A Frame Glass Front Cabin

Pre-Construction Considerations: Part 2 – Design and Budget

Next in our series of “Pre-Construction Considerations,” we’ll talk about two of the previously listed topics: Design and Budget. Homeowners really can’t consider one of these without the other.

Thought #1: Design + Budget = Safety
We believe our friends at Jim Barna Log Homes said it best: “Close your eyes and picture the home you always wanted to build – your dream home. Keep focusing until you get a clear picture of your home. Look at it in as much detail as you can imagine. Good. Now, open your eyes… Get out your wallet….. REALITY CHECK!!!”

Yes, we all want our dream home with every bell and whistle we’ve ever imagined. During the planning stages you may think “Sure, we’ll throw in a larger-than-life stone fireplace,” or “While we’re at it, we’ll just do a complete wrap-around porch. This is, after all, our dream home. We’re going all out, right?”

Every homeowner wants to include every amazing detail they always envisioned their dream home having; however make sure your budget can handle it. We’re not saying it can’t be done, but you don’t want your dream home to turn into a financial nightmare. Design your home, but be realistic at the same time. If you don’t, things will get real pretty quick when bills start rolling in.


Thought #2: Don’t Try to Cut Corners!

One of the scariest parts of the building process is when you start to discuss materials and their prices. From the builder’s perspective, we feel ya! We don’t want to hand you a list of astronomical prices. When we’re putting together a quote at Country Mountain Homes, we try to find the most cost-effective, yet quality, way to build your home. However, many homeowners think “Well, if I can purchase the materials myselfthat will cut down on some of the expense.” This is not always the case. In fact, most of the time, this isn’t the case.


Tractor Trailer Delivering WoodAgain, Country Mountain Homes always wants to try to save the client time and money, so we always suggest leaving the “heavy lifting” to us. We know what we need. We know what brands can be trusted. We know what dealers will stand behind their products. It’s second nature to us. Plus, we know exactly what we need. In the world of construction, there are sometimes many different options for one solution, and sometimes only one of those options will work for our specific situation (or work to our high-quality standards). Our point – we’ve got your back. Honestly, homeowners end up causing themselves more trouble when they try to purchase materials on their own. Leaving it up to us will ensure saved time and money, not to mention stress and headaches.


Thought #3: Be Realistic When Budgeting

Any bank, financial advisor, or real estate agent will tell you: When planning the budget for your home, your land/building expenses should represent 15 to 20 percent of your overall budget. This means add up all expenses (utilities, car loans, school loans, groceries, emergency money, etc.) Then compare your expenses with your income. While you’re doing this, remind yourself to be realistic. If vacations are important to you, budget them in. If you tend to purchase a new car every couple of years, include that expense. After all expenses are considered, your land/home payment should fit into 15 to 20 percent of your entire budget. If so, your budget should be successful, and you will have more success in getting loans, if needed. Above all, talk to your banker and/or financial advisor when planning your new home. They will help you keep a handle on reality and give you all the concrete info needed to plan successfully.


Thought #4: Design Considerations

When designing your house, the first course of action is deciding how you want the inside to function. When most of us picture our dream cabin, we see the large deck accenting a glass front A-frame with a three-car garage underneath….. *sigh* Oh yeah…. We’re talking about your dream home here… Yes, so, when designing yourhouse, don’t necessarily think about what it’s going to look like on the outside. Think about what you want to have on the inside:

  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Size of Kitchen
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Floors – wood, carpet, etc.
  • Family/Living Room
  • Porches
  • Basement
  • Utilities
  • Garage
  • And the extras – hot tub on the porch, stone fireplace, chandeliers, custom staircases, custom cabinetry… the list goes on.


Prioritize and price your priorities, then stack up your necessities and desires next to your budget. (Again, it’s all about the budget.) Make a list of what you can and can’t live without, and keep tweaking those lists until your find an affordable price tag. And if there’s something on your “desirables” list that just isn’t fitting into your budget, ask your builder – maybe they’ll have some tips or ideas. Country Mountain Homes is always happy to answer questions and help clients come up with solutions to make your dream home a reality.






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