At Foley, one of the most frequent questions we hear from first-time clients is “How much does new construction cost per square foot?” We agree that it might make building a new custom home a lot simpler if there was a way to calculate the cost in this way – but there is no easy answer.
There are many factors involved and steps to consider when building a custom home and estimating how much you’ll spend. While there’s really no way to predict the standard cost for a custom home in Fairfax County, we can show you how to break down the process in a way that gives you a framework for better estimating your final budget.
Standard Cost of a Custom Home
By its very definition, a custom home is unique. What your new home will cost to build depends on many things. For example, do you want to use limestone or imported Carrera marble? A whole-house or standard ventilation? Most people build custom homes to get exactly the features they’ve always dreamed of having – inlaid hardwood floors, custom cabinetry, even indoor lap pools.
Over the years, we’ve developed a process that helps homeowners comfortably navigate the custom home building process. From buying the land to choosing finishes, building a custom home in Fairfax County is a complex undertaking. But that doesn’t mean it has to be overwhelming. Here are the top 5 considerations to think about before getting started.
Choose a Floor Plan
Start out by selecting a floor plan. Because Foley is a design build firm, we offer homeowners the convenience of an in-house team of design professionals who assist with every phase of the custom build process. We can show you dozens of plans in a wide range of styles and sizes and discuss which ones might work best for your lot and, most importantly, for your family’s lifestyle.
Set a Realistic Budget
Once you’ve chosen a design, you can begin to plan a realistic budget for your new custom home. Arriving at an exact figure at this stage isn’t always possible, but you can get a good idea by talking with your builder about size, style, quality, and features you would like to include. Whatever your budget, it helps to know what you can realistically afford, as well as what you’re willing to splurge or scrimp on.
Factor in Style, Quality, and Features
Your final cost is not all about size. Style, quality and features must also be taken into consideration.
- Style refers to the architectural elements. For example, homes that are square or rectangular tend to cost less. On the other hand, designs that require roofs with specially designed trusses will cost more. The more angles and corners you add to your home, the more labor and materials will probably cost.
- Quality is about the materials you choose for construction. Flooring, paint, shingles, cabinetry, and appliances are just some of those choices. The higher quality you choose, the higher your costs will be.
- Features are design considerations like roof pitches, staircases, and vaulted ceilings, all of which can add to your bottom line.
Have a Contingency Plan
You’ll want to leave room in your budget to accommodate additional construction costs. These can include site preparation, permit fees, and even the time of year you’re building.
The better you plan with your Northern VA builder in advance, the less likely you’ll be overwhelmed by choices and decisions that need to be made during the actual construction. Some of the common issues that may occur include landscaping costs, utility connection and septic system costs, as well as unexpected changes or additions to the original floor plan.
There may be no standard cost for a custom home in Fairfax County, but that doesn’t mean you need to be in the dark about how to plan and budget for it. Foley Development has been designing and building beautiful custom homes in Northern VA for over 30 years. To learn more about how to plan, design, and budget your Fairfax County custom dream home, contact us to schedule a conversation.