Cost Analysis: Constructing a Custom Home vs a Traditional Build

Published April 9, 2020.
Est. Reading: 4 minutes

If you are searching for a new home, you have two options. You can decide to buy a traditional build that has already been constructed or is in the process of being built. Or you can opt to take on your own custom house construction.

If you have the money to invest, want to create your dream home and have a lot of influence on how the property looks and where it is located, a custom home construction, while a significant undertaking, will certainly deliver on your expectations.

The cost of constructing a custom home

A custom home is built from the ground up using a design you have created through an architect. It’s your own personal project and you have a lot of input into what is included and what is not.

This is a large project and involves you in the whole building process from initial concept and design, the selection of fixtures and fittings, interior design, through to full completion.

Each custom home construction is different and putting an actual price on this kind of development can be difficult. At Sunset Homes, we work with our clients through several phases before we actually achieve a realistic estimate of what a build like this will cost. It involves moving from a vague outline to a full plan where most of the design factors have been taken into account.

On average, however, you can expect a custom home construction to cost anywhere between $250 and $400 per square foot. Take a look at our blog: What Does it Really Cost to Build an Infill Custom Home in Calgary?

If you are building a home of 2,400 square feet, a personalized construction could cost anywhere between $600,000 and $800,000. There are a large number of factors that will affect the final cost of construction, including:

  • The location and size of your plot.
  • Whether you need to install utilities such as gas and electricity.
  • The selections you make with regards to materials and fixtures and fittings.
  • The cost of permits and surveys.
  • The time it takes to build your property.

That’s why it’s vital to work with a specialist custom home construction company that has a track record of delivering high quality builds that are likely to meet your design specifications and come in on budget.

What are the benefits of custom home construction?

The key benefit of undertaking a custom home construction is that you control every part of the design and build process and eventually get the house that you have always dreamed of.

For example, you can build a home that is highly efficient and has sustainability built into every joint and screw. While you could well select from standard features, your home will also be unique.

If you want a highly energy-efficient home, you could ensure that certain materials are used for your property or you may want to install a state of the art HVAC system, solar panels and other green measures. At Sunset Homes, we are committed to sustainable building practices and are part of the Built Green program.

Find out more on our blog post: Four Built Green Options to Build your New Custom Home in Calgary.

Our clients come from a range of backgrounds. Some are looking to build for an investment, for example. Make the right design choices and keep control of the costs and you can create a property that will achieve a profit on resale.

We also have clients who have recently retired and want to create a hub for their family. We have also provided our services for young professionals who have been successful in their careers and are now looking to buy a customized home.

At Sunset Homes, our aim is to be flexible to your needs and help you achieve the new build that you have always dreamed of.

What is the downside?

Undertaking a custom home construction is generally more expensive than buying a traditional property and it’s a long-term project. The home has to be built first and is not ready occupy straight away as with a conventional property. You need to do a lot of work finding the right plot, developing your design, then actually building the property.

Having said that, if you dream of designing your own home, the day you move into the property could well be one of the most fulfilling moments of your life.

The Cost of Buying a Traditional Build

The average house price in Calgary is just under $500,000. If your budget is tight or you don’t really have a preference for actually creating our own dream home, then it’s by far the most appropriate option.

According to Zoocasa, Calgary is actually one of the best places in Canada for buying a home and you can get quite a lot of living space for your investment.

What are the benefits buying a traditional build?

The big benefit of buying a traditional build is that you don’t have to worry about the design and construction. You may want to do some renovations and perhaps add extra space but essentially everything is there for you when you arrive on day one.

It’s also generally cheaper than building your own home from scratch and there is a wide range of different properties to choose from in the Calgary area.

What is the downside?

The downside of purchasing a readymade home is that you have no say over the design other than actually choosing the property in the first place and its location. New traditional builds are created to a generic template and they all tend to look like each other. For many people, this is perfectly acceptable as they have no big dreams for designing their own home in the first place.

While new builds are energy efficient, older homes may require retroactive work to make them more so and that can cost extra money.

Why choose Sunset Homes for your custom home construction

If you have decided to invest in designing and building your ideal dream home, the team at Sunset Homes can guide you through the whole process from initial design, choosing a plot, making the right selections and the final construction.

We’re a Calgary custom home construction company that is customer-focused and has a great track record of delivering remarkable buildings for our clients. Contact us today to find out more.

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