Have you ever wondered what your CPA would spend on a home?
Today we dive into the cost to build this CPA's Barndominium home near Decatur, Texas.
Meet the Sands family, parents Carson and Teran are the owners of Sands CPA, and host the podcast "What Your CPA Wants You To Know". They built their 4 bed/4 bath, 3700 sqft home in 2017 with the help of a local contractor (who isn't in the barndo-business today).
How long did it take to build?
From start to finish, their build took 10 months, during which time they went from bare land, to moving in! Their final figure included every improvement needed to get them there like septic systems, well drilling, grading, etc.
Why did they build a barndominium?
Like many people, the Sands family was looking to get out of the rat-race & change the pace of their lifestyle. Both Teran and Carson had worked in the corporate world, and were ready to ditch their jobs, start a business of their own, and be able to truly put family first.
The build had 3 goals:
keep the mortgage small- With small kids and a small business, things can get hectic fast. The Sands family was determined to keep their mortgage small, so they could work less, and get more time with their young children.
make a place where they can live & run their business- when they built, they knew investing in a home office would cut down on a lot of extra commuting.
getting closer to family- The Sands didn't just move away from the city, they moved closer to family. So close in fact, that they lovingly call their location "The Family Compound". Take a quick glance at Teran's Instagram (@TeranSands) and you'll find them spending tons of quality time with the neighbors, their grandparents and cousins.
How did they save money?
At the time of their build, Teran and Carson were parents two toddlers, starting their own business, and had no time to DIY their way to a lower overall cost, but, they did choose to buy finish materials on their own to save money. This is a strategy often used by people looking to save on the initial build cost, with plans to upgrade finishes later when they can afford to buy exactly what they want.
Another savings came from their simple roofline. Dormers and extra elevations are nice, but the additional time and materials needed to create them add some serious cost to the overall budget.
Along those same lines, they didn't add intricate or expansive porches to their initial build. While porches are great for curb appeal and entertaining space, they do require a lot of planning and material, in fact, porches can cost just as much per sqft as interior space when you add in fans, lighting, and furniture.
Teran and Carson also saved money by opting out of traditional footing. Instead for paying for carpet, laminate, LVP, or hardwood, they polished and sealed their concrete floors. After 5 years living in their home with 3 active kids, Teran and Carson have no regrets on this cost saving measure!
Since working from home long term was a high priority, they made sure to layout the house, septic, and well placement with plenty of room for the addition of a stand-alone office and parking at a later date. 5 years after the initial build, they added a brand new office for hosting clients, and bringing on new staff to their growing business.
The budget-buster most people overlook...
Changing your mind costs a lot of money. Change orders are often the most costly unexpected line item in a home build. The Sands had a firm agreement with their builder that their home would cost a certain amount, with the exception of change orders. Change orders big and small really add up, and along with those costs, can come clutter. Ever wonder why you see 500 sqft of tile for selling for pennies on the dollar on FaceBook?... change orders. Not only does it cost you the immediate materials and labor, but it also costs you time, energy and gas finding, buying, and transporting the new materials. Moral of the story: avoid change orders at all costs. Upgrade or swap later if you aren't happy, but don't disturb the workflow by changing things up mid-build.
For a total cost of $270,000.00, this 3,700 sqft home came in at $73.00/sqft
Keep in mind, this cost did not include the lot it was built on, but did include all necessary land improvements.
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