Getting to the end of the design process for your home and realizing that your timber frame house plan is one that you cannot afford is unfortunately very common and can be devastating for you. To avoid this, we have devised a Preliminary Budget Worksheet to help you estimate the cost of your project as you go through the design process. It will start saving you money right off the bat by showing you that you need to cut square footage or revise some of the finishes to meet your desired budget.
Bookmark this page so as you revise your floor plans, come back and re enter your square footage amounts to keep yourself up-to-date of what the costs will be so you can see the real picture. Remember, for this tool to really work, you must be honest about the numbers you enter into the calculator. It is all too easy to make the numbers match what you need them to be and not what they are.
How to Guide:
- First, talk to your local builders and contractors and find out the average price per square foot for a custom home in your area. They will want to ask you a few questions to gauge your tastes and location. I have seen the same house built for $155/sq. ft and for $335/sq. ft, and it all depended on the finishes. It will be hard for the timber frame company to give you a good price at the beginning of a project because they don’t have all the information they need. Tell them you are working with this calculator and ask for a rough estimate so you have a working number that can be revised over time.
- Second, enter the square footage amounts from your plans and adjust the percentage rate according to the information from your builder. As an example, the basement line has a rate of 50% and assumes a finished basement space in that rate. If you plan to have an unfinished basement that rate would decrease to say 25-30%. You can see that getting good information from your team at the beginning of your project will help you have the best picture of the cost of your project throughout the design process.
- Next, hold your breath and get the estimate. Remember that this is just a starting point for you to start to figure out the cost of your home and does not represent the final working number. After you have completed the design process your contractor and timber frame team can give you an accurate number that you can take to the bank.