Many people assume that building your own home is astronomically expensive. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be! The key is to spend your money on the right things — and know when it’s okay to go cheaper.

At Marc Julien Homes, we’ve spent years crafting exquisite custom homes. Read on to learn which parts of your custom home project can be your “budget-friendly” option, and which parts you should absolutely never cut corners on.

Countertops: Splurge or Skimp?

Skimp. Everyone loves granite, marble, and quartz countertops — until they see the quote! Thankfully, there are plenty of high-quality laminate options that give you this luxurious aesthetic without the sticker shock. If you must have real granite or marble, use it in the places that draw the most interest, such as your breakfast bar or kitchen island. Your bathroom counters, window sills, and other elements can be a faux granite or marble.

Windows: Splurge or Skimp?

Splurge. Windows aren’t just for bringing in beautiful natural sunlight. They’re a critical mediator of your home’s energy envelope — the overall structure that regulates its temperature. High-quality windows help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This, in turn, reduces your energy bills.

Windows are also a home’s most vulnerable element. From energy leaks to pest intrusions, poorly done windows can make your house inefficient and unsafe. Bottom line: never skimp on windows!

Flooring: Splurge or Skimp?

Skimp. Yes, really! While you probably don’t want the cheapest option on the market, you don’t have to buy premium flooring, either. There are many quality options, including vinyl paneling that resembles hardwood and multiple types of laminate flooring. If you want real hardwood floors, there are now more sustainable and affordable options on the market.

Insulation: Splurge or Skimp?

Splurge. A home without proper insulation will experience more fluctuations in internal temperature. Your HVAC system will have to work harder to maintain your desired setting, which increases your power bills. Cheap insulation also degrades more quickly, meaning you’ll have to replace it within a few years.

Lighting: Splurge or Skimp?

Skimp. You no longer need to cough up lots of cash for premium light fixtures. In fact, a few simple fixtures along with recessed lighting often looks classier and more modern. Invest in LED bulbs for each fixture, and you’ll enjoy brilliant light that lasts years with minimal energy costs.

And remember, you can easily change out fixtures later, as long as the wiring is in place. It’s more important to splurge on a proper electrical setup with sufficient outlets and wiring than to buy that pricey chandelier right off the bat.

Storage Spaces: Splurge or Skimp?

Splurge. Built-in storage spaces are a crucial part of your home’s comfort. If you have an expansive open-concept floor plan but only a few tiny closets or storage rooms, you’ll quickly lose that roominess to standalone wardrobes, shelving, pantries, etc. Plan ahead and make closets, pantries, foyers, mudrooms, and garages part of your overall floor plan. It’s worth your while to go ahead and install shelving and cabinetry in these as well. Once you move into your custom home, you’ll be grateful to have a place for everything rather than having to buy a bunch of storage furniture.

Wrapping Up

When building your custom home, think ahead. What elements or amenities are crucial to your lifestyle? Avoid the allure of that shiny chandelier or premium flooring, because often, you’ll start bloating your budget with those purchases — and end up spending more down the line because you did not invest in your home’s energy efficiency or infrastructure. Wiring, insulation, windows, and the overall layout of your home are harder to change later on. So, splurge and get them right the first time!

For expert guidance on choosing the right fixtures, furnishings, and floor plan for your custom home, reach out to Marc Julien Homes. We’re happy to help you make your vision a reality.

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