Budget. It’s always the elephant in the room. Obviously when you finally make the decision to build, budget needs to be in the discussion. Or maybe budget is in discussion prior to deciding to build. Either way, it’s always difficult. Throughout the blog, I will discuss ways to stay within budget or under budget during the building process.
I wanted to focus this post on additional costs that kind of blindsided me when we sat down to finally talk about what our “number” was. When calculating your final number, be sure to include some of the following.
- Permits. Depending on where you live will depend on your cost of permits, but it will be quadruple digits. You may not need all permits, but it would be important to find out ahead of time which ones you are required to obtain and their costs. Here are the permits we are required to obtain–building permit, zoning permit, driveway permit, septic permit, well permit. We also needed to have perk testing for our sand mound and a septic design which was another additional cost.
- Septic system. If you’re lucky, you wont need to worry about this. But if any of you plan on living out in the country like myself, be sure to budget for this. Your standard septic system is between 14-20,000. There are many variables though, so again, be sure to plan ahead!
- Driveway. Although driveways are typically bundled into your total cost it is still an expense many don’t think of when budgeting.
- Grass. Landscaping and sidewalks, although would be nice to do from the beginning, are not necessary and can be done later on. However, it’s necessary to plant grass and this can get pricey depending on your acreage.
- Underground power lines.
Most of the above mentioned are extra expenses in the start up process, but there are more that come up during the building process.
Allowances: There are many items that are included in your total house cost, but are listed under allowances. Allowances are great if you can stay within them or under them! One can imagine that it is pretty easy to go over your allowance, thus putting you over budget. Items that are typically listed as allowances are:
- Light fixtures (interior + exterior)
- Appliances (many times they are not included in total budget at all)
- Counter tops
Items that are typically not listed under allowances or in the total cost of the house are:
- Cabinet hardware
- Towel holders
- Toilet paper holders
- Shower curtain rods
Depending on what time of year you build and where you build, weather may cost you extra money. If it’s cold and your permanent heat source is not yet connected, electric heat may be used. Monthly electric bills can be pretty pricey, especially if they are running constantly.
As I continue this journey, I am sure I will come upon additional costs not listed here and I will be sure to update.
One way to keep track of your budget is to create an excel spreadsheet and track every dollar out. My husband and I use google sheets to track our expenses. We both downloaded the app on our phones. This way we can easily access it and update it as necessary.