Custom Home Design Budget & Wish Lists

Custom home design budget wish lists – Part 1 – You are considering building a custom home, but you also see that a number of newly constructed homes have advertised monthly payments which sound too good to be true. You know what they say about deals too good to be true…? Often that exact advertised house at that exact price, doesn’t really exist. But one with a ton of upgrades does!

Perhaps you’ve read the Energy Smart Home Plans July 27, 2016 blog post titled, Custom or Cookie-Cutter Home? The post discusses a real life examples of one of our homeowners that chose to go custom, got what they really wanted and actually saved money in the process.

Budgets & Wish Lists

After much research, you believe a custom home is right for your family. As a custom home designer, I say, “That’s great!” Through our custom home design company, Wright Jenkins Home Design, let’s discuss that process of designing that home that meets your family’s needs and your budget. Assuming you already own, or are about to own the property, we should begin with the least exciting topic, the budget. Inquiring about a realistic budget is one of my first questions for a number of reasons. Depending upon the prevailing cost to build in your specific area, your budget will immediately affect the size, the finish level and of course the design of your new home. I refer to the “prevailing cost to build” because costs can vary greatly, even locally. Many factors should be considered when deciding how much is the right amount to spend, including the resale factor. With the exception of rural lots, most clients expect to build more house on a more expensive lot.


Few potential custom clients arrive for our initial custom home design meeting without having done a lot of research for what they like. Most customers know by our first meeting if they prefer a one or more story home and have a good idea of the look and even the finishes they want. Many have created a “Dreambook” full of their favorite home photos on the helpful website With the ability to simply email a link, Houzz makes easy work of getting the client’s design wishes across very quickly and sometimes the wish list comes close to matching the custom home design budget!

Because we specialize in very energy-efficient homes, many new customers have also researched alternative wall and roof systems, insulation alternatives and other energy-saving products and methods before we meet for the first time. Having designed the first and numerous Net-Zero Energy Homes, I steer these clients towards the materials and practices that have been proven optimal, all costs considered. I’ll be covering the design of these cutting edge homes in my next blog series, Net-Zero Energy Homes, so please stayed tuned!

Meanwhile, the next Custom Home Design Blog Part 2 will begin addressing the discovery interview, finding out as much as possible our client’s wants & needs. I’ll include real conversations revealing the interesting process!

Dave Jenkins

Dave Jenkins is a leading designer of Hi-Performance homes for the residential market. His award-winning home designs boast the nation's most energy-efficient homes available. Dave has over 25 years of experience in high-end, residential design and illustration for luxury builders and developers.

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