How can we save money on the project?
The single most important way to save costs is the architect’s version of the carpenter’s rule: “Measure twice, cut once” –”Design twice, build once.” Change orders after construction has started are the most common cause of cost overruns in most projects, and it’s certainly true in building a custom home. Of course, this rule applies to the client (that’s you!), the architect, the general contractor/builder and all the subcontractors.
While there may always be unanticipated or unpredictable problems, you and your architect can spend some time going over the most likely issues that can arise, and what your preventative steps or alternative solutions might be.
Don’t be shy about asking for less expensive materials or design ideas. Sometimes the best solutions come from thinking hard about how to work within constraints.
Also, you can help by trying to remain flexible or open to alternatives on qualities and features of your dream home. For example, a swimming pool takes up a lot of space, including the necessary decking, etc. around it, requires extensive excavation and expensive maintenance, and probably can’t be used in all weather and seasons. Would you be open to a swim spa?
Sometimes the best way to save money is to spend a little more upfront. A heat pump may cost more up front than a traditional furnace, but its lower costs over its life more than make up for that.