So you’ve seen the beauty and flexibility that a custom build can bring to your future house and have decided not to go with a cookie-cutter production home. Congratulations! You’ve made a great first decision. Know that there will be many more decisions down the road regarding your home — but this way, you can have a say in as many of them as you want.
Now the bigger question is: how do you ensure that this decision adds as much value as possible to your house?
This article pieces together some relevant topics to think about and a few more decisions to make so you can get the most value from your custom home.
Go For the Best Quality You Can Afford
You’ve probably heard the saying that you can choose only 2 of the 3 — price, speed, or quality — but never all three at once.
Obviously, you can have a house built that’s cheap and fast, but it will suffer from low quality (not to mention, it will probably be riddled with safety issues).
Yet because you chose a custom home build, we’re sure quality is a high priority for you. So your only real choices are: [A] a house that’s high quality and has a decent price tag, but will take time to finish properly, or [B] a house that’s high quality and is finished quickly, but which will cost a princely sum.
Whichever choice you make, don’t look for the lowest price. Going for the cheapest option means corners are cut, giving your home very little in added value. This is the reason why getting bids from multiple general contractors is a terrible idea. It’s just not worth it.
Instead, decide on a budget and get the best craftsmanship that your budget can afford, and keep in mind that quality takes time.
Partner With a Knowledgeable Expert
Here’s the truth: you’re (probably) not an expert on building houses. So how will you make the right decisions about what materials to use? Or what type of finishing is needed?
Well, find an expert!
The best way to figure out how value can be added to your home is to find a knowledgeable general contractor who is willing to share his expertise with you as you face decisions during the build.
Because for a complex project like building a custom home, you will need more than a contractor, you will need a trusted advisor who can educate you about:
- Whether everything is being done in the right sequence
- Whether anything is missing or lacking in quality
- Whether the product being used is one that will last a lifetime or one that will need to be replaced in just a few years
Sounds like searching for the holy grail? Not necessarily. There are highly skilled professionals out there who are willing to go the extra mile to explain each step of your home build. And their advice — especially when it comes to spending a little more at the start in certain areas (or materials)— can be the secret sauce that adds the most value to your home.
Boost Resale Value with Upgrades
While high quality craftsmanship guarantees the longevity of your home as well as a higher resale value, there are also various decisions you can make right now that will boost it even higher such as:
A. Kitchen upgrades:
Use materials such as quartz for your countertops, or choose stainless steel appliances to bring up your resale value immediately since the kitchen is one of the most utilized spaces in the home. Picking quality materials will help to future proof its appeal to prospective buyers.
B. Energy efficient upgrades:
Install upgrades such as LED bulbs, programmable thermostats, high efficiency windows, and a modern water heater so your home uses energy more efficiently — and you cut down on your energy bills.
Choosing to install hardwood flooring instead of carpeting raises your home’s value and adds a timeless appeal for your future buyers. After all, no one looks at a wooden floor saying: “Sadly, that floor’s so 1800s.”
D. Facade upgrades:
Adding a deck or patio is another tried-and-true upgrade that brings the value up and increases the visual appeal of your home. Bonus points for yards that need low upkeep or have efficient watering systems.
E. Additional living spaces:
Whenever you add extra rooms, accessory dwelling units (ADUs) for in-laws, or have spaces that can do double duty, you increase the overall value as well.
F. Floor plan:
Finally, an open floor plan not only increases the resale value, but it can also help bolster family unity and create a more comfortable, friendlier environment for the home.
Be Impeccable with Fit and Finish
No matter how far off in the future you decide to resell your home, one thing won’t change: prospective homebuyers will always be very discerning. This only means the fit and finish of every element is critical if you want to ensure every dollar is put to good use.
Here are two examples of spending money on building activities without actually adding value to your home:
- Having new bathrooms installed but the tiles are crooked or plumbing joints are poorly sealed
- Having a new paint job but the lines aren’t straight or you can see paint runs
90% of any construction is buried behind the surface. Failure to have those items installed correctly will lead to a loss of your investment —sooner, rather than later.
Customize For Your Own Future
Where do you see this home in the next 5 to 10 years? Resold to a new owner? Or are you still living in it, though with a larger family? If you’re planning to have children, then think of future-proofing as early as now.
- Will your future family be able to use the space to enrich relationships and connectivity?
- Does the flow of your floor plan utilize the spaces correctly, or is it too compartmentalized?
- Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms for children and guests?
- Is the kitchen large enough and designed well enough so that everyone in your family can enjoy it at the same time?
- Will adding extra wiring in the walls be enough to prepare you for future changes in technology?
Another possibility is that you’re planning to retire in this home. In this case, it would make sense to begin planning for your future needs today. Start thinking about:
- Having the master bedroom on the ground floor, making it easier to access
- Installing a walk-in shower instead of a tub
- Choosing toilets that are at a comfortable height
- Blocking for grab bars
Investing Into Your Future Home
Building a custom home means you have control over the quality, durability, and customization of your home. But if you want to get the best value from it, then you should go for the best quality you can afford, partner with a general contractor who can serve as an advisor during the entire process, and upgrade where you can.
In the end, it will be a worthwhile investment that you can enjoy yourself for years to come… or that will pay off handsomely should you choose to one day sell.