3 Tips for Building on Your Land & Staying on Budget

    Everyone has a limited budget. Everyone. When you dream about your forever home built on your land, it's easy to get discouraged if you start thinking about budget limitations.

    Here's are a few tips to overcome your budget constraints and get that forever home you've been dreaming about.

    1. Focus on what's most important.

    Alexander Graham Bell said, "Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus."

    What you need to do is list all the things you want in your new home. Then think back to when you first dreamed of this home and think really hard about the biggest problem this home will solve for you. How does solving that problem make you feel?

    Now, review the list you just made of all the things you want in your new home.

    For each item, ask yourself if you'd be willing to sacrifice the whole house, the whole dream, for that one item. If the answer is "yes," then that item is a must-have.

    If the answer is "no," then that item is a like-to-have that can be sacrificed if the budget requires it. Use this technique to pare down that list. Don't let the things that matter the least rob you of those things that matter the most.

    2. Don't compare your dream to anyone else's.

    Yes, Chip and Joanna do amazing things with shiplap.

    It would be really cool to have it in your home, but where does it fall on your priority list?

    Are you building this home for yourself and your family or for your friends?

    Are you building it for Chip and Joanna?


    Build your home. Don't worry about HGTV. There's not much that's real on reality TV.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."

    3. Learn from others.

    Once, while working on a house design for a customer, we all started to realize that it wasn't possible to fit everything on their wish list into the budget. They felt like everything on the list was equally important, and if they couldn't get it all, they wouldn't even build.

    After several weeks of tweaking the design and the list of specifications, we weren't getting anywhere.

    • • They wanted expensive light fixtures in every room and high-end flooring in the laundry room, kids' bedrooms and bathroom, and hallways.
    • • They wanted custom-built window seats in the study and crown molding in all the bedrooms.
    • • Of course, they had to have shiplap. Lots and lots of shiplap.

    Finally, we had a frank conversation about the real needs that were driving their desire to build a custom home on their land. They dreamed of having their own property where they could live the way they wanted to without nosy neighbors butting in, and they loved to cook gourmet meals.

    The rest of the list was just fluff that was distracting them from their dream. And all that extra fluff was stealing their budget and leaving no room for what mattered most.

    In fact, they were about to allow their unfocused desire for all that fluff to completely rob them of their dream. The story does have a happy ending… once they really thought through the real reasons for building in the first place, all that other stuff fell away. We designed and built a home that had exactly what they really wanted, nothing they didn't, and it left money in their budget.

    Download Guide to Build Your Forever Home

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