you want to avoid disappointment, getting in touch with a builder up-front will ensure that your house plans are practical and affordable.

Many builders in Bundaberg who specialise in custom homes have their own in-house team of designers who can work with you to design your house while factoring in budget considerations. If you already have a designer in mind, talk to your builder about how you can work together to ensure your house plans meet your design specifications while also being budget-friendly.

Size matters

One of the biggest aspects that will affect the price of your home is its size. Put simply, larger homes cost more to build. That doesn’t mean you have to settle for a small home - it just means you need to think carefully about which rooms you most desire in your dream house. Keep in mind that extra bathrooms and specialty spaces will cost more to build than standard rooms, and spending the money on your floor space could mean cutting back on fixtures and furnishings to fit within your budget. 

Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to your house plans is that building up usually costs more than building out. Two-storey homes require extra structures, scaffolding, and staircases that aren’t required in a single-storey house. If you really have your heart set on it, there are affordable ways to build a multi-level home, but adding an extra bedroom and living area out the back will be much more cost-effective than building another storey. 

Labour vs material costs

Building sticking up wallpaper during construction on room

When you’re looking for areas to cut down on costs, it’s important to have a good understanding of whether the cost issue is because of labour costs or material costs. If your house design has many complex elements, you could be in for a hefty bill regardless of the materials you're using. For example, if a tiler has to make many complicated cuts they may start charging per hour rather than per square metre, putting the price of your flooring up, even if you’ve chosen the cheapest tiles. 

In contrast, high-end materials will always have a higher price mark - with the added issue of sometimes being difficult to work with. If you’re choosing expensive materials that require speciality installation, you could be facing a double whammy of expenses. To save money during your build, talk to your builder about options sooner rather than later. In some cases, adjusting your design could save you money, while in others you may need to look at alternative materials.  

Luxury doesn’t mean expensive

Expensive looking kitchen with white marble and dark cabinetry

Speaking of alternative materials, you should remember that building a designer home doesn’t mean choosing the most expensive materials on offer. Luxury is about how something feels, not how much it costs. You’d be surprised just how many fancy Instagram homes have been made on a budget. That expensive wood panelling or the stone benchtops you love might not even be real! 

In times gone by, there was a real stigma around materials like laminate being cheap and nasty. But now, more home builders than ever are opting for cost-effective options that give you the real-deal look without the hefty price tag. From laminate and hybrid floors to ceramic and porcelain tiles, it IS possible to achieve a stylish, elegant look using affordable materials. 

Less is more

The other thing to consider when building a designer home is that you don’t need to go all out in every room. So often we see first-time builders who want feature walls, specialty flooring, and extravagant fixtures… but when you put it all together it can look very overwhelming and not at all what you had hoped for. When designing your home, remember that sometimes less is more. Choose one key feature to accentuate in every room, and don’t be afraid to spend your budget there. Then, keep the rest of the room minimalistic for an everyday elevated style.

The other thing to consider is what rooms are most important to you in a home. If you’re a big home baker, you might want to splurge on a state-of-the-art kitchen but keep the bedrooms simple. If you’re a huge movie buff, an entertainment room might be your main focus. Instead of going all-out in every room of your house, spend your money where it matters most, and keep the rest of the house simpler. 

Building a designer home is likely one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. But done right, it’s so worth it! If you’re looking for a custom home builder in Bundaberg, you’re in the right place. Contact us today about how we can build you a designer home on a budget and bring your ideas into reality. 

About the author

CRJ Designer Homes

CRJ Designer Homes

CRJ Designer Homes is a locally owned, family operated building company. Since being established in 2006, Michael and his wife Gillian have made it their goal to build quality homes at exceptional prices, with inclusions that most would consider as an extra!

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