Here’s why you won’t save money on your new home by purchasing the fixtures or doing the labor yourself.
There are a million things to consider when you’re building a custom home, and money is almost always #1 on the list. Homebuyers look for all kinds of ways to reduce cost without compromising their final product.
Maybe they think it’d be cheaper to buy their own fixtures, or they consider taking on part of the labor to reduce their costs. Whatever corner they try to cut, the goal is always the same: to save money.
Cost-trimming ideas like this usually sound good in theory, but have the potential to seriously backfire.
Today, we want to address a question that comes up a lot in the homebuilding industry: When building a custom home, is it cheaper to buy your own materials or do your own labor instead of relying exclusively on your homebuilder?
Why You Should Let Your Homebuilder Buy Materials & Do the Work
- Is it cheaper to buy your own materials?
- Is it cheaper to do your own work?
The short answer is no, and there are a few reasons why.
Most homebuilders have spent years developing their own processes, and procedures, while building relationships with distributors and accruing what we like to call ‘buying power’. Put those things together, and you get a lot of homebuilding efficiency.
To further elaborate, let’s take a look at three specific reasons why it’s cheaper to rely on your homebuilder for all your building materials and labor.
1. Homebuilders have Buying Power
Almost everything we buy, we buy in bulk.
As such, the typical homebuilder’s buying power is greater than what any individual consumer can achieve.
When it comes to things like flooring, home fixtures, or home exteriors, your homebuilder is most likely able to get a better price per unit than you’ll ever find at retail.
Now, to be fair, there are times when you might find a particular item at a cheaper price from a specific vendor. It does happen. However, chances are there’s a reason your homebuilder doesn’t source materials from that vendor.
Let us explain why …
2. Builders Are Used to Working with Specific Materials
If you want to order your own materials, it will almost certainly add to the amount of time needed to finish building your new home.
We can’t speak for all homebuilders, but our crews have developed a familiarity with certain products, fixtures, and building materials. They know how they work, and (more importantly) how to install them quickly and correctly.
For example, we use specific stones on the fronts of our homes.
We buy them from a vendor that’s more expensive than retail — on purpose — because that vendor sells us stones in batches guaranteed to fit together with little-to-no waste — like giant building blocks.
We rarely have to even cut them!
In the past, we’ve had customers insist on buying exterior stones themselves, because it looked like they would save money … ‘on paper’. Unfortunately, it takes us 2-to-3 times longer to install the customer-purchased stones because our crews had to cut every piece to fit.
3. Doing Your Own Labor is Bad for Scheduling
To save money, some of our customers suggest taking on parts of the labor themselves. They offer to complete tasks like flooring installation or clean-up. Some are trained to do so, others aren’t.
And while we always try to accommodate our budget-conscious, DIY homebuyers, doing so isn’t a sure-fire way to save them money. For starters, relying on yourself to complete labor on your own home will inevitably affect your homebuilders ability to accurately schedule work crews or subcontractors.
It isn’t a question of your skills or experience. The real issue here is time and accountability.
Any delay, even if it’s a single day, could mean previously scheduled crews won’t be able to make it or return to your project for weeks.
And for those homebuyers with a construction loan, any project extension will most certainly impact your bottom line.
Trust The Homebuilding Process
Sometimes, the best way to save money on your custom home is to let your homebuilder do what they do best.
If you’re still concerned about cost, the important thing is to talk to your homebuilder. They should be willing to help you find ways to save money that won’t require you to take on more responsibility, work, or financial risk.