Cost of Home Building Materials – A Big Chunk of Money But a Fraction of the Cost to Build a Home

How much does it cost to build a home? Everyone wants to start with the cost of the building materials. And while that represents a huge portion of the overall costs (probably the biggest in most cases), it’s still a fraction of the total cost to build.

This article is designed to help you, as an owner builder, understand the factors involved in figuring the cost of a home building project. My goal is to present you with a birds-eye view of how the cost of materials, while representing a big chunk of the home-building budget, cannot be thought of as an indication of your cost to build a home.

A Home Building Budget is Complex

Let’s put the cost of home building materials in perspective. What have you got when you have a pile of materials? Sticks, windows, doors, cabinets, appliances, tubs, sinks, lights, floor coverings … yeah, lots of cool stuff, but pretty much useless in a pile. The magic comes in how it’s all put together.

It takes a lot of people, talent, time and energy to make a pile of materials a home. This is what we pay for, even when buying materials. But, we’re still only about 30% of the way home once we’ve priced out our materials package.

Your total investment to build will be spread over the following:

Cost of land and utilities
Coaching and project supervision
Building permits and other required fees
Home design and architectural work
Financing and reserves
Professional and casual labor
Deliveries, insurance, contingencies

Simplifying the Process of Pricing With Kit Homes

Many owner builders use packaged homes to make pricing a materials package easier. But it still doesn’t remove the need to factor in all the other costs of building a home. Don’t make the mistake of asking for the price of a package and think you’ve got a good handle on the cost to build.

Home building packages do include more labor than a site built home, but they only slightly reduce the need for all the other building requirements I’ve listed here. As always, I advise the use of a home building coach to accurately assess your project.

Building a Home – It’s Like a Leap of Faith & a Voyage Into the Unknown

Building a home is a lot like living a life. There are twists and turns that you simply can’t predict. Despite a cautious approach or extensive planning, someone or something is going to throw you a curve.

This scares a lot of people and stops them in their tracks. What about you? What holds you back and what spurs you on?

In my years of advising and coaching homeowners and home-owner builders, I’ve been fortunate to learn as much about people as about building and homes. I’ve found there is just as much uniqueness as there is commonality. Whatever the differences, there are two over-arching approaches people take when building (and living.)

1) Extensive Preparation & Planning

Those who know me understand that I’m big on planning before a home building or remodeling project. Extensive preparation can certainly minimize the number and magnitude of challenges that arise. Many people are convinced this is the only way to go.

I’ve worked with masters at charting a clear path and anticipating as many potential problems as possible. But, interestingly, their approach to home building doesn’t always result in smoother sailing.

2) The More Intuitive “Let’s Get Started” Approach

Then these are those who just want to plow ahead. They feel that they’re flexible enough to handle whatever comes there way, whenever it comes. And, they also seem to be convinced that very little will go wrong in the first place. They are the optimists that say “bring it on, we can handle it.”

Personally, I like optimistic people even though I favor more preparation. However, I’m often surprised to see how well it can work for some who do experience relatively smooth sailing despite the curve balls.

HomeBuilding & Life Require a Balanced Approach

Life would be boring if it were all scripted out for us and we knew everything ahead of time. We need challenges and surprises from time to time. It spices up our lives. Yet, at the same time, we need order and routine to give us security and a solid foundation that gives us the confidence to move forward.

It’s the same with home building. We must plan and prepare to get things done but be flexible enough to handle the “uh-ohs” when they surprise us. It’s a balance.

Parents, Teachers & HomeBuilding Coaches

There will always be the unknown. It’s my observation that we get past it, and excel in life by watching, emulating, and seeking advice from parents, teachers and other authority figures. From learning to walk and talk, to understanding how to interact with people, to making a living and reaching our goals, we receive guidance from others who’ve been there … done that.

It’s no different with home building and remodeling. There are those who have experience and knowledge that we don’t possess. Those are the people we should seek out. A home building coach can inspire you. A home building coach can get you started. A good coach can outline your path, provide support, trouble-shoot, and keep you on the straight and narrow.

The Faith to Leap

A good home building coach can inspire the faith to proceed. So, despite your approach to building, methodical or more intuitive, using a home building coach can provide the balance that brings success.

Who is your mentor and coach?

Building a Home and Its Advantages

When it comes to building a new home or buying an existing one, some people think that one is better than the other. Well, they might have had said this because building a new home might have worked for them over buying, and for other people, it is buying that worked for them. The point is, any of the two could work for anyone. In the end, it is you who will decide which one will work better for you. To help you and other people who are having this dilemma, I have listed the advantages of building a home to serve as guides before you build one and see if it is the one right for you.

Building a new home

When building a new home, you will be cooperating with the home builders that you will hire. These home builders will be the ones to bring into reality the kind of home you have in mind. You just have to explain to them the kind of home that you want, depending on the budget that you have, you can customize everything in the home. This job could take long time to be done.

Advantages of building a new home

1. Control: Of course, one great thing about building a home is that you get the control over everything. You get the control over the features that the home will have and you have the control over the options that could affect you on a daily basis once you start living in the home.

2. Advice: since you have the home builders, you don’t have to be alone when making decisions. If you want you can seek their advice on what better things to do in cases that you found yourself uncertain about some things.

3. Learning: you get to learn new things as you supervise the construction of your home. This is an advantage because the next time you will build a new home, you will feel more confident. If you buy an existing home, you may not be able to learn those new things.

4. Freedom: when building a home, as the owner you have the freedom to decide for almost everything associated with building. You are the one to choose the location, the builders who build the home, the architect, the size of the home and its style, the numbers of bedrooms, the sizes of bedrooms, and you can have your own office if you want, or have a home theater!