By Adam Copenhaver, Co-Founder/Owner at CopeGrand Homes, Guest Contributor
“What is my home going to cost?” and, “What should I expect my home to cost per square foot to build?” These two questions may be the most common questions a custom home builder receives. If we think about that for a moment, it becomes a fairly simple realization that “Cost” is one of the largest and troubling concerns that consumes folks early, and throughout the process of planning for a home. While establishing cost is important for setting your budget, we wanted to help further on your home planning strategy with some insight into what we feel should come after the "cost approach" which is what we refer to as Value Discovery.
In a recent Luxury Simplified blog post titled “Planning to Custom Build a Home? Here's what Goes into Pricing," we were given a unique and accurate view of factors that influence home prices in the Lowcountry. While establishing cost is important for setting your budget, we want to help you develop your home planning strategy with some insight into what we feel should come after the "cost approach" which is what we refer to as Value Discovery.
We will all likely agree; it’s extremely easy to be fixated on costs. Frankly, I am the first to be guilty of this. But, what I am really interested in doing for you is opening the door, of which I’ve been on the other side of myself, that opens a realm of possibilities. If you're planning a custom home or renovation, this experience has been reserved for you. In Semi-custom, production, or re-sale, we have to understand that value of these investments has already been established by someone else. Only with custom can you embark on a "value discovery" process that will enable you to transcend the cost of your home by identifying and employing opportunities to maximize your home's value.
“Value is always worth the cost, and if designed and planned well, value doesn’t cost a thing.”
If designed and planned well, value doesn’t cost a thing - but instead, the value of your investment has the potential to be multiplied just by designing and planning well. This is why it's extremely important to have a professional team involved with you during the "Value Discovery" process.
Below are some helpful tips that will help you discover the true value opportunity that comes along with applying thoughtful planning to build a home.
Site Planning – Especially in the Lowcountry where we have an abundant amount of character in the landscape, site planning could not be any more important. Far too often we see homes being built and finished and it just seems like trees were mowed over to make room for an elegant box, but the home is clearly a fish out of water. In our experience, those tend to have a less desirable value. Make an effort to understand the history of your property, its physical characteristics of grade and landscape, the surrounding architecture, and be sure to seek all the views and the potential views your property has to offer. With the help of new tools provided by technology, we now fly every property with a drone and document with video more than 360 degrees, in multiple locations, and most importantly at the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd story elevations. You want to proactively look for a view that you otherwise couldn’t see from the ground. Or in some cases, you’re looking for the right location for privacy.
Home Design – This includes, but is not limited to, exterior and interior design, lanai’s, terraces, flex space, activity space, storage, and accessibility. Taking what you’ve learned from your site planning due diligence, you now have the opportunity to discover the true value potential of your property and combine it with features of your home. Discover how to create flex spaces that can change how you live in your home, how they’ll serve you as your family functions, and how much your guests enjoy it while they’re visiting. Keeping rooms, media rooms, playrooms; these are all flex spaces in our vocabulary, and as your family structure or interests change, these spaces by design can also change. Our interior design strategy always starts and finishes with the design of our kitchen and master suite(s). Making sure these two key spaces are located appropriately, sized appropriately, and set up for comfort and convenience features, will make all the difference in the value of your home.
Comfort & Convenience – Again, we owe so much to innovation and technology here. It’s become easier to create, monitor, and enjoy the benefits of features within your home. However, most are still not taking advantage of, or even aware of, what is available at the moment. Today’s home automation is completely controlled by smart devices with your voice or at the touch of your fingers. And even better, with new advancements, these features have become much more user-friendly. Gone are the days where a rocket scientist was needed to program your gadgets and keep them functional. Today your smart device now automatically recognizes all of the other "smart devices" in your home and you can give it permission to program them for you. We’re also now adding home features that create healthier indoor living environments and in some cases support mental performance. We love comfort and convenience features, there are far too many to list, but there is no doubt that building your home to interact with technological advancements is a huge value add.
We’re skimming the surface here, but these areas will help you see how much opportunity there is available beyond just the traditional focus on cost. Also by approaching your build with a professional team you’ll also be able to insure your Value Discovery experience truly is luxury simplified.
Note: CopeGrand Homes is a close partner on our build projects around Charleston. Their talented team brings attention to detail and a "think outside the box" perspective to problem solving to provide the very best for our clients. Have a look at some of LS Construction's recent projects from Kiawah Island to Downtown and beyond ...