The slow winter months of Michigan often prompt us to consider our home situation–how we might change it or even consider building a new home? People ask us all of the time, where should we start if we want to build a new home in the next few years?

Here are a few things to consider if you or someone you know is considering a home upgrade. As builders we find it most productive meeting with people if they have already considered a floor plan. As a starting point, we recommend to help narrow down options. Most people who come through our doors don’t have the perfect plan, but they probably have identified two or three that could work with a few changes. Perhaps it was drawn with a 2 car garage and you prefer a 3? Is the master bedroom in the wrong place? Is the great room too small? Greystone Homes specializes in working through all of these alterations. Keeping in mind that plans tend to “grow” when altering them; consequently, it’s much easier to add to a smaller plan compared to trying to shrink a larger plan.

Another key component to review is budget and cost. The reality is that building a new home is expensive. I often compare it to buying a new car and being the one to pay that premium for the privilege of ordering it with all of the options you wanted, that new car smell and just getting to drive it off of the lot. The advantage your new home has over the new car purchase is appreciation rather than depreciation as you drive off the lot. Cost is a necessary part of the early building discussions. Candid discussions about what your budget is and what you’re comfortable spending are a must. I often joke that we’re not trying to spend all your money, but it might seem like that. We build middle to high end homes and every home has a budget. Even those large, expensive homes that you see going up are built based on a budget. The challenge for you and your builder is to bridge the gap between what you want and what it costs to build it. If we are not on the same page for what that will cost compared to your budget, both of us will be disappointed later. We often approach this dilemma of estimating a cost by comparing to recently built similar homes in your area. Because every custom home is unique, looking at similar homes cannot give us an exact cost but we should be able to give you a preliminary cost range. Another factor to consider would be the continual changing costs of labor and materials.

In regards to cost, many would ask a dollar per square foot ($/sf) cost to build a home? Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this question. We as builders try to understand your needs, desires and expectations in order to extrapolate this answer. What do you want for siding, cabinetry, countertops, flooring, appliances, and more? Home style, layout (ie two-story versus single-story) and even overall size impact the $/sf cost. Larger homes give us more square footage over which we can “spread out” the cost of items like your HVAC system or even your kitchen.

When someone is considering a new home, we go through a lot of exploration and discussion. If that’s you, we’d be happy to walk you through what’s needed to answer your questions and help you make those decisions.