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Home Build Budget

3 Reasons People Go Over Budget When Building

Published on:


written by:

Carrie Barker


If you’re planning to build a home for the first time, I imagine that going over budget when building your home is one of your biggest concerns. This fear is very valid considering most people do (unfortunately) go over budget when building a home. However, this doesn’t have to be YOUR story!

In this post, I’ll share why *most* people go over budget when building a home. Just remember that you don’t have to be like *most* people! You can do the opposite and you’ll have a much better chance of building your home without blowing your budget.


Many people who build a home think they can make design decisions along the way … tweak their budget along the way … and focus on one little piece of the home build at a time without understanding the full picture of what they want their home build experience to be like.

Guess what those people end up with … a mortgage that is WAY higher than they are comfortable with.

I don’t want this to happen to you. Let’s take a look at 3 of the top reasons people tend to creep significantly over their budget.

The first two reasons go hand-in-hand, so I’m combining them here:


Without a very clear vision of your future home, your builder will be unable to give you an accurate (realistic) bid on what it will cost to build your home.

Many people who build a home are so excited to get started that they don’t take the time to really consider all aspects of how they want their home to look and feel.

They don’t take the time to thoroughly consider layout (floor plan needs) and finishes (in general) before they have their builder quote their home.

Here’s the problem with that … your quote will be based on an incomplete picture of what you want in your future home.

If you aren’t honest with your builder (and yourself) long before you break ground, then he/she can’t come up with an accurate bid.

Without an accurate bid (i.e. based on EVERYTHING you envision in your home), it is very likely that you will go into your build WITHOUT a realistic budget. And without a realistic budget, you can kiss your chances of staying on budget ‘goodbye’.

Of course, you can’t predict everything; some issues will come up that are out of your control (hello, crazy lumber prices in 2020/2021) and require a change order (e.g. a discontinued product), BUT many change orders and ‘upgrades’ are simply a result of a lack of planning before you build.


Not all ‘lowest bids’ are bad. However, sometimes when you accept the lowest bid to save money, you’ll find that you go WAY over that initial bid as you get into the thick of building your home.

Unfortunately, at that point, it’ll be too late to change course and you’ll have no choice but to continue increasing your construction loan and subsequent mortgage.

Keep this in mind … if you get three bids and one is significantly lower than the other two, I recommend that you really give thought to how this bid was determined before you choose that builder.


Going over budget when building a home is NOT inevitable. This is YOUR story and YOU are in control of how the story ends.

You CAN stay on budget … it just takes the right planning and preparation before you ever even think about breaking ground on your new home.

Wanna dive deeper? Register for my *FREE* on-demand training: 3 Keys to Build Your Dream Home Within Budget (without sacrificing your must-haves … no matter how big or small your budget).

  1. Jodi says:

    I just read this post ONE day after it was in my inbox. I tried to sign up for the free custom home prep guide and it said the offer already “expired?!”

    • Hi Jodi! You should have received the FREE Custom Home Build Prep Guide in your email. The free guide does NOT expire … it automatically goes to your inbox. If you don’t see it, please check your junk folder in case it accidentally landed there. As far as the ‘offer expired’ that you’re referring to … that is NOT for the free guide. That is a special offer that I present to new email subscribers. That does expire after 20 minutes. However, the guide you signed up for should be in your email inbox. Please let me know if you can’t find it and I’ll send it to you ASAP! – Carrie

  2. Diana K LaRose says:

    I would love to explore your site, but that thin, pastel font – I can’t even see it! Please consider a new design with a more readable font.

    • Thank you for your input on my website … I’m sorry that you don’t approve of it. I’m actually in the process of completely revamping my website and my new (highly improved) custom website will launch in just a few months! Until then, I’m stuck with what I chose four years ago when I built this website.

  3. […] Many people go over budget because they wait until they’re already building their home to really think about what they want (i.e. they make ‘upgrades’ in real-time while their house is being built).  […]

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I designed my own custom home from the ground up, inside and out. A home that is cozy, comfy, laid out perfectly for the way my family lives, and makes us happy every single day. Oh, and did I mention I did this all without blowing the budget?! 

Yep, it’s true. I’ve been there, done that, and actually lived through it … and you will too. Pinkie promise!

a.k.a. Caroline on Design

I’m Carrie Barker.

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