At Colby Construction, we aim to make the process of building a custom home as smooth and transparent as possible for our clients. With us, you’re working with a custom lake home builder who will have a collaborative partnership with your architect and interior designer. When your builder and architect work together and are in sync, it prevents miscommunications that could lead to delays and extra costs.

We’ve all heard the horror stories. Someone starts building a custom home and is hit with change order after change order until the project is over budget. It seems common and begs the question… Is this just a foregone conclusion in custom homebuilding? The short and long answer is no. We work with clients to make decisions well ahead of time to help ensure they get their new home on schedule and on budget, as promised. When our homeowners bring us on board early, there are so many things we can do to prevent this unfortunate outcome collectively.

white and cream kitchen with a white island and wooden floors

Avoiding Change Orders When Building a Custom Home: Select Your Team Carefully

One of the most important ways to prevent change orders on your custom home is to partner with a highly effective team of professionals who are informed of your budget and share a collective goal to stick to it. From your architect to your interior designer to your custom builder… everyone’s decisions have an impact on your home’s budget.

Here’s how: 

  • Your architect can ensure that design and construction details are spelled out in their architectural plans by including cross-sections, detail drawings, interior elevations, and notes. This will give your builder more thorough information to create a comprehensive construction budget. It should also prevent costly changes in the field resulting from certain architectural elements having to be re-designed and/or re-built after construction.

  • Your interior designer should help you choose finish selections that not only match your desired aesthetic but also your desired budget. In addition, an experienced and organized interior designer who ensures you stay ahead of your builder’s selection schedule will save you time, money, and a lot of stress and

  • Your custom builder should scrutinize your architectural plans to ensure potential constructibility issues have been discussed with the architect and are included properly in your budget. They should also include realistic allowance amounts for finish selections categories like plumbing fixtures, flooring, countertops, tile, light fixtures, etc., in your construction budget. Even better if your interior designer and builder collaboratively create these allowance amounts together. This will minimize the likelihood that your selection will be over budget.

It is not uncommon for owners to think of a few things they’d like to change once the process has started. Adjustments may range from adding a room to a change in kitchen cabinets, choosing different flooring in the bathroom, or just adding an extra light switch or two. A change order made after construction begins always has a cost. The cost may be the time and labor required to make the change, the price of additional materials or products required, or sometimes both. The goal is to have open communication from the beginning to avoid or limit changes.

It is so important that you create your architect/designer/builder team as early in the process as possible. When everyone is onboard and aligned with the same custom home budget goal from the start of the architectural design phase, it’s much more likely that that specific goal, among many others, is achieved. At Colby Construction, we work closely with everyone involved in the process to deliver your dream custom home within your budget.