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4 hidden costs in custom home design to avoid

4 hidden costs in custom home design to avoid

Before beginning a custom home design project, most clients have a budget in mind. It can be easy to find yourself over that budget though – especially when you encounter hidden costs.

This list of the four most common hidden costs in custom home design is intended to help you make an informed decision when selecting a home Designer for your project.

The 4 most common hidden costs in custom home design


1. Editing fees

Some Designers only include one draft of your plans in their initial fee, charging for any revisions you wish to make. This can even include fixing mistakes or addressing deficiencies from the City.

There are even designers who charge additional fees for ensuring your custom home design is up to code.

Custom home design, however, is supposed to be about creating your dream house and developing plans to viably execute it. That is why we only charge for late-stage, voluntary revisions – after you have approved your plans.

2. Drafting costs  

Once you have approved the Drawings, it is up to your Designer to create the plans for the city Permit Package. There are some Designers, as well as many interior decorators, who see the Permit Package as outside their original charge.

Therefore, when you reach that stage, they will hire an outside Drafter to complete the plans for the Permit Package, charging you for this work.

Again, we believe the Permit Package is an integral part of custom home design, so drafting plans for it should be included in an initial quote.

3. City fees

There are a number of fees the City charges that can come up during a custom home design process. These include fees for hooking up sewer, water, gas and electrical services; subdividing lots, and rezoning properties. Unfortunately, these fees are unavoidable.

It is important that your custom home designer discusses what fees to expect with you before any work is undertaken.    

4. Professional services

Over the course of a custom home design, it is often necessary for Designers to consult with other professionals, including Land Surveyors, Engineers and Lawyers. These professionals all charge fees for their time and services. Again, these fees are an unavoidable part of the process. They should not, however, be a hidden cost, as your Designer should discuss these fees with you ahead of time.

How to avoid these hidden costs in custom home design

Avoiding hidden costs in custom home design is all about communication.

When interviewing Designers, make sure you ask about hidden costs and additional charges. Also, discuss City fees, as well as any other avoidable charges.

By staying informed, you will be in the best position to judge the cost of your custom home design project.

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