What affects the cost of my home?2021-04-02T20:46:00+00:00

There are five main factors that can affect the cost of your build:


You’re most likely locations based on what’s near your job, your family, and your friends; but when appraisers determine how much value to assign based on the location of the house they are also taking into consideration distance to schools, quality of schools, job opportunities, and other factors. Land cost is a major factor in the overall price of your project, and factors such as grading and clearing cost are tied to the location as well. Being careful when selecting where to build can be a big factor in the cost and ultimate value of your home build.


Square footage is a major factor in pricing your new home a bigger house will cost more than a smaller one. Items such as slab, framing, roofing, most electrical, drywall, interior trim labor, and paint are tied directly to the square footage cost. Don’t get too caught up in cost per square foot language—often focusing on this number exclusively will lead to missing hidden fees or unnecessary charges.

The true cost per square foot of your home will not be properly calculated until your builder has identified absolutely every cost related to your build, including floorplans, engineering, options, building materials, labor cost, bids from subcontractors, lot prep, well, septic, garages, interior finishes, city or county fees etc. This is why having transparent pricing in the early stages of planning your build is so important. The Bilttt Breakdown (our budgeting process) is designed to help with that. If you’d like a free consultation on your home build budget, please set an appointment with us today!


Along with size and square footage, the design of your home will have impact on the cost of your build. One-story homes generally cost more per square foot compared to two-story homes the same size. The reason is because the take up a bigger footprint which requires a larger foundation and more excavation work than a two-story home.

The more complicated the plan the more it costs due to custom architecture and engineering fees as well as the material and labor cost of complex features. Simple frame homes use less materials and are easier to construct than homes with complex roof joints and lots of features such as tray ceilings, dormers, craftsman trim, etc.

If you are on a tight budget and looking to save on home design, some of the best options are in the semi-custom category of home plans.


One advantage to building your home is you can choose any high-quality materials you like. It’s easy to get excited about all the possibilities, but the price of marble countertops, wood floors, and high-end fixtures can add up fast. Bilttt’s Breakdown budgeting tool will help keep your wants and needs in line with your budget.


The local and national  economy both have role in your home cost. Lumber and other material costs rise and fall. During the COVID-19 crisis in 2020 lumber prices increased as much as 400% in some areas and the price of items such as doors, windows, and shingles have increased as well. As demand for these items increases so does their cost. On the other hand, you may live in area that has a surplus of materials and so costs remain low. It’s also necessary to consider current interest rates and lending terms since loan interest is a major factor in the complete eventual cost of your home.

If you have questions or would like to discuss your specific home build project, please make an appointment or contact us today!

How can I save money building a home?2021-04-02T20:41:54+00:00

This is Bilttt’s specialty. The best way to save money when building a home is knowing what not to pay for.  With all the factors in costing a home (see: What affects the cost of my build?), there is a lot of opportunity to save. Our “Bilttt Breakdown” budgeting tool was designed with these savings in mind. Our transparent process eliminates hidden fees and industry jargon to identify the practical and realistic savings that can be achieved on your project. Make an appointment with us today for a free budget consultation on your home build.

What’s the first way to save? Buy less house! That’s right, we said it. Keeping a simple floor plan and design is the most economical way to build a home and keep costs low by allowing simpler and more efficient construction than fully custom home builds. These home styles don’t have as many high-end bells and whistles as fully custom builds but tend to be much more economical.

Similar savings can often be achieved by building a modest custom home while keeping materials cost in mind. Materials cost is a huge factor in the final home price. When building a custom home, consider choosing less expensive options in areas that are easy to upgrade later such as light fixtures, faucets, and door handles. Items such as countertops, cabinets, and appliances can also be important areas where the final choices will greatly affect the price of the home.

Location is another important factor in finding ways to save money on your home build. A seemingly perfect location can add a lot of cost to your project if it needs too much improvement in terms of clearing, grading, backfill, etc. Choosing a location to build that minimizes land preparation costs can be a great way to save on your complete project. If you have questions about your land or need to find land to build on, contact us today! Bilttt can help!

Know your numbers when looking for your project financing! If you don’t, you can be in a position for some unexpected surprises and those are never fun. Items such as adjustable interest, closing costs, and construction loan fees are easy to overlook when budgeting for a complete build. We always recommend talking to the professionals when it comes to financing–our network lenders can explain these in detail so you have a full Understanding of your financing terms and interest rates.  You may be able to speak with your lender about unique opportunities you have to lower costs. Often banks and lender have programs you can qualify for which may add up to big savings.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your project, please contact us or make an appointment and we’ll be happy to help!

What types of new home builds are available?2021-09-02T20:02:17+00:00

If you cannot find your dream home on the market, Build your dream home! Buyers who decided to build new homes are more likely to enjoy them long term according to various surveys. Top reasons given for this include having everything shiny and new and customizing their home from top to bottom. Before deciding if new construction is right for you, you will want to learn about the different types of new-home construction and familiarize yourself with the process, from the initial land search and development all the way to selecting custom features.

In most cases, when someone says they are planning to construct their own home, they are referring to a fully customizable build where the buyer has a say in almost everything from design to materials; but, in the world of new construction homes, there are many different approaches buyers can take: 

Spec homes: With a speculative home the builder designs and constructs a single-family home without having a purchaser in mind. Instead, they plan on selling the house to a buyer once it’s complete. These homes often do not offer a significant level of customization.

Semi-Custom: Semi-custom homes are built new from the ground up but have limited options instead of full customization available for the buyer. These homes include bundled design elements which can make them less expensive than full custom builds. Many semi-custom homes are Tract Homes. With a tract home, one developer purchases a plot of land and divides it into individual  lots on which a home builder constructs all of the homes in that planned community. Take a look at some semi-custom home options here.

Fully custom homes: With a fully custom home, you typically find the land on your own or through a service like Bilttt.com then hire or designate a builder to build your dream home. You have total control over the floor plan, layout and finishes, but the process requires a lot of decision-making, attention to detail and disciplined budgeting. Luckily we can take  that burden off your shoulders for a more streamlined approach to your build. See how Bilttt’s innovative process works [here](3). Examples of home plans that can be the start of a fully custom build can be seen in our catalog.

Multi-Family: Multi-family homes are constructed to accommodate more than one family living separately. These range from simple duplexes up to multiplexes with more than a dozen connected units. Multi-family homes are usually constructed as investments and can be a great choice for those looking to build their first home and invest in real estate at the same time. Take a look at some multi-family home designs here.

Modular: Modular homes are factory built and assembled at the building site. These are not the same as mobile homes. Instead, they are constructed to site-built standards or above and pieced together by the builder to create a permanent home that will grow in value just like a site built home. Modular homes usually offer about the same amount of options as Semi-Custom Homes. Modular homes are often faster to construct and sometimes less expensive than their site-built equivalents. Check out our selection of modular home options [here](6).

Non-Traditional: In recent years, alternative home types such as tiny homes, container homes, earth ships, etc. are becoming more and more popular. The use of recycled materials, new construction methods such as 3d printed concrete, and innovative form factors make these homes a dream for the environmentally conscious and forward-thinking buyer. These types of homes are surprisingly difficult to build due to permitting, material costs, and the difficulty of mortgaging them. At Bilttt we are excited about these new technologies and are cautiously optimistic that they will continue to become more affordable and available.

I want a custom design- how do I build exactly what I want?2021-04-02T21:00:07+00:00

If you know exactly what you want in a home, our network architects can assist you in designing and fully engineering your dream!

If you are not sure exactly what you want, start by thinking about basic style. It is important to consider this early in your process. Is there a particular theme and/or architectural style you are drawn to? Ranch, Farm House, Country, Modern, etc.? In some cases it may be best to identify someone who specializes in the specific style of your choice. Contact us for help with that.

If you have not yet chosen a complete house design that fits your wants and needs, but you are set on certain specific features such as a theater room, dog shower, or high ceilings, our network architects can add those features to any of our home plans featured here.

Some Custom Features Our clients opt for are listed below:

  •  Media Rooms 
  • Dog Showers
  • Fireplaces
  • High Ceilings
  • Custom Cabinets
  • Central Sound Systems
  • Security Systems
  • Unique Architectural Accents
  • Walk-out Basements

Going Green?

There is a growing trend towards efficient and environmentally friendly designs. Building with this approach can reduce your carbon footprint and increase your energy efficiency. Water conservation can also be improved with the correct design elements ultimately saving you money. 

If you have further questions about custom home features or your project in general, contact us.

What effects the price of my home?2021-03-31T15:42:58+00:00
Do I need to sell my current house before I build?2021-03-31T15:42:58+00:00

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Is building a home the right choice for me?2021-03-31T15:42:58+00:00

Building a home generally gives you access to greater customization options than buying one already built. Custom Site-Built and Semi-Custom homes can be customized fully to truly match your dream home idea. If you cannot find a home to buy that fits your needs, or if you are interested in having everything exactly the way that you want it, building a home is a great choice!

Another reason to consider building a new home is maintenance. Older homes can come with surprises in the form of maintenance issues – always make sure to have a thorough home inspection done when buying a home that is already built. Even with a great quality inspection, it’s easy for problems to arise that you might not have noticed – items such as roof replacements, A/C unit repair, plumbing problems, and other issues can end up being expensive and troublesome to fix. New homes with all new fixtures, plumbing, electrical, etc. tend to need much less in the way of maintenance than older homes.

New homes built with modern techniques and materials can also be much more energy efficient than their older counterparts. Consider the sometimes-increased cost of heating and cooling older spaces with less insulation, older window and door types, or other features that can create inefficiencies in your home’s energy usage.

If you are considering building a new home, contact us or simply make an appointment in order to receive a free consultation from one of our specialists. If you are looking at buying an older home and aren’t sure what you need to look out for, our network home inspector can help!

How do I add custom features to my home?2021-03-31T15:42:58+00:00

So you have selected a house plan or model and you are ready to build… except the plan is missing a few details. Maybe you want to add a covered front porch, garage, or dog shower. Perhaps a couple of the bedrooms could be just a bit bigger. How do you go about making these changes and adding the custom touches that help make a house into your home?

Easy! Changes to the plan of your home are almost always possible. Bilttt’s network builders often have design services available in house (if this is an option, we’ll typically let you know during the plan selection process). If you’re not sure whether or not you are shopping with a builder that does in-house design and engineering, simply ask your Bilttt Home Specialist. Typically a small fee is associated with making changes to existing plans in this manner.

If you are bringing in an outside house plan, or if your builder does not offer design and engineering in house, we can still help! Our network architects can be contacted here and are capable of drawing up pretty much anything your heart desires from small changes to fully custom homes designed from the ground up. If you have questions, or would like to get in touch with our staff for any reason, please contact us here.

Do I need a well?2021-03-31T15:42:58+00:00

A well is the best solution if you do not have access to city or county water services at your property.

Even if you do have city sewer at your property, a well can still be a good choice in some rare circumstances (for example when your home will be set back enough away from the city water line that septic costs less than connecting to city water).

If you would like to discuss your specific project or get a recommendation for a well system contractor for installation, testing, price estimates, etc. then please contact us

Do I need a septic tank?2021-03-31T15:42:58+00:00

A septic tank is a must if you are not going to be connecting your house to a sewer system. You will need a septic tank if you do not have access to city or county sewer services at your property.

Even if you do have city sewer at your property, a septic tank can still be a good choice in some rare circumstances (for example when your home will be set back enough away from the sewer line that septic costs less than connecting to city sewer).

For information on septic tank Do’s, Don’ts, and Complications, check out our blog article on the subject here.

If you would like to discuss your specific project or get a recommendation for a septic system contractor for installation, testing, price estimates, etc. then please contact us

What if I don’t have land to build my home on?2021-03-31T15:42:58+00:00

If you are ready to build a home but do not have land picked out to build on, Bilttt can help! Our helpful staff are always on the lookout for great locations, and our network includes land location services which you can contact here.

It’s helpful to know what size home you are planning to build as well as the specific area that you would like to build in—this information can help us understand what location would best suit your needs.

If you would like to discuss a specific home build, budgeting, or other elements of your upcoming project please contact us here or make an appointment.

How long will it take to build my home?2021-04-02T20:53:25+00:00

The average amount of time to build a new construction house is about 7 months, according to information from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 Survey of Construction. That sounds about right to us as well.

A fully custom site-built home can take anywhere from 8 to 14 months depending on location, demand, and other factors. For example, building in the North East US can take longer than the South East US due to weather challenges.

A fully custom home will generally take longer to complete than a semi-custom or modular home.

If you choose the semi-custom or modular route time and money can be saved. All you must do is find a nice property, select a home model you like, and hire a builder to complete your project. You might not get as much say in options beyond exterior colors, countertops, cabinets, and appliances; but you will generally enjoy a faster completion time on your brand-new house.

If you have specific timeline concerns, contact us here at Bilttt for a personal consultation.

Do I need a real estate agent to build a house?2021-04-02T20:55:41+00:00

The short answer is NO. It is possible to complete every aspect of new home construction without involving a realtor.

However, real estate agents can bring experience and perspective to your home building project. They can assist with initial land location services, assist in negotiating builder contracts, and help you sell your current home if need be.

Realtor commissions can add cost to a project. Ultimately it is up to you, the buyer, to decide if working with an agent is the right choice for you.

If you decide to use a realtor’s services but are unsure where to start, Bilttt will be happy to recommend realtors that we have worked with in the past. If you’re already in contract with an agent, please have them contact us directly at Bilttt so that we can work together on making your dream home a reality.

If you have other questions about new construction home projects, please check out the rest of our helpful FAQ section or contact us directly.

I want to build a house! Where should I start?2021-03-31T15:42:59+00:00

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