Managing the Cost of a Custom Home: Time

In my last blog I addressed the issues surrounding building or buying a custom home. Location, finishes and prioritizing to fit your budget were the main topics. Today I offer time considerations to reduce costs.


jde_service_support_imgYou have heard that “time is money” and it is no different for the builder. Many of the services for building a home are monthly expenses such as dumpsters, portable restrooms, and even superintendent’s fees are directly tied to the budgeted time of the project. There are items which are paid monthly and the longer it is anticipated to go, the higher the costs will be. While the materials in the home may not change in cost, the support services can drive you past your budget.



As you make selections among the many options that are required, do them within the deadlines the builder asks. The availability of some of your selections can also impact the time it takes to complete your home. From light fixtures, to plumbing fixtures, even the type of wood you want on the kitchen cabinets, all of these can impact the overall time in building your home. This doesn’t mean you can’t get what you want, just be aware of the time and money impact it can have.


Change Orders

In the course of building a home, sometimes there are change orders. The reasons for these are varied, from discontinued products among your selections, changed circumstances, or just changing your mind. It is important to recognize that this can impact the duration of the project. With a custom home you want to get what you want. To keep the project on schedule, approve the changes as quickly as possible. This allows the builder and subcontractors to stay on schedule.


Collaborate-for-success-icon-LowRes-300x203There are many subcontractors involved in building a home. The builder must schedule them so they don’t get into one another’s way. There are also many tasks which MUST follow another. Rough Plumbing and electrical must be completed before sheetrock is hung. Painting will follow the sheetrock finishing. Change orders can potentially impact the schedule, especially if it involves demolition, moving a wall, etc.


Subcontractors also work on multiple projects for multiple builders. They plan their calendars in advance with windows of availability. If something changes on one job, the other jobs will take priority. They would prefer to be off schedule on one project than multiple jobs. That being said, many are notorious for working nights and weekends to get back on schedule.


weather-8The climate where you build will impact the timeframe on your home.  When you have freezing weather, you can’t pour concrete. You don’t get the productivity out of contractors and subcontractors that you would in the more temperate days of spring, summer and fall. Your builder will work with you on time frames to get started before the inclimate weather sets in.
With time being a cost factor, be aware of the multiple factors which can impact it. Do your homework and make selections that will keep the project on schedule, authorize changes promptly, and recognize the impact the weather has on the project and plan accordingly.