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How To Stop Home Build Budget Blowout

home insurance tips

Building a property with everything you need is on many homeowners’ bucket lists. However, it’s a lengthy and risky process not for the faint-hearted. Nonetheless, with careful planning and budgeting, you can build the home of your dreams at a manageable cost, i.e., within budget and time.

Here are some tips to keep costs manageable to avoid a budget blowout and manage the build duration.

Choose The Right Site

You are starting with the construction of the home. Look past the surface, and you may find that a site’s location or composition brings specific challenges that can inflate costs and add to build duration. Therefore, the location of your home will be the starting point of the new build process.

Avoid choosing a site for your home because you’ve fallen in love with the view or the size. There’s more to it, with most of the cost to build a residential property going into its construction.

Site location and assessment, as well as the composition of the ground on which the home will reside, can vary dramatically, and with it, the investment required. So many people want to get away from it all, far away from urbanization, and this has made a TV show on impossible builds very popular.

Impossible Builds

Impossible Builds is a UK TV show documenting homeowners’ quest to build new homes in remote or challenging areas. Today, with technology, we can construct living spaces almost anywhere. However, there is always a trade-off for those spectacular views or privacy, and it’s a combination of time and money.

Any home-building site requiring engineering ingenuity will need more of your budget, hence the importance of researching the site’s suitability and how much the construction will cost before you commit to it.

Once the site purchase is complete, there’s little you can do to mitigate either the investment or the time of the build. Your compromise may be a smaller home to meet your budget. Thus, proper budget management stems from choosing the right site.

Start with the Architect or The Builder?

Most homeowners believe that once the site has been purchased, an architect should design the home.

Architects love designing nice-looking buildings. If you go to them with a blank canvas, expect a fantastic architectural plan that’s likely to break your budget. Additionally, be aware that each revision of the plans will add to the cost.  Is going to an architect the best starting point?

Approaching your preferred builder may be a better move. You can get a good idea from the builder what can be built and for what price.  Once you know the cost per square metre; you have a reasonable understanding of a budget and what you can add or remove to ensure your build is affordable.

Then, you can meet with your architect to create a plan that works for you and your builder.


It is not uncommon for builders to say they can not build what’s on the plans, so getting the okay from your builder while the Architect creates the plans will save time and money.

Choose a Builder with a Proven Track Record

Accuracy is everything when it comes to budget management. When you’re selecting a builder, if they know it is a competitive bidding situation, they will likely underquote. You don’t want your builder providing inaccurate quotes (especially when these are on the low end), as it can quickly lead to a budget blowout.

With that in mind, choose a builder whose track record includes similar self-build projects. Ask to see previous examples of work carried out and, where possible, speak to their previous clients.

Contingency Budget

There are always unforeseen costs with construction, therefore make sure you allow for it with a slush fund.

Do your research on home building and determine what extras you need to cover, as the norm is to spend more than you have for the build. ‘Scope creep‘ will happen with tweaks here and there, and they will all add up and change the layout or material or choose better quality cabinetry or appliances.

All these changes add up, and before you know it the build has taken longer and cost much more than y our budget.


Managing a home build is stressful, but it is easier when you do a lot of preparation before construction. Remember, stress is always lessened when you’re in control, so work on what you can control from the outset. Do your research and take your time. When you’re prepared, you can enjoy the building process and get your desired home.