Suggestions on a $400k Budget for Home Build
Hello everyone. I am looking for suggestions on how I can stay on budget during the build process for the ideal build I am seeking. Please provide any and all input, all is appreciated!
My wife and I are looking for advice on building a home on a piece of land we own. One thing we learned from
the previous homes we owned is that when we build, we want the layout to flow well, and for the home to be energy efficient. We are looking to build around a variation of a 3,000 square foot modern farmhouse, 2 story home in southern New Hampshire. Some items already completed is that we own land, a driveway is installed and a well is drilled. We are looking to have a budget of around $400k to complete the build. Understanding this will be a post-Covid build I can anticipate a build will cost more than it would have pre-Covid due to the price increase of materials.
Design: two story colonial 32×40, attached breezeway connecting to a three car garage with bonus room above.
Below are detailed preferences for my build:
Heating & cooling: closed loop geothermal system. Duct work providing heating and cooling needs.
Insulation: Blown cellulose and spray foam.
As little copper pipes as possible, PEX is preferred coming off a distribution manifold so that full control of each line for isolation purposes.
Natural lighting utilizing the southern exposure is preferred by other means rather than skylights (I have seen their problematic characteristics in the past and would like to avoid them).
Insulated concrete forums (ICF)
Recessed slim LED lighting in all rooms
200 amp panel
There are probably some things I left out, but essentially that is a snapshot of our desired build. Please let me know about any experiences with building a similar sized house with similar levels of efficiency. I look forward to the input. Thank you!
May want to check out this Netzero modular builder here in Belfast Maine–GeoLogic and their GoLogic Home series. I've been enamored with their work for some time. https://www.gologic.us/
Yeah, with those specs, your cost is gonna be significantly higher than 400k. However, there is one way you can reduce your price below 400k, but it may not be convenient for everyone. You can cut the cost of labor by building and doing somethings yourself, but only if you're a DIYer and if you're willing to put in the work. Considering the specs of your house and the materials you want to use, I would trust the professionals to build your home for a better result, even though it is more expensive. However, that doesn't mean you can't do some things yourself to shave a few dollars off the final cost. The internet is a great resource to learn new things. Good luck with your build.
I'm starting my own build this coming spring and had a very similar list to you when I started. I made some design changes to accommodate budget concerns and because with some research I felt certain things did not justify their price.
Closed loop geothermal- I'm not sure what the coldest weather in NH is like but here in Oregon I decided to go with an air source heat pump. The efficiency of modern air source heat pumps IMHO make ground source obselete. There are several that supply full heating load to -5f and 70% to -14f. This one change could save you 10-15k. Use the savings to put some solar on the roof and you will be getting paid to save money.
ICF- In most areas these are a solution looking for a problem. For less money you can have a 2x6 wall with exterior foam which will offer the same performance. If you are worried about fire use rockwool on the outside. The increased cost for ICF is not just the walls. Electrical, plumbing, and more will all cost extra because of the ICF.
Thanks to all for sharing so far.
Greg_E thanks for including that about the air source pumps. Those are becoming increasingly popular. Also, I should have clarified about the ICF, only for the foundation not the entire building. I am intending 2x6 framing from foundation up. I have seen first hand at how well the insulation works.
Mattyd35: thanks for the honesty about my budget. If it needs to increase a little I would be ok with that. Some minor things I am ok with doing but I honestly don’t have the time with where I am in life right now so hiring everything out is a better option to ensure the house is move-in-ready during an appropriate timeframe.
77Carl: Thank you for sending my that link, I did some exploring on their site, they make very efficient buildings.