When it comes to building a custom home, there are plenty of horror stories about going over budget. It’s probably one of the most frustrating parts, and it can be a huge deterrent for people in the market for a new home.

But, luckily I’m here to show you that it doesn’t have to be that hard to get your custom dream home on a budget! In 4 simple steps, my goal is to show you affordable options to the industry’s traditional, more costly methods.

1. Find Ready-To-Build Architect-Approved House Plans

Hiring an architect and engineer(s) to translate your vision into house plans can cost upward of $6-8K. Finding a option can not only shave off several grand, it allows you the convenience of not having to hire several independent contractors for the design phase of your project (architectural, civil, electrical).

One of my favorite new companies in Austin is Perch Plans by Tim Brown Architecture. These plans are designed by licensed and experienced architects. They offer a range of customizable house plans at a reasonable price point. Every purchase includes comprehensive specs for mechanical, electrical, plumbing & manual j; floor plans; interior and exterior elevations; reflected ceiling and roof plan; as well as all construction details and specifications. So convenient, without sacrificing the craftmanship!

2. Ask Around for a Trustworthy Contractor

Once you’ve decided on where and what you’re building, it’s time to find someone who will be able to execute your plan as envisioned!! During my home renovations, I worked closely with Vice Brothers Construction and couldn’t have been happier with my decision. Their team was super reliable and always on site to help overlook subcontractors and various installations throughout the process.

If you’re not local to Austin, don’t feel shy to ask friends for recommendations and carefully interview potential contractors. Clear communication, trust and reliability is key to ensuring an on-budget project.

3. Plan Out Your Interiors Before You Finish Construction

You want the inside of your home to reflect the time and investment you put into building the exterior. One of the best pieces of advice I can give is to start planning exactly what you want the interior to look like before your contractor has completed the construction. If you find the perfect fridge, and the cabinets have already been put in, you’ll end up footing the bill for several (potentially) change orders. While interior decorating can be an intimidating cost to add on top of everything else, there are several affordable e-design options available that provide a huge cost savings.

As you can tell from the Spruce Kit I completed for the Perch Plan’s Modern Farmhouse Abigar Living Room, we were able to customize the space with a cozy, lived-in vibe. One of my favorite pieces in this design are the buffalo check chairs, which I think gives a subtle nod to the “farmhouse” feel of the architecture.

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4. Consider Short-Term Investments for Long-Term Savings

We're living in the technology age, and it’s amazing how many products and tools have been developed to help us create more efficient living spaces. From double-pane windows to learning thermostats and solar panels. While these may be a little more of an initial investment, they will create a huge cost savings (& return) in the long-run.

If you had the chance to build your custom dream home, what would you include (or not include)? Comment below, or let me know on Instagram!


Accent Chairs | Candles  |  Sectional  | Rug | Bookshelf | Side Table  | Rug  | RH Coffee Table  | C Coffee Table | Side Table  | Ottomans | Sideboard | Table Lamp | Bulb Lamp | Artwork | Photo Artwork | Throw Pillows | Vase | Clock | Basket | Tree | Barstools | Dining Chairs | Dining Table | Pampas Grass | Green Vase | Big Vase