Managing expectations is a critical component of the custom home building process – and it is a team effort. G&G strives to provide our clients with all of the information, guidance, and support they need to make solid decisions and enjoy as seamless and positive experience as possible. A big part of this is simply telling the truth. It’s not always what you want to hear; but it’s always what you need to hear!

Custom Home Building Reality Check

What do you need to know as you embark on your custom home building journey?

The State of the Industry

While there were rumblings, COVID certainly accelerated (and further snarled) existing tangles in the supply chain and worsened labor shortages. Homeowners took on improvement projects – from building that long-talked-about addition to installing a new HVAC system to redoing their landscaping – with astonishing eagerness. At the same time, industry professionals contended with lengthy wait times (if they could get products/supplies/materials at all) and dwindling staff on the jobsite.

To complete the trifecta, prices experienced meteoric increases. Lumber, for example, soared by 175% between April and September of 2020. By spring of 2021, it cost an average of $1500 per thousand board feet (almost three times as much as pre-pandemic prices). Framing lumber, too, hit a record high, going from $550 to nearly $850 between 2020 and 2021. We did see some leveling, but wildfires in Canada, which have already burned more than 8,000,000 acres of forest, are wreaking additional havoc on the market.

The point is that we cannot always control the market; we can control, to an extent, how we respond to and plan for fluctuations. We seek to be provocative in sourcing materials – and in helping you manage your expectations in terms of budget, timeline, and goals.

Over-the-Top Features

We love outrageous, bigger-is-better, dream-come-true features! But it is not always feasible to install a bowling alley or build a slide from one level to another, for example, given size, space, and/or budget constraints. What do you need? What would it take to complete your dream house? And can we find a compromise? These are essential questions we need to talk about.

Cost… Always Cost

Will wildfires continue to affect lumber prices? Yes. For long? We don’t know (this is a notoriously tumultuous future). Will shortages caused by a shutdown at a chemical plant in Texas cause a shortage and rise in price for raw materials? Maybe. Is everything from garage doors to cement to flooring more expensive as a result of these and many other factors? Yes.

Cost is always an issue, regardless of your specific budget. But it can also show up in other ways. Many clients aren’t fully aware of what it costs to build or source certain features. Let’s call this “Building a custom home versus doing a Google search.” The distance between reality and the internet can be quite significant!

Get a head start on managing cost expectations; use our handy Budget Calculator.

Reality: ✓

Isn’t reality… fun? Not always, but it can be more manageable with the right partner – and the right strategy:

  • Have a Multi-Step Plan. You don’t have to do everything at once. Build the pool now, for example, and take on the pool house a few years down the road.
  • Figure Out Nows Vs. Laters. On a similar note: A golf simulator or bowling alley, for example, need to be part of the original plan, but if you include the space, you can add an arcade later on. Determine what you want/need/can do now and what can wait. Then plan around that.
  • Plan a Multi-Year Landscaping Strategy. G&G partners with Wesley’s Landscape & Lawncare for builds, and Wesley Addington’s crew does not work without a thorough plan. Wesley says, “It all starts and ends with a design, which provides clear instructions for everyone. If you want to install a pool in a year or two, then we’re not going to put irrigation and a big tree in the middle of your yard because we’d have to tear it all back out. If, however, you plan ahead and start mapping out irrigation and landscaping around that, the process is more seamless.” Think big picture, and think about the future.
  • Talk to Us. A seamless project doesn’t happen by accident. It happens as a result of trust, transparency, and honesty. Whether we’re talking about prices, accessibility, or features, we will always deliver the information you need to set realistic expectations and make decisions that move your project forward.

Move Into Your New Reality

Together, we can build something remarkable: Your forever home. Reality is going to look and feel amazing! Get started by downloading our helpful Built for Living Guide.