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Home » Modern vs Traditional House style| Which is More Expensive to Build?

Modern vs Traditional House style| Which is More Expensive to Build?

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Building a House is not an easy task. Especially if you are building a modern house style with innovative materials. Decisions big and small need to be made, all while keeping in mind your budget. You may also be asking yourself as well an important question: “Modern vs. Traditional | which is the more expensive house to build?”

Modern house styles are, in most cases, more expensive to build. Because of the open floor plan, their structure and materials need to be more durable such as concrete. It costs a lot more compared to brick mostly used in the traditional house styles. Also, modern homes tend to have bigger and wider windows, focusing more on natural light. More oversized windows and custom sized windows always cost more compared to normal standard sized used in most traditional homes.

Before jumping into my extensive blog post, You should check my image inspired post after 10 amazing modern house with a swimming pool

Why is a Modern Style Home More Expensive than a Traditional Style Home?

Below are a few reasons why modern style homes tend to be more expensive than traditional ones:

Structural Challenges

One of the factors that contribute to higher expenses in modern style houses is the fact that they have more open spaces and, therefore, fewer walls to provide structural support.

Structural Challenges building modern home style house

A home that has fewer walls to support must have reliable and reinforced structures mostly made of concrete or other expensive materials compared to brick and wood.

Hire the Best

Stylish and innovative engineering for structural soundness means you’ll need to hire contractors who will be specialized in certain areas. Specialized contractors are always going to cost more.

Hire the Best Contractor for you house

The more minimalistic, innovative, and unique project you have, the more experienced contractors you need to find and hire.

Large Windows

Modern style houses are usually appreciated not only for their wide-open spaces but for the gorgeous natural lighting that shines through their large windows. They are not only large; they are custom by size as well.

Large Windows are one of key design aspects of moder style house

However, if a large portion of the walls in your house are windows, you will want to have high quality, and this costs a lot more compared to having a brick wall with small or average windows.

Clean lines and minimalistic look

All the sleek and smooth lines are very appealing when we are observing a modern style home. All these lines are usually made from high-end durable materials that can withstand different weather conditions and earthquakes better than traditional brick or wooden houses.

Modern house style designers are always seeking for something new and innovative, usually never seen before. One of my all-time best designers is Zaha Hadid. An example would be her Tokyo national stadium.

How Do You Build a Modern House on a Budget?

Building a modern style house on a budget is possible now that you have an understanding of what makes the costliness add up. You will still need to have quality contractors and quality materials, but the size and use of space can be areas for cost savings.

  • Stick with a simple floor plan. Some modern houses with their sleek lines end up having complex floor plans. By keeping the floor plan simple, you can reduce construction time. Shorter construction time means less money spent on your specialized contractors.
  • Be mindful of how much space you want vs. how much space you need. More significant may seem better, but in keeping with a simple floor plan, you can have lots of open spaces that allow smaller square footage to feel more significant than it is.
  • Thoughtful placement of windows. As discussed, windows are a high-cost item for a modern house. When planning your window placement, be mindful of what part of the home, you will place them to benefit the most. Setting windows where they will receive a lot of natural light can cut down on your energy costs later on when you’re living in the home. 
  • Subscribe to the “less is more” mindset. The simple lines of a modern style home can mean less on the inside as well. Whenever you’re considering purchasing something for the interior, ask yourself, “does the house need this?”.

One of my all-time favorite design styles is Japandi. If you want to. Learn more about this fantastic mixture of Japanese minimalism and Scandinavian modern read in my blog post called: Japandi interior design style

How to Choose the Right Contractor to Build Your Home?

You probably understand up till now how important it is to have an excellent contractor to build your house. But that brings along another question, “How do you choose the right contractor to build your home?”

How to Choose the Right Contractor to Build Your Home?

Ideally, your contractor will be part of the overall design process. He will talk with the designer and provide input from his perspective during the initial design process.

An architect (or you) can bring your dream to paper, but a contractor will have more practical knowledge about the costs of materials and labor. He or She may see certain aspects of the design that would cause budget issues and knows how to provide alternative solutions. 

TIP: If you're working with an architect, ask for a referral. Maybe they already have experience working with a contractor in previous projects have someone trustworthy. 

Should you interview your contractor before building your house?

Having an interview with the contractor and asking questions about his previous projects and the way they do business is always helpful.

Here are some helpful tips on what to ask your contractor on your interview:

  1. You can Ask for permits, licenses, proof of worker’s comp, and liability insurances for their workers and any subcontractors.
  2. Ask them about their supervision style, how often are they on-site, and who will be your contact person.
  3. Discuss your expectations for your involvement in the construction; how do they feel about your involvement.
  4. Ask about billing. Sometimes Deadlines can extend; more materials or labor is needed. You need to know how and when you are going to be notified.
  5. You should know their work schedule and how it will be shared with you
  6. Ask for previous references, and then follow up and check those references. Visit a building site, visit a home that has been completed, and visit their office to get a feel for their company culture.

It isn’t only the answers to the questions that the contractors provide that is important. It is also the way they speak to you.

How Much More Expensive is Building a House than Buying?

Data shows a nationwide average price difference of $22,115.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) conducted a construction cost survey in 2015 that breaks down the average costs of construction into 36 categories. Their data shows that the average construction cost of a single-family home was $289,415, and the average size was 2,802 square feet.
Compare that to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) data on sales for single-family homes in 2015, which shows a nationwide average sale price of $267,300.
Keep in mind, however, that the costs associated with buying homes and building homes vary significantly by geographic location. Homes purchased in the Midwest in 2015 were much lower at an average of $207,100, whereas homes purchased in the West were at an average of $355,000.

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