Can you believe we're finally here? 2020 has come and gone! I heard shouts of joy as we exited a year of trial and strife, and entered a new year full of hope. Yet, as I've lived through the first few weeks of 2021, I have to say --- it's still feeling very 2020-ish. As far as the building world goes, we are living in some crazy times. If you haven't heard by now, the cost of lumber is sky-high. Forbes called lumber "one of the most volatile commodities in the world right now," and for our business, that's the type of news that can make everything seem quite bleak.
Have you been there before? Have you lived through struggle, hardship, or pain? I'm sure you have! After all, we are human. Life isn't always perfect.
But we are in the business of making dreams come true, and we've had to ask ourselves - "What can WE do to help our clients achieve their dreams?" The cost of building has gone up thousands and thousands of dollars from 2019, but we stand firm in believing we can still build beautiful, custom homes for our clients.
WHAT'S IT GOING TO TAKE?
As we evaluated our business model, we came to one conclusion. Teamwork is the answer to the challenges we face in 2021. We're all in the same boat. Lumber costs are what they are. The predictions tell us to "stay tuned" with no clear-cut idea of what to expect. So more than ever before, teamwork is the answer. Allow me to explain ---
Bourn Custom Homes operates as a Design+Build business. We wan't to build true custom homes that aren't replicated over and over again. We want to build homes that work for your family, not put families in homes that worked for our bottom line. Without changing our business model, we know we are going to have to depend heavily on the team we work with, and that all starts with impeccable plans. Having a designer who understands lumber, understands real people, and has an incredible work ethic is where it all starts. When you design with us, we will consider your budget all throughout the process. Knowing what we know about lumber, we can make the best recommendations to keep costs where you want them. Although we don't know what lumber will cost tomorrow, we do know it will be high, so why not spend money exactly where you want it? If you don't need that 17' tall foyer, why spend the money there? Put it in that 20' slider you've always dreamed of!
THE "TEAM" INCLUDES YOU TOO!
Of course, you can have a great builder, a great architect, and a great designer, but if YOU aren't included in the Design+Build process, a big piece of the puzzle is missing. If we're to overcome the great obstacle of lumber prices, we're going to need YOU. As a team, we have to come together to get your list of wants and needs down. Foundation costs, lumber, and labor are costs that are necessary. You don't want to compromise on quality. (We wouldn't let you!) So what do you have control over? Finish-outs!
Loving that marble look? You don't have to go with real marble. A quick Google search of "marble look tile" will land you with results that show polished porcelain tile starting at $1.39/sqft! (Or even better in some cases!) There are so many areas where you can save in finish-outs. Plumbing fixtures, paint, cabinets, counter tops, flooring, and tile for your baths are where you can find the savings you need to overcome the added cost of lumber.
If you want to build a dream home in 2021, find a builder who includes YOU in every step of the way!
THE BUILDER'S TEAM MATTERS
We count on our team big time! Our tradesmen understand the value of their work. They also understand the value of a dollar. Every single piece of lumber is accounted for in the work we do. We don't want our clients wasting money on lumber that ends up in a dumpster! At Bourn Custom Homes, we look to build long-lasting relationships with our subcontractors, and they become part of our team. When they succeed, we succeed and vice versa. We work cohesively to ensure waste is eliminated. We depend on their expertise to guide us. When our electrician reviews plans, he knows he can come to us if he's got a better solution that will benefit our clients. It's all about the team.
From having a strong lender who works to find ways to save you money during construction, to working with a designer who understands your budget, to working with the most proficient tradesmen, our team is committed to designing and building your dream home even in the most tumultuous times.
The last piece of advice we can offer, and it's something we remind our clients of all the time --- "If it were easy, everyone would do it!" Building custom and on budget isn't easy. If you're really committed to staying within a certain price range, you will probably have to make some concessions. You may not be able to get the outdoor kitchen right now. You may not be able to add the pool until 2022. Don't let the things that can be added later hold you back from what you can accomplish now!
Even though 2021 is looking a little 2020-ish, we're excited to know we've got a team that's ready to hammer away at any challenge we face!
And there's really nothing more exciting than that!