Last time I told you about some ways to build a beautiful affordable modern home. One other big way to do it is to use a design-build firm. Design-build means that the architecture firm acts as both designer and contractor. When we built our house in 2013, we worked with Tonic Design & Construction in Raleigh, NC and everything they designed was thought about in terms of constructability and cost. Design-build really takes the theoretical and makes it practical. And it saves money in the end – some estimate about 10% savings in project costs. The way that I explain it is that with design-build you still get the great architecture that you want, but you can actually afford it now. We did a feasibility study with Tonic before we even purchased the land to make sure we could get the house that we wanted on our budget.
Read more about the concept of design-build if you’re interested. I was sold on the concept from the beginning mainly because it saves time and headaches over communication.
We ended up building our house for $150/square foot which means I can keep my part time job, working less and hanging out with the kids more. It’s that balance that matters to me.