Building your own custom home can seem like a daunting task. But, why should you not have the home you’ve dreamed of simply because custom building seems overwhelming and unaffordable?
In fact, custom home building, particularly here in Calgary, is just not, if not sometimes more cost effective than buying new. Don’t let a few concerns stop you from having the home you want where you want it.
Common Custom Homebuilding Concerns
I feel so overwhelmed
Trust us – you are not alone. One of the first things people say to us is that they don’t even know where to start.
First thing’s first, the best way to stop feeling overwhelmed is to break the process down into chunks. Sit down with a custom homebuilder one-on-one and start asking questions. By having a one-on-one, you’ll be able to:
- Understand the of what goes into a build
- Ask all your questions, no matter how small you think they are
- Start thinking of what you actually want in your home
- Determine a realistic budget based on your needs, timelines, and property location
This is your opportunity to do research with a professional rather than searching online – where the amount of information overwhelms even us. Talking through the process one-on-one let’s you see the small steps along the way, rather than thinking of the entire project at once. Baby steps to your larger goal.
When you have a clear picture of what you need to do, what all the moving parts are, and how much you’ll need to invest in your property, you can start to build a step-by-step plan.
Is it affordable? Will we go over our budget?
Building a custom home is absolutely affordable, so long as you understand ALL the costs involved. This means removing some of the misconceptions about custom home building.
The first misconception we want to remove is you must have all the money upfront. This is absolutely not true as banks have a construction mortgage loan, also referred to as a New Home Construction Loan. Without getting too technical, this loan helps fund the build, often comes with a pre-set time frame of when you must start the project, and is broken down into draw stages, where you pull a certain amount of the loan for a specific aspect within the construction process.
The next misconception is that there are hidden costs. Part of our policy is to always be transparent with money and how much a build will actually cost. When we work with clients, before we even talk about what they want their house to look like, we determine all costs involved, both soft and hard:
- Soft costs can include pre-construction, design costs, designer plans, insurance, permit fees, appraisal, property taxes, legal fees, etc., everything prior to construction.
- Hard costs are everything from demolition to completion. In other words, the actual construction process.
When building your budget with your builder, ask questions along the lines of:
- Is the price / square foot in line with homes in the area?
- Does it include the builder’s fee?
- Are the numbers based on mid-grade specs? Higher / lower?
- How will we address unforeseen costs? Are these already included in the budget as a cushion?
By knowing what all is included in the costs before you even begin design work, you’ll start the process understanding the full amount, without worrying about inflated costs, unexpected fees, or hidden line items.
How can I guarantee quality work?
We’ve all heard horror stories about custom home builds that went sideways, never finished, ran out of money, and so much more.
We always recommend that you research the builder you are thinking of working with. Great resources for determining the quality of their work includes:
- Touring homes they’ve built in the past.
Often these are available on their sites, or even go to a home they’re working on / worked on.
- Read the testimonials of past clients.
We suggest looking at a third-party review site, such as or , as they will have more unbiased reviews.
- Look at or
These associations will inform you if a claim or issue has been made against a specific builder.
With thorough research on an individual builder, you’ll be able to see the quality of their work, along with how they support you before, during, and after the build.
For us, helping you move through your concerns is part of our process. We expect questions, issues, and worries to all come up. If a builder won’t take the time to address these with you, then that should be a red flag. This is your property, your custom home build, and you deserve to have the attention of your builder.
To learn more about the whole custom building process, from initial conversation through to completion, At Sagebrook, it’s important that we support you before you invest in building. After all, you should be able to build the home you want, for an affordable amount, without being stressed out and with a company you trust and rely on.