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House Under Construction: Beware of the Budget

by Suzanne M. Harvey

House Under Construction: Beware of the Budget

Building a home is an exciting, thrilling, scary adventure. As a designer I really love the whole process. With some background in construction it is thrilling to see this home come together and share the experience with my family. But this process has it’s pitfalls. One big one is always the budget. Before the house goes up you have already determined what will be spent and the bank has given you the OK so you think you are all set.  But there are always unexpected costs.  Just be prepared – financially and emotionally for this.  It will come. My advice is always beware of the budget!

House Under Construction: Beware of the Budget
As you can see we are making progress.  I could not be happier with how the process is going.  Most of the materials have already been picked out – hey I am a designer…it’s what I do & what I love.  That was the easy part. But of course the kitchen cabinets are over budget – even though I had the contractor price the painted and glazed maple cabinets that I wanted.  Why are they over budget??  Because I wanted a different door style.  Such a simple change but every change costs money.

It’s ok we expected that one and we stashed money away for it.  Whew!  Dodge that one.  We went to the house to check the progress this week and the first floor is already framed and most of the second floor is done.  YAY!  But guess what…I see something I don’t like.  It was built exactly to the plan that we approved.  Here is the key – even for the person who can visualize in her head – in real life sometimes it looks different.  So here we are with columns that need to be removed.  I don’t know the cost yet but there will be some cost and that was not expected.  So it’s back to the drawing board…or the budget in this case ;).  Something will have to get adjusted to allow for this change.

House Under Construction: Beware of the Budget


The whole process is about give and take – about what the priorities are & are not.  As you join me on this construction journey my goal is not to scare you off but to give the reality of what the process is so you can be an informed consumer and enjoy every minute of it while being prepared for the unexpected bumps along the way.

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