Tips on How to Save Money Building a Custom Homes

How to Save Money Building a Custom Homes
By Rick Merlini
American Heartland Homes
Macomb, Michigan
Certified Professional Master Builder
2 Time ABC Extreme Makeover Home Edition Home Builder

The word Custom, used as an adjective, in the home building industry, has always implied expensive. But, if you look at the Webster Dictionary for the meaning of Custom, it just means “built to individual specifications”. It dose not say anything about being expensive.

I am writing this on our blog today in an effort to teach you how to build a custom home and not have it cost you an arm and a leg. I will try to give you some tools and knowledge that can help you build a custom home and save you some money.

But before we get started, you must understand that material costs are what they are. You start with the understanding that the material granite cost more than a plastic laminate. You can use material that cost less and still get a custom home that will express your personality and that looks good. You just need t think out of the box and be creative.

  1. Avoid paying a stupid tax. Most builders are not the most educated people. They tend to be the hardest working people you will ever get to know. But the fact is, people are scared of the unknown. People are also scared of change. Other’s, just do not have the tools or the skill set to make changes. Builders are people. Let me explain
    1. People are scared of the unknown. Homebuilders spend a lot of time trying to figure out what their customer wants. Once he or she finds his or hers niche, to figures the cost and tends to stick with it. Than, once someone asks to do something different and because he is not sure of what are cost, he adds a scared tax to it, which is what makes it so expensive.
    2. People are also scared of change. There is another set of builders who get accustoming to building a home one way and only one way, and when you ask them to build it a different way, their response is either of laziness or one of lack of knowledge. Either one is going to cost you..
    3. Other’s , that do not have the tools or the skill set to make changes. Well these people tend to be the national and larger regional homebuilder. Because they build some many homes in one year , the key to their success is to build the same home over and over again. And if you can expected to be but into a box with everyone else , and if you can give up your individuality , I save you a few bucks
  2. Learn how to or search out someone with Value Engineering knowledge. Value Engineering is the skill set of removing cost from a plan without losing livability and or curb appeal.
    1. It is an art of squaring off the home when possible.
    2. Either reducing or increasing the dimension of a room so to maximize the use of standard size material.
    3. Removing excess windows, doors corners, ceiling heights and any other items that are unnecessary to the home. Many time more is not better, it is just a waste.
  3. Think out of the box when decorating. Interior decorating is the most important tool in building a custom home and saving money. There are so many different tricks to the trade I could not list them all but here are a few
    1. Crown molding look without the expense. Purchase ¾” screen modeling and have it installed on your walls 6” below your ceiling. Than when you go to paint, bring the ceiling color down the wall to the screen molding and stop. Than paint the wall color a different color and also have it stop at the screen molding. These small pieces of screen and the different colors will give you a feel of crown modeling without the expense.
    2. Granite counters top the island only and not the whole kitchen. If you can not afford the whole kitchen , just do the island to give the feel
    3. Mix up ceramic sizes and colors in the same room. This one works and is cheap. Purchase inexpensive 12×12 tiles. Let’s say a tile with mostly beige with some specks of white. This tile is made to look like marble. You than purchase plain 4×4 white glazed tiles. Nothing is less expensive. Now, you doing the interior of a shower or tub area, you would first install 5 course of the 12×12 tile. Than you will cut your 4×4 in half diagonal. Once cut, install them as a 4” band but use the triangle pieces of tile in a diagonal pattern. Than install your remaining course of 12 x 12. By adding different size and color, you have given this area depth. The cheap 4 x 4 white tile cut in half and laid diagonal have also broken the pattern giving the eye something different to focus on. This works and is inexpensive

Remember, greatness in is the details. It is those small details that will make the difference. Most homes in Macomb Michigan will have those small details. So don’t forget them. Good luck with your search of that new home. I hope this article will help you.

If you have any other questions about buying homes, selling homes, building a new home or any new construction question here in or around Macomb Michigan, feel free email me at Thanks for visiting my blog.

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