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Building Your Dream Home: A Guide to Allowances and Avoiding Budget Headaches



So you've envisioned your dream home – a space that reflects your style and perfectly suits your needs. But before the exciting stage of picking out paint colors and light fixtures, there's an essential step to understand: allowances in custom home building.


Allowances Explained:

Think of allowances as placeholders in your overall budget for specific items like appliances, countertops, or flooring. Since final selections for these might not be made until later in the design process, allowances act as estimates to keep your budget on track.


Why Allowances Matter:

Allowances offer flexibility, allowing you to personalize your home within a set budget. However, misleading allowances can turn your dream into a financial nightmare.


The Low-Ball Allowance Trap:

Some builders might use unrealistically low allowances to make their initial quote seem more attractive. This can be tempting, but beware! Later in the project, you might discover that the dream appliances you envisioned require exceeding the low allowance. This translates to unexpected cost increases and a major dent in your trust.


Our Approach:

At B.E. Schaefer Custom Homes, we believe in open communication and building trust with our clients. We work collaboratively with you to establish realistic allowances based on your desired finishes and brands. This ensures you get the quality you deserve without budget surprises down the line.


How You Can Use Allowances to Your Advantage:

Here are some tips to navigate allowances effectively and build your dream home with confidence:


  • Be Curious: Don't be afraid to ask detailed questions about allowances. What brands and models are typically included in each one?

  • Do Your Homework: Research the market value of specific appliances, fixtures, or flooring options you're interested in. This empowers you to make informed decisions within your allowances.

  • Explore Options: Discuss the possibility of upgrading specific allowances or even sourcing your own appliances or lighting if you find a great deal.


Empowering Questions for Homeowners:

When interviewing custom home builders, ask these key questions to gain valuable insights into their approach to allowances:


  • How are allowances calculated?

  • What brands and models are included in each allowance category?

  • What's the process for upgrading specific allowances?

  • Is there a policy for using my own appliances or fixtures?


By understanding allowances and asking the right questions, you can ensure a smooth, transparent home building experience. At B.E. Schaefer Custom Homes, we're committed to building your dream home the right way, with realistic budgets and open communication. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!


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